The National Agency Erasmus+ Education Austria (Nationalagentur Erasmus+ Bildung Österreich) was actively involved in implementing project proposals in the European network “Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeships (NetWBL)” between 2013 and 2016. The objective was to support the “Education and Training 2020” strategy and facilitate an effective network between politics and the world of work. The network highlights various elements of Work-Based Learning (WBL) in vocational and university education, thereby strengthening the understanding of the concept in general.
The network identified, classified and circulated the results of projects from the Lifelong Learning (LLP) and Erasmus+ programmes. These were made available online to the public together with the results from 29 other national agencies.
The main product: The Work-Based Learning TOOLKIT
The thematic network’s core product was the Work-Based Learning TOOLKIT. This web platform provides extensive materials and transferable results from EU-financed projects (LLP and Erasmus+) on this topic. It offers a new method of online networking for members of the public interested in work-based learning. Of over 350 LLP projects, 90 were classified as relevant to WBL and 70 best practice results were identified, evaluated and described by experts. The Austrian contribution to this is extremely substantial as the level of expertise in the area of work-based learning is currently very good in the dual training system.
The platform itself represents a new method of networking with the WBL community online. The WBL TOOLKIT is the core product in the netWBL network, responsible for making the results of good practice projects in the area of WBL from the programme for lifelong learning and Erasmus+ more visible, and therefore more usable.
The EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Marianne Thyssen, described the NetWBL TOOLKIT as “a very promising concept for anyone involved in the development and implementation of work-based learning and apprentice training.”
The WBL TOOLKIT comprises three core elements: an introduction to WBL, tools, and resources. The introductory section about WBL explains the objectives and principles of work-based learning. The database of tools is the core aspect, offering WBL tools, models, methods and examples. The final section of the toolkit contains a range of additional resources: a bibliography, a collection of case studies, a glossary and a list of WBL projects.
Authors: Ida Karner and Delphine Duguet (Nationalagentur Erasmus+)