Thursday, October 05, 2017

INAP conference 2017 DAY 2

iNAP day 2

Begins with keynote by Professor Dr. Michael Gessler from the Institute of Training in Germany,  on collaboration between companies and schools in the German dual Apprenticeship system. Began with overview as to the importance of nomenclature. VET should use its own structure so it is now always seen as a lesser alternative to university. Higher VET should have its own way of accreditation. Summarised the various ways to define Apprenticeship: informal, time served, competence based, standards based, dual sequential, dual alternance, dual integration, trial alternance. Provided history of European apprenticeship to unpack the reasons for the many ways apprenticeship is structured and the evolution of the dual system which began in Germany in 1964. Dual system relies on cooperation between industry and the vocational school. However, cooperation has never been prevalent and relationship between school and industry has been industry holding more power. Research has focussed on outcomes I.e. Assessments but important to improve the process of training instead. Shared current work on codifying the concept of collaboration. Continuum between coordination, cooperation and co construction. Details in International journal for research in VET vol 4, issue 2 for article. 

Workshop streams begin and I attend the stream on Apprenticeship and universities.

Dr. Michael Barrett, James Eustace and team from IT Sligo and SOLAs, on lessons learned from the implementation of Ireland's first degree level Apprenticeships using the BA (Hons) (level 8) in Insurance Practice. Overview of Irish context, rationale for the new apprenticeship and the details of implementation. Plans to increase number of 'new' apprenticeships, which are not craft based, to increase range of industries and range of occupations and range of learners beyond traditional profiles. So, industry led, at levels 5 to 10, 2 to 4 years and flexible on line delivery to support mostly workplace based learning. For the insurance practice, students have one day at work to be participating in the online classes. Programme runs across 3 semesters a year, with one semester over the traditional summer 'break'. Detailed how the collaboration across insurance institute, employers, education provider and apprentices. National governance and the social partners' involvement are key to the programme's development and continuance. Also relationships with industry, employers, government agencies looking after apprenticeships and providers. 

Yuen Sui Ping on her current PhD study at the University of Siegen, on Measuring experience-knowledge as a factor for 'industry 4.0' (industrial internet of things). Detailed expert systems, need for explicit and tacit knowledge and overview of current research. Rationale for the need of new types of skills which are interdisciplinary, high level cognitive and relational. Current project seeks to find out what constitutes human knowledge and what human cognitive processes cannot be replaced. reiterated Burch four stage model of competence from novice to expert and mastery. Explicit knowledge is describable and tacit is difficult to capture, usually intuition, common sense etc. method is to have 20 candidates who are novices to expert to perform a set tasks, 3 times on 3 different days. Task completion is observed, timed, and the candidate is asked to verbalise the task.  

After lunch, a plenary panel discussion led by Diana Jones on developments in Latin America (Maria Victoria Fazio), England (Thomas Bewick), Germany (Michael Gessler) and Continental Europe (Antje Barabasch). 
Mario Victoria Fazio is from the Inter American Development Bank with Apprenticeships in the 21st century. Set up the context whereby there is high unemployment, difficult school to work transitions, there is a technical and socio emotional skills gap and there is low productivity in firms. Solutions tend to be short term. Apprenticeship seen to be better due to longer term commitment. Defined apprenticeship as requiring contract, structured training, on and off job training and ends with certification. Not all of these present in LA countries and systems are very small. Ended up with a toolkit of 10 core elements to support implementation of apprenticeship. Align with country strategy, engage employers, set structure, fund and incentivise, develop curricula, deliver, assess, certify, promote and ensure quality. Shared case study on setting up new programme in Bahamas. 

Tom Bewick, President of the Transalantic Apprenticeship exchange forum, shared experiences on the development of apprenticeship from scratch in England. Provided overview of last decade in England including large increase in apprenticeship numbers. Case study of creative industries sector. At beginning,  no tradition of apprenticeship. Began with development of creative arts pathways to help understand industry skill needs, test different approaches and make apprenticeship something special. 

Antje Barabasch shared the European experience. Detailed one of the first projects completed by the European Alliance for Apprenticeship. Looked in the governance policies of several countries Spain, Portugal, Latvia etc. Spain expressed interest in setting up experience. Italy investigating options. Portugal and Latvia has few apprentices mainly school based. Sweden working on improving of current system but has developed an apprenticeship for adults. 

Michael Gessler representing the European consortium of VET researchers, presented a quick review of the various ways Apprenticeship is constituted. Summarised 2015 Riga agreement for VET. 

Discussion followed around:
Need to define what is apprenticeship? YES. and panel members provided rationale and requirements.
What kinds of assessment matrix should be adopted? Check Onefile, a fully online system for employers and apprentices, which connects competency standards to evidence, used in England. European approach is to ensure teachers provided with good understanding of role of assessments and quality standards. Assessment is a key only if you don't trust the system. A good system should support assessments for feedback, not just for certifications. 

Last round of workshops focused on trends and patterns across countries.
I attend the following:

Bai Bin on a qualitative research of Apprenticeship competency training in school based Master studio. Cooperation between school and workplace does not work well, therefore difficult to find good workplaces for apprentices. Introduced concept of master studios, as the employment of expert practitioners in school based workshops to teach. A way to provide model practice to novices. Masters are still working in industry and come into studio at selected times to demonstrate and teach. Study on what tasks should be selected, the learning scenario and curriculum. Interviewed masters and students to find out their perceptions. Also collected evidence from studio observations and blogs. Important are work task selection, ill defined working tasks, complex scenarios and the organisation of the work. Also Apprentices learn work process, the teaching style and characteristics of master is important and need to integrate learning at school to master studio sessions.

Liu Yuting with a qualitative research on cultivation of Apprenticeship in traditional arts and crafts. Presented background and rationale. Important to retain traditional crafts. Exampled by carved lacquer craft which has a 1,400 years history but only small number of master practitioners. Long engagement with the work and learning through deliberate practice required to learn the complex skill. Interviewed practitioner and analysed others via video, journals on craft practice. Explained various skill components used in carving. Established master took 1 1/2 years to learn skills and then 2 hours a day across 20 years to refine. Skills learnt through imitation of master, routine training and socio cultural learning. Draws up characteristics of deliberate practice as time, personalised learning, reflection, high goals, feedback opportunities.  

All in a good opportunity to catch up on developments in various other countries. 

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