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Virtual Mobility in Vocational Training

International mobility before Covid19

Since 1995, the Erasmus Programme is open to VET learners and apprentices. The programme was known as the Leonardo da Vinci programme and got included under Erasmus+ in 2014. With Erasmus +, the European mobility of apprentices is widely encouraged to promote the acquisition of skills and professional integration. International mobility is now an integral part of many apprenticeship programmes.

EAM – Euro App Mobility works to facilitate exchanges and synergies between different learning stakeholders in Europe in order to put European long-term mobility at the heart of vocational training programmes. A platform for connecting mobility actors is being developed (https://app.euroappmobility.eu/).

According to a report by the French General Inspectorate of Education, Sport and Research on the impact of the health crisis on European and international mobility of pupils, students, and apprentices (published in September 2021) “it is not necessarily possible to integrate virtual mobility into all types of training, such as vocational training for example, where the type of teaching practice is less suitable.”

The following scenarios show that this is not strictly true:

E- AutoMobility

In order to continue to offer European mobility to its apprentices, LÉA-CFI, a French vocational training school, is involved in the E-AutoMobility project, supported by ANFA (The National Association for Automobile Training) and with its Italian partner, the Fondazione Opera Monte Grappa professional training center in Fonte (Treviso). The meeting of their European peers, professional exchanges between future technicians, has been a first experience of virtual mobility for these young people and for their training center the 17th of March to 5th of May 2021. To bring together Italian students and apprentices in the 1st year of the Vocational baccalaureate ‘car maintenance option heavy goods vehicles’ to work together on health, safety, risk prevention and the environment in the workplace, from the perspective of electric and hybrid vehicles. Through 4 virtual class sessions, the young Italian and French students had a look at these subjects in greater depth, their company’s practices, and the particularities of their country, supervised by Italian and French trainers.

Watch the video about this experience:

A Virtual Stonemason Training

To remain mobilised for European mobility actions for apprentices, despite Covid-19 and to adapt European mobility actions to the current context: this was the objective of the French CCCA-BTP (Central Coordination Committee for Apprenticeship in Construction and Public Works). A European distance learning exchange took place in February 2021 between BTP CFA Indre-et-Loire (Saint-Pierre-des-Corps) and a professional construction school in Taranto (Italy), which is a member of the national FORMEDIL network (Institute for vocational training in the construction sector). The pedagogical objective of this distance learning action desired by the professional school of construction of Taranto was to discover and understand how the profession of stonemason is organised in France, the conditions and modalities of training, as well as the working techniques.

“This training action went very well, beyond our expectations. It was not a transposition of what is done in a classic course, but a real creation. Each intervention was thought out and designed for a distance learning format. We now see that this system can be modelled and adapted. This would make it possible, for example, to develop the ‘hybrid’ European mobility advocated by the Erasmus agency: we could prepare mobility actions with two or three sessions prior to a trip to a host country, and conversely, extend a stay via virtual training actions. This is conceivable and possible.” Pierre Touillon, in charge of European projects at the CCCA-BTP

Watch the video of this experience:

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