Learning by Doing Targeted capacity building of VET partnerships in the Danube Region for the effective modernisation of VET systems

Staff exchanges

According to the description of WP 3, bilateral staff exchanges are organised to analyse a concrete sub-theme, identified as highly relevant in the critical analysis of the sending partner (Output 3.2 Critical analyses of key challenges). Each ERDF/IPA partner can send its experts (stakeholders as well) at least twice (based on a matrix created in 07/2017 Belgrade) to meet and work with other experts from more developed PPs. The findings of staff exchanges feed the strategy building process (WP6).



The main goal of the staff exchange was to have an insight into the establishment and functioning of cooperation of social partners in VET, including the improvement of learning outcomes, curriculum, qualifications and business performance. The first day started off with a visit to the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro. Mr Mladen Perazić, Director of the Education and Quality Department, explained the details of the work of the Chamber. Mr Duško Rajković, Director of the Centre for Vocational Education and Training of Montenegro, explained the main activities of the Centre, such as preparing curriculum for educational modules together with schools, the Chamber and employers. During the visit to the Vocational secondary school "Spasoje Raspopović”, a short presentation of the school took place. (short film on its history, all programs, competitions). For specific in-company training, the exchange included a presentation of the company D.o.o. Kuća mode i ljepote Zoran (hairdresser salon), one of the most appreciated and most recognizable hair-styling and cosmetic centres in Montenegro, where students perform their practical part and can get acquainted with the latest fashion trends. 

In the 2nd day, at the Ministry of Education of Montenegro, Mr. Veljko Tomić, Director General of the Directorate for General Secondary, Professional and Adult Education, presented some facts. Mr Tomić emphasized that education reform is ongoing in Montenegro, although more efforts are needed to provide qualifications relevant for the labour market. In this regard, the Ministry of Education is moving ahead with the implementation of the VET Strategy (2015-2020) and the Adult Learning Strategy (2015-2020).






On 19th and 20th September 2018 the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia in collaboration with the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Vocational Education and Training hosted a staff exchange within the Learning by Doing project, co-financed by the ESSR and the IPA fund through the Interreg Danube Program. 
Participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with the system of vocational education and training, with an emphasis on the modernization of such a system and the pilot introduction of apprenticeship. They exchanged opinions, experiences and different practices with some of the key VET actors in Slovenia. 





During this staff exchange, very useful information, discussions and company reviews were changes. Participants also got acquainted with the dual system, and met with instructors as well as with trainers of instructors. The staff exchange took place were at the State Institute of Vocational Training, although participants also visited the KNOTT DM-drogerie and Kaufland companies.
All these companies collaborate closely with students from vocational schools. Students are given  financial and non-financial support, and work together with mentors through an individual approach. They also are presented with the possibility to be employed at the company.




Within the project, a staff exchange was organized in Serbia on 26th and 27th September. The first day guests from Slovenia and Hungary visited the Polytechnic school in Kragujevac. Guests got acquainted with the way of acquiring formal and non-formal education. In addition, they familiarised with the school's participation in two projects, E2E Education for employment (SDC funding project) and GIZ-YEP project.
On the second day, representatives of ZUOV and CCIS presented the VET system in Serbia, the organization of Dual education, Vocational education and Qualifications and quality assurance in Serbian VET.





On October 4th and 5th, 2018, within the framework of the Project “Learning by Doing - Targeted capacity building of VET partnerships in the Danube region for the effective modernisation of VET Systems”, Staff Exchange took place in Sofia, Bulgaria, with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, RDE - Vratsa, NAVET, Employment Agency and representatives and stakeholders of project partners.

