Construction Academies in Southeast Europe: Pilot Projects in the Field of Dual Vocational Training

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1 Construction Academies in Southeast Europe: Pilot Projects in the Field of Dual Vocational Training Walter Reiter

2 Background Basic assumption: dual vocational education is a successful method of providing skilled workers and reducing youth unemployment The countries in South East Europe have no dual VET systems and it is necessary to support them in establishing such systems Education in vocational schools and colleges is mainly theoretical and has usually no or not enough practical components Graduates of vocational schools normally have difficulties in finding jobs because they don t have practical experience On the other hand there is a serious shortage of skilled labour and at the same time a high unemployment rate In some branches of the economy this lack of skilled labour is very troublesome because companies are not able to take on contracts or to fulfill tasks correctly This is especially the case in the construction sector

3 Construction Academies as Pilot Projects in the Building Sector Construction academies are pilot projects to show how dual vocational training works in practice They focus on professions in the building sector because this part of the economy lacks to a considerable extent to a considerable extent Main objectives: better harmonisation of theoretical and practical elements in vocational training for building professions Support to the construction sector by qualifying needed skilled workers Support to the employees to upgrade their skills Basic qualification of the unemployed and the upgrading of employees skills Implementation of dual vocational training methods on a broader basis.

4 Realisation of construction academies within broad partnerships: vocational schools, participating companies, responsible political institutions (ministries), municipalities, social partners, employment service and research institutions. Countries with construction academies: Serbia/Croatia (implementation already completed), Moldova (ongoing implementation), Baile Herculane (planned). Funding: Austrian Development Agency, the Austrian Federal Minstry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection and contributions of the member companies.

5 Preparation of Construction Academies: Feasibility study Definition of the roles within the partnership Adapting the training concepts to the requirements of the respective countries Selecting the companies who can be members of the construction academy the professions for which the trainings will be offered the participants for the Train the Trainer component the persons to be trained as mentors in the companies Organisational structure of partnership Management, steering group Membership rules: contracts with the companies concerning the practical training in their production sites Accommodation possibilities for trainees

6 Main Activities of Contruction Academies Developing the organisational structure Development of curricula Train the Trainers Training of mentors in the partner companies Training of employees and unemployed Accompanying measures

7 A1: Developing the Organisational Structure Detailed concept of structure, activities, contributions and responsibilities of the partners Preparation and signing of the contracts Scheduling the implementation process

8 A2: Elaboration of Curricula Adaption of existing curricula according to the qualification needs of the construction industry Development of new curricula if necessary Discussion of the drafts with relevant experts Official approval by the responsible state institutions

9 A3: Train the Trainer On average 30 persons have been qualified to act as trainers according to the dual vocational method (combing theory and practice) Training duration: 40 days Training components: e.g. occupational skills, modern theoretical skills, communication, conflict management, didactics and planning Participants could be: experts from companies, VET institutions or teachers of vocational schools (problem: teachers often have no practical skills)

10 A4: Training of Mentors in the Member Companies One mentor in each member company (on average 15 to 20 member companies) Elaboration of manuals Training duration: 10 days Training topics: support of the trainees in the company, knowledge transfer, cooperation with schools and other institutions, communication and conflict management.

11 A5: Training of Employees and Unemployed On average 150 to 300 trainees in one pilot project Training topics: selected constructing professions, e.g. brick layers or frame carpenters managing construction sites renovation of old buildings new technologies in the construction sector Theoretical training in the participating vocational schools and other VET institutions Practical training takes place: on the premises of the member companies in VET centres, e.g. of the employment agencies and in one of the Austrian Building Academies Graduation: theoretical and practical examinations, certification according to the respective laws.

12 A6: Accompanying Measures Objectives: knowledge transfer to labour market policy and education policy discussion of experiences and good practices Instruments: Workshops and seminars Study visits Experts meetings

13 Experiences and Results: High motivation of the trainees because of good job perspectives Companies are prepared to send their own employees to the trainings Integration of unemployed is difficult but possible Commitment of regional institutions is essential Graduates get jobs easily (job guaranties) High relevance to the EUDRS: most of the countries of the Danube area have a shortage of skilled workers and at the same time high unemployment.

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