The WBL S.P. project: From birth to adult age – a WBL successful Practice!

From birth to adult age – a WBL successful Practice! is a partnership between a Polytechnic Institute, 3 VET colleges, 3 enterprises in the areas of Mechanical Manufacture, Mechatronics and Industrial Maintenance, and 3 public bodies from 3 different countries (Portugal, Spain, and Italy), among them our members Politeknika Ikastegia Txorierri and TKNIKA.

It is a 3-year project, whereby VET staff, trainers in enterprises and students from 3 countries participated in a ‘problem-based learning’ project in order to develop 3 new innovative and creative Competency-based Curricula in the above mentioned areas, which simultaneously include a creative and innovative teaching practice related to Entrepreneurship Education.

This new pedagogy enables higher level ‘applied’ and updated skills amongst learners, increasing simultaneously innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial skills and thereby narrowing the gap between academia and the world of work. The 3 companies led other local similar businesses and provided a real world learning environment. Our goal is to give tools to businesses to facilitate traineeships and apprenticeships.

The partnership has developed an online platform that supports all the items considered important to develop the competences needed in a real environment and to match the potential of students and needs of enterprises (adjustment between demand and offer among technical workers) in the joint construction of a new curricula/programme. The platform can be accessed at this link.

WBL. S.P! was delivered through WBL approaches, curricula and practices comprising of VET students, VET staff and employers. Each partner engaged with local/regional industries with experience or the desire to implement new and innovative Mechanics, Mechatronics and Industrial Maintenance curricula and integration approaches both for VET students, VET teachers and trainers.

WBL. S.P! seeks to build on matching the right VET student to the right enterprise and tasks and, at the same time, give VET teachers and instructors a better preparation both for teaching technological subjects and deal better with demotivation and misbehaviour, respectively, involved in the construction of a professional both technical and entrepreneurially speaking.

WBL. S.P! focuses on this duality of purpose and seeks to move VET students & teachers/instructors from ‘theoretical, technical and entrepreneurial competences’ to ‘Real usage and adaptation of technical and entrepreneurial competences’ and develop the skills amongst VET students and teachers, enabling them to ‘hit the ground running’ in an industry sector that has an in-build bias towards entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation.

Participation within this project is an opportunity for collaboration between VET providers, students, employers/instructors and relevant stakeholders in the same VET field across southern Europe. The partners exchanged methodologies and good practices approaches, to improve the expertise of VET teachers and to embed extra-curricular activity in the sectorial fields.