Evaluation of the First Phase of Leonardo da Vinci Programme (1996 – 1999) in the Czech Republic and Valorisation of Its Results Contents


partial attempts to implement alternative forms of training



Download 216.34 Kb.
Page5/6
Date conversion03.05.2018
Size216.34 Kb.
1   2   3   4   5   6
partial attempts to implement alternative forms of training. The preconditions for larger implementation of on-line training had not been created in the given period yet, however the acquired knowledge established a good basis for further expected development.

The establishment of study with professional orientation within tertiary education is the most significant change in the vocational education and training. In the Czech Republic, it is an area where problems have accumulated which are not solved successfully. For example, the status, number and size of higher vocational schools could be mentioned. The implementation of the gained experience starts in the field of proposals to set up non-university tertiary education establishments. The interest in competencies of lecturers for the area of education of adults was found in several projects. A contribution of the projects is the implementation of such courses or methodologies. On the other hand, it is impossible to recommend the obligatory certification of lecturers intended by the Association of Adults Education Providers at this stage, because the necessary competencies can be acquired in many ways.



7.5 How did the programme help to link teaching and research in the tertiary education?

The question of combination of training and research was found in the projects in a smaller extent than would correspond with its importance. Nevertheless, it is evident that numerous promoters used the established contacts also to strengthen links beyond usual training activities. The efforts to co-operate with the SMEs were most frequent in the projects of universities – see e. g. the project of the University of West Bohemia (A 12). A longer lapse of time is necessary for evaluation of such projects. Therefore, it is difficult to say now if the intended network/chain was established. The mechanisms for creating of such links were tested. The impact of this co-operation both on research and on training should be monitored by further projects. At the same time the issue of support of co-operation with SMEs by the state will become significant; however, it should not lead to unequal conditions at the market.

The topic of a link between education and research is very relevant, but it was not solved by the projects very often. The conditions in the Czech Republic are so specific that it is not possible to expect an effective adaptation of foreign experience. One of such specific features is the existence of the Academy of Science as a dominant institution dealing with research and wide network of sector institutes which deal with narrowly aimed or applied research and development (often even standard development). The experience of promoters shows that in our conditions it is necessary to change radically the link between training activities and research activities in favour of their useful and productive strengthening. The knowledge gives conclusive evidence for the necessity to support research and development in the tertiary sector organisations which perform training activities as well.

The involvement of tertiary education institutions in research and development activities is a typical feature of these institutions, according to international experience. Therefore, the acquired knowledge is essential for higher vocational schools which are on the borderline of upper secondary and tertiary education.


7.6 How did the programme help to improve the co-operation of universities and enterprises?

Co-operation of universities with state administration and especially with enterprises is a topical issue in the Czech conditions. This issue is only seldom evident in the projects, and with a weak effect. It is usually caused not by unsuccessful realisation of the project, but by a significant difference in conditions in which the project aspires to be successful. The basic precondition for the transfer of knowledge is the development of network of SMEs with high innovation potential or with orientation on the added value of the product. The surviving orientation of the state on solving of current short-term problems in large industrial corporations or in the banking sector is a serious obstacle in our conditions. Innovative enterprises are not sufficiently supported, and they do not stand in the centre of interest of the political elite.



The projects are very important from this point of view. They should steadily show that co-operation of SMEs with universities represents significant potential. It is of course very difficult when the market is deformed by preference of some subjects either in the position of monopoly or in the framework of a specific transformation support. The SMEs with high added value win only with difficulties. The projects which react on this situation and are seeking for ways to implement foreign experience are therefore paramount.

The co-operation of universities with enterprises must be understood not only as a chance to achieve other funding of training institutions. The changes in the content of education, in the quality of practical training, in the quality of human resources and in the competitiveness of products are results of this co-operation.


  1. Evaluation Report on the First Period of Leonardo da Vinci Programme in the Field of Labour Market and Employment Support


8.1 How did the programme contribute to the improvement of the quality of initial and continuing vocational education and training at the local, regional and national levels?

A 24 – Information technologies for persons with a sight handicap

The project developed complex methodologies, training materials and special software for teaching of computer skills to people with a sight handicap. They are useful both for special schools and for training of adults. The project was finished in the first half of 2001 and it is designed for national level. The authors informed the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and relevant public. The project is focused on a very narrow target group, however with a very serious handicap.



