PEST - Partnership for Exchange of experience in Student on-the-job Training

PEST - students-on-the-jobPEST project is a Partnership project for the Exchange of experience in Student on-the-job Training. It is co-financed by the Lifelong Learning Programme under Leonardo da Vinci programme. The main short term objective of this series of workshops is to mutually discover the experience of the VET provider partner institutions in trainee placements at business sector partners as mandatory part of their learning pathways.

It is lead by BGF - the Budapest Business School (HU) and regroups 7 partner organisations from 5 European countries.

There is significant mismatch between workers' knowledge and skill levels and actual job requirement in the labour market. The lion share of the shortages falls in the field of professional skills and competences and the remedy can come from innovative vocational trainings.
All the partners started exercises aimed at the most direct cooperation with the job market stake holders: student placements in real job conditions and considering this placements as integral part of their vocational learning paths.
Separately the partners all have tried to evaluate and validate these internships, but not even all the good practices are known by the others. This gave the idea to organise a series of thematic workshops in the partner countries around different aspects of the on-the-job trainings. This exchange of experience will lead to a cross fertilisation of practices and, later on, will end up with learner placements for internships in partner countries, non- existing up to date. This will be facilitated by the direct participation of trainees in the project's workshops and site visits.
The mutual trust generated by the comparison of accreditation techniques and the direct participation of trainees will facilitate their mobility allowing to carry out the on-the-job training sections in another partner country and to make it validate in the original is a real added value of the project.

On-the-job training sections are necessary elements of modern vocational education and training. These mandatory internships are integrated parts of the curriculum, their evaluation and a kind of accreditation is unavoidable. The short term impact of the project is the improvement of these kinds of evaluations of the trainings through cross-fertilisation of the existing practices. This will also help diminish the mismatch between knowledge, skills and competences offered by the on-the-job trainings of the partners.
The creation of mutual confidence among partners facilitates learner mobility among the partners with transfer and validation of learning outcomes.
This direct impact of the project's meeting series will be realised after having signed bilateral agreements on such exchanges between the relevant partners.
The students participating in the project are expected to be the first exchange trainees for internship.
One special meeting (in Belgium) is partially devoted to ECVET, the accreditation initiative of the EU for vocational training. This opens the door towards describing qualifications in terms of units of learning outcomes which are expected to be transferable and which can be accumulated with associated credit points. This long term impact can be realised in posterior follow up projects and can contribute to closing the gap between ECTS and ECVET evaluations.

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