The event was held at National Agency for Vocational Education and Training, Sofia. On behalf of the two partner organizations from Bulgaria, Vratsa Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Regional Education Management, Vratsa, Mrs. Galina Evdenova presented updated information on the project, the implementation of the activities, the essence of the dual learning and the challenges to work-based learning and modernization of the vocational education and training system. Ministry of Education and Science, Directorate for Vocational Education and Training presented a presentation entitled "Challenges and Corresponding Policies of the Ministry of Education and Science for Modernizing VET and Introduction of the Dual Training System in Bulgaria". Also during the event was presented the pilot project DOMINO. Other presentations: Business Participation in Curriculum Development and Programs: Presented by National Expert on Dual Education and "Adult Education in a Real Working Environment - Challenges and Solutions" presented by NAVET, provoked great interest and discussion.

On October 5, 2018, the participants visited the “Henri Ford” Professional Higher School - Sofia - the largest vocational school in Bulgaria and the Balkan Peninsula with over 52 years of history, with 1000 students in various forms of education – regular and individual. The participants were acquainted with the best practices of Dual Training in the following specialties: Heat engineering - heating, air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration; Heat Power Engineering, Electric Vehicle Electrical Equipment for Public Transport, Auto Transport Vehicles and Automotive Mechatronics.





The staff exchange in Croatia was organized by the Croatian Chamber of Economy Varazdin County Chamber within the framework of the Learning by Doing project on 10th and 13th October. It provided an excellent opportunity for all participants  to share information and experience, to learn about the education and training system in Croatia and to identify common and differing elements in work-based learning.
During the exchange, the main initiatives in the field of work-based learning were presented. The importance of strengthening school partnerships with economic operators to improve the quality of education and training, in order to solve identified problems and to encourage entrepreneurship and increase the flexibility of the curriculum, was highlighted.
A presentation on the Croatian VET system and its career guidance activities carried out by experts of the Croatian Employment Services also took place. 






Over 20 persons - partner’s experts and stakeholders - attended the staff exchange at the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 17th and 18th October.
The focus of discussion was on the role of the social partnership in dual vocational education and training. In this regard,
after the Second World War, a system of cooperation developed in Austria between the government and the four main interest groups (the Federal Chamber of Labour, the Austrian Chamber of Agriculture, the Austrian Federation of Trade Unions and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber). This system is known as the “social partnership”. The staff exchange was, therefore, based on the strength of the Austrian apprenticeship system and on the well-functioning “Austrian social partnership”.





Under the project Learning by Doing project, supported by the Danube Transnational Program, and in cooperation with the Associated partner from the Passau Chamber of commerce on November 15th and 16th 2018 a bilateral international exchange program between experts was organized.

The following topics were discussed in the program:

• National and international initiatives to strengthen vocational training

• Digitizing exams developed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (with practical demonstration)

• Tasks and objectives of the Federal Institute for Vocational Training

• BIBB training in German, European and international quality

• Further development of European Vocational Education and Training Policy.





In the framework of the Danube Transnational Program project entitled "Learning by doing", one staff exchange with participants from Slovenia, Slovakia and was were held in Sarajevo on 20th and 21st November 2018. As the goal of visiting partner countries in the project was to exchange practices within the framework of mid-term education, the participants of this visit were mainly representatives of institutions and business associations involved in the implementation of vocational education.
As the Chamber of Economy of Sarajevo Canton and the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth of the Sarajevo Canton are involved in this project, they were the hosts of these meetings. Discussions were held at the premises of the Ministry and the Chamber in order to look at the role of partnership in dual vocational education and training of pupils, as well as the development plans in the dual education system for the incoming period. 
Also, good practices of the Electrical Engineering School of Energy Sarajevo, and the company Energoinvest SUE and Klas were presented.
Finally, participants visited the Technical School of Graphic Design and Multimedia Technologies.




During 26th and 27th November, a staff exchange took place in Slovenia. The group included experts from the Slovak National VET institute, as well as from the Bratislava Chamber of Commerce. The event was an excellent opportunity for exchanging information and best practices on both VET systems, with a special focus on the work of the Slovenian school and inter-company centres. The issue of apprenticeship was also tackled during the discussions. The staff exchange included a visit to the premises of the Slovenian VET Institute (CPI), the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce (CPU unit), as well as to the centre BIC Ljubljana, and the school centres in Škofja Loka and Velenje.


Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)