From 20th to 22nd of November the partners of the REX VET project met in Bilbao to launch the project activities. “From a rookie to an expert – international paths for VET staff (REX VET)” is a strategic partnership project funded by the Erasmus+ programme with the final aim of motivating more VET teachers and staff to participate in internationalization activities either at home or abroad.
The project stems from the need to promote skills and competences required by the international labour market and multicultural working life. In order to provide students with such competences, VET teachers and trainers need to acquire international skills as part of their continuous professional development.
The project idea took shape during the EfVET Conference 2018 in Como when the partners realised that many VET providers have the need to increase the ownership of internationalization activities within their organization and engage more teachers and staff members in such activities. The challenge of engaging more teachers in international activities is crucial in order to increase the attention to the European context, develop new curriculum planning process and new curriculum models and help to widen cultural understanding among students. Moreover, it’s important to promote staff development in terms of internationalization. Skills as knowledge about the EU, better understanding of other VET systems, language and managerial skills and skills to work in a multi-cultural environment must be developed by VET teachers. Finally, it’s important to link these aspects to the international strategy of the organisation and to the staff professional development.
The project in a nutshell
- 6 partners: the consortium consists of two Finnish VET providers (Luovi and Invalidisäätiö) and VET providers from Italy (ENAC), Spain (Centro San Viator), the Netherlands (Alfa-College) and Estonia (Kuressaare Ametikool).
- 4 Intellectual Outputs: During the two-year, the project will deliver a pathway model for internationalization. Also supporting training materials will be created to promote skills and competences needed for individual professional development in international activities.
- 4 transnational meetings and 5 multiplier events: to work on the products and to disseminate the results.
- 1 learning, teaching and training activity: to test the products and to get feedback for the improvement from different stakeholders
The first IO has been already completed. It was a survey – conducted in five European countries, involving more than 740 VET staff members – aimed at mapping the international skills of the staff in partner organizations. The data emerging from the survey were really interesting. First of all, it shows strong support for the internationalization in vocational education and training institutions.
94% of the respondents answered that internationalization is important in their institutions; 64% of the respondents said that they have had work trips abroad while working at the current organization; 38% have organized mobilities either for themselves, other staff or students.
Mari Kontturi (Luovi, Finland), the coordinator of the project, stated that the survey showed as 75% of the respondents said they want play a role in international activities and that the project aim is now inspiring the other 25%.