A 26 – Communication with handicapped people

This project developed four video-programmes for communication with people who are handicapped in sight and hearing, and with a mental or physical handicap. It is intended for training of all categories of employees who deal with handicapped people. The output was originally focused on the staff of state institutions; however, it can be used in broader audience, and it has a national level nature.



A 27 – Computer programme for professional diagnostics

The impact of professional diagnosing of pupils who are finishing the school on enhancing the quality of initial vocational training is indirect. If the programme helps to choose the branch of study for a pupil correctly, he/she will learn better, he/she will acquire more knowledge and will be better prepared for the occupation. The project has a local or regional level nature.


A 28 – Guide through the world of occupations

The impact of professional diagnosing of pupils who are finishing the school, handicapped young people, or unemployed people on enhancing the quality of vocational training is indirect. If the programme helps to choose the branch of study correctly, it could be expected that he/she will learn better, he/she will acquire more knowledge and will be better prepared for the occupation. The project has a national and transnational level nature, it is user-friendly, complex and polyfunctional.


A 31 – Technology training for SMEs

The results of the project are training modules for owners and managers of SMEs. They can improve the managerial skills and transfer the knowledge concerning the sustainable development of an enterprise. They can be also used for re-training of unemployed people who wish to start a business.



A 32 – Regular forecasting of training needs: comparative analysis, development and implementation of methodology

The project developed a mathematical model and methodology of forecasting of training needs at the national level which is based on macroeconomic prognoses and statistics. It enables the decision-maker to assess the prospects of individual branches at the labour market. Since 2001, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has no longer been the decisive body for influencing of the training offer. It can only monitor, which does not decrease the value of the project, though. At the regional level, where regional authorities make decisions on the implementation of concrete training courses, the model does not function. The methods of quantitative surveys should be used there. The contribution of the project is nation-wide. Other countries have expressed their interest in it recently.



A 34 – Database of continuing training

If we accept the hypothesis that information about training is at the beginning of every training, then a complex and easily accessible database of this information is very valuable, it enables comparison and choice. Most of the training organisations in the Czech Republic have understood the possibility of their registration as their chance, but inserting in the database in the partner countries is weaker so far.


B 17 – Mobility centres as innovative linking of in-company training and training policy for labour market

The intention of this project has been the orientation on released and threatened people from SMEs, who would obtain a better position at the labour market through additional qualification. Till now, the project has only local impact in one region.


B 20- Acquisition of personal skills and job seeking skills

The project mapped the difference between knowledge and skills acquired during vocational training, and knowledge and skills of graduates as expected by employers in participating countries. It is undoubtedly a valuable feedback for the vocational training sector, because it makes it possible to improve the training in general. If, for example, the teaching subject „Introduction into the world of labour“ were implemented only, it would be insufficient.



C 12 – Europe II, C 13 – Europe I.2

Both projects address the young unemployed school graduates who participate in a retraining course for cooks and waiters and in the language preparation in the branch. The selected participants then participate in further language and cultural preparation, and finally in the placement in the UK finished by awarding of the TES certificate. The project has a regional level nature, but the recruitment was enlarged lately to whole Moravia and a part of Bohemia. The project supplements very well the offer of the traditional re-training form by the placement abroad and enhances the re-training to a new level.



Summary:

Even if this part of evaluation deals only with part of the projects, their focus is substantially broad.



The authors, the Czech promoters and partners of Leonardo da Vinci projects are mostly people from the Czech training sector or from Czech institutions which are very closely connected with vocational training. They found the opportunity in Leonardo da Vinci programme to solve, beyond standard mechanisms, a relatively general problem considered as important. It is evident and understandable that they meant mostly our Czech environment and our domestic problems.

In confrontation with partner organisations, their approaches, possibilities, knowledge and experience, the problems were finally solved effectively, and the solution was anchored in the broader context of vocational training. I am convinced that the output published and practical solutions differ considerably from the original expectations of promoters because they are more complex, mature, transferable both in our country and abroad.

Through the contacts with promoters I concluded that our co-ordinators and partners are competent counterparts of the foreign ones, that they are able to manage and organise the projects effectively and that they can search for good partners both from the Czech Republic and from abroad. In my opinion, this is a satisfying fact.


8.2 How did the programme contribute to the development of transnational co-operation and European dimension?

A 24 – Information technologies for persons with a sight handicap

The project output is presented equally in Czech, German, English and Spanish so that the project can be developed in four national environments.



