The main objective of the 'School meets Business' project (SmB) is to strengthen Work-Based Learning (WBL) to enhance the link to the labor market and the quality of vocational education and training (VET), in line with the ongoing reforms in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia. This project, run by KulturKontakt Austria in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research in Austria, funded by the latter, is being implemented in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia in cooperation with ministries and agencies responsible for VET.
The SmB project supports the quality and relevance of the labor market in vocational education and training through the strengthening of Work-Based Learning as one of the priority reforms in all the three countries.
In the framework of this project, on 11-12 December 2018, a regional workshop was organized in Prishtina in cooperation with colleagues from Austria, Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia.
Its purpose was to strengthen the competencies of VET schools to ensure professional cooperation with private sector companies through the appointment of school coordinators for business cooperation.
Participants to this meeting included representatives of VET institutions, schools and VET centers as well as representatives of local businesses. One of the key VET institutions in Albania is the National Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Qualifications (NAVETQ), which was represented by two of its members.
Mr. Alqi Mustafai, a national VET expert and NAVETQ representative, played an important role both during the presentation and moderation of the workshop sessions.
On the first day of the workshop, experts from the participant states presented the WBL formats, the legal framework for their implementation as well as the challenges ahead. Each of the working groups, divided by country, presented their findings on common approaches and challenges as well as the specifics of each country. Subsequently, the discussions were focused on the coordinator's roles and responsibilities, the time allocations, his/her position in the school's internal structures as well as the necessary competences he/she should have to establish links between the school and business. The first day was concluded with the development of a job profile for the school-business liaison person, i.e. the school coordinator.
Based on this profile, during the second day the discussion was focused on the content of the training program for coordinators, and the real areas to be covered during their training. The working groups came up with proposals on the structure and content of the training program, its duration, as well as the further steps for the achievement of the main objective of the project.