A 26 – Communication with handicapped people

The video-programmes were developed in Czech, German and Greek, and they are focused on the more general model situations which could be expected in every participating country where a civil servant communicates with a handicapped person. The video-programmes are disseminated in the participating countries by partner institutions.



A 27 – Computer programme for professional diagnosing

Psychological testing is usually more or less connected with the national environment. In spite of this, the programme was translated, after modifications, into four European languages and it has „European“ applicability.


A 28 – Guide through the world of occupations

The complex performance and comfort for users are the results of international co-operation when the partners from Western Europe understood well that only excellent and complex product can be successful. The authors managed to get over the difficulties with differences of training systems in various countries, and to modify the product into 4 national versions. Not all the national versions are equal: the Greek one is without pictures, and the English one is only in the form of a demo-version – very strong commercial competition exists in the UK. The project meets with European acceptance, and it will be modified into other national environments.


A 30 – Vocational training programme for Romany people

The Romany population is spread all around Europe, but their behaviour is different in various majority cultures. Their behaviour is legislatively arranged in different ways, including their access to education. The exchange of national experience in the issues of Romany people is extraordinarily valuable.



A 31 – Technology training for SMEs

The project output exists in 3 equal national versions, and they are fully usable in national environments.



A 32 – Regular forecasting of training needs: comparative analysis, development and implementation of the methodology

It is an extremely transnational work which could not have been realised without international data, experience and know-how at all.



A 34 – Database of continuing training

The project uses a system of classification of continuing training branches which is based on international classification ISCED, and it covers more than 1 000 items. The project exists in 4 comparable national versions. It competes with commercial Internet servers.



B 17 – Mobility centres as an innovative link between in-company training and training policy for the labour market

The co-operation and good experience from the finished project initiated other projects and proposals of co-operation.


B 20- Acquisition of personal skills and skills for job seeking

The side output of the project consists in the opportunity of the authors to inform job seekers about the situation at the labour market in the partner countries.


B 23 – System of shared employment SHARE

The project seeks a solution to the problem of sharing one working place by two part-time employers, i. e. quite a new solution which is nearly unknown in our conditions and which is usual in some EU countries and unusual in the others. This solution will become more usual also in our country in the period when the accession to the EU is nearer. It is useful to be informed by those who have already implemented or are implementing this solution.



C 11, C 14 – Work flexibility of young workers with secondary education in dynamic SMEs

Both placement projects have only local impact and influenced the career only of several participants. The highest significance consists in the learning about, and adaptation to, a new environment. The recruitment of participants was the main difficulty of the promoters.



C 12 – Europe II, C 13 – Europe I.2

Practical experience with participants in placements from the Czech Republic convince the local employers that our participants can work in tourism and in the advanced establishments of the EU as well. Main contributions lie in the responsible approach to work, coping with work in an international team, understanding of the English culture, the management system of English centres, local cooking, habits etc. The participants become labour force able to work at international level.



C 15 – Improvement of employment prospects of young school graduates

C 16The graduate

Although the promoters of these projects were different labour offices, the experience confirms that our placement participants work abroad well.


Summary:

International experience exchange leads on one hand to deeper knowledge and comparison of conditions in participating countries, on the other hand it shortens the development, because in some countries knowledge which can be used is acquired or even implemented earlier. If there are too big differences in the level, legislation or national cultures between promoters, it could pose an obstacle to the effective finding of common solutions.


International co-operation leads to a more overall view of the problem and then also to a more complex solution. All teams felt the effect of „cumulating of positive experience and solution“ which international co-operation brings. In general, also acquaintance with more developed international competition in the area solved is a stimulating factor for the quality of the project output. On the other hand, the difference between European national environments means also an obstacle and challenge for the international teams, and they must face it.

International co-operation in the project often leads to continuation in other areas, e. g. in the administration and maintenance of the project, or its further story. It is no exception that the partners whose co-operation proved successful meet again in other projects, or that they are recommended for new teams. On the other hand, in such cases, when only one or two international meetings take place or when the co-operation is only weak, the impact is only small and it usually does not lead to further co-operation.

In the field of guidance, it is sometimes possible to exploit also side-effect knowledge, e. g. to inform about the situation at the labour market in the partner country. Such information will be more useful when the integration of the Czech Republic into EU is nearer.

The placements abroad are usually characterised by promoters by the expression that „another individual arrived than the one who departed“. His/her self-confidence is higher, the/she understood the foreign environment, established contacts and improved the vocational and language skills. The participant in the placement abroad has significant advantage from the point of view of entering the local labour market.

8.3 What measures could be recommended in order to reach a more intensive impact of the programme in the future?

A 24 – Information technologies for people with a sight handicap

The authors intend to convince the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to support the implementation of the project results in special schools for children and youth with a sight handicap. The authors want to disseminate the results in the EU, but they have not a concrete plan.



A 26 – Communication with handicapped people

The authors presented the videotapes nearly to all relevant governmental and non-governmental organisations, and they devoted considerable effort to the presentation. As the product was accepted well, the authors intend to develop a guide for trainers. They know well the potential users in the Czech Republic.



A 27 – Computer programme for career diagnosing

The computer programme is developed, but its content and technical design is permanently improved. That poses an obstacle to its further dissemination. The project impact is influenced by the fact that the diagnosing result is not available immediately; it must be sent to the authors first, and they send the results after their assessment back. Moreover, every diagnosis is paid.



A 28 – Guide through the world of occupations

There is no problem any more with the use of the project results in the Czech Republic, because the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has bought it for all labour offices. A similar Leonardo da Vinci project has recently been approved. Its aim is to enlarge the previous results and to develop other national versions. This intention and the current results promise even higher impact of new project.


A 31 – Technology training for SMEs

The project was finished in the first half of 2001. The authors will disseminate the results in the partner countries, and they also negotiated the commercialisation aspects. They prepare a dissemination project with a participation of countries where the project was positively accepted.


A 32 – Regular forecasting of training needs: comparative analysis, development and application of methodology

If the project impact in next years is to be achieved, it is necessary to improve both the software and data of the model. The state should take this over. The regional bodies should use the qualitative models for critical branches. The authors intend to develop the procedure of dissemination of the project results.



A 34 – Database of continuing training

The database is located on the server of the Transmedia company in Mannheim. Therefore, it is desirable to take over its technical administration by the Czech side. Agreements in this sense are being prepared now. The permanent promotion of registration of the training establishments should be carried out. First of all, the potential users of courses should be informed because this database is the main and universal information source on continuing training in the Czech Republic. The training institutions should consider their participation not only as presentation but as a business chance, because a potential participant can apply for a selected course or ask for more detailed information. I consider the simplification and better user-friendliness for beginners as a significant aspect. It is desirable to involve other countries.


B 17 – Mobility centres as an innovative link between in-company training and training policy for the labour market

The idea of a mobility centre as a company department limiting the consequences of the forthcoming unemployment for people is usual mainly in big companies in western Europe. It is based on the idea of „compensation money for new qualification“. This principle is nearly not functioning under our conditions due to various reasons. Therefore, especially alternative „mobility centres“ established by the labour offices for job seekers are promising.


B 18 – Easier access to guidance for socially excluded groups – pilot training module for guidance practitioners

The Internet based training module for guidance practitioners should be assessed by professional bodies (Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, professional associations) and then included into training programmes. The part dealing with case studies could be used in initial education of university students. The authors must find a way to these users themselves.



B 19 – Guide for group training and activation of abilities of job seekers – Drehbuch

This project achieved its aims very well in its period because an instructive guide for job clubs participants had not existed. Job clubs as a group form of guidance in the labour offices were starting. Later, this material became an initiator of the creation of new generations of training materials.



B 20 – Acquisition of personal skills and job seeking skills

The project mapped the difference between knowledge and skills acquired through vocational training, and knowledge and skills expected by employers in graduates in participating countries. As the project was finished recently, the dissemination phase will only follow and the authors want to inform the professional public about the project results. They also prepare a presentation for the public through the Internet.



B 23 – Shared employment system SHARE

The dissemination of the project results is not easy in this case because it can address an audience for which the issues are not relevant yet. For this reason, a dissemination project would be desirable. .


C 11, C 14 – Working flexibility of young workers with secondary education in dynamic SMEs

Both placement projects will probably not continue without financial contributions from Leonardo da Vinci programme. The placements in enterprises will be a narrowly selected action in the future. The Confederation of Industry and Transportation of the Czech Republic should transfer its experience and contacts to appropriate enterprises, and they should then continue with the placements.


C 12 – Europe II

C 13 – Europe I.2

Both projects can enhance their impact through a more careful selection of participants who will be sufficiently motivated for work. It is clear that the placement abroad cannot be realised effectively without thorough preparation.



C 15 – Improvement of prospects for young unemployed school graduates

C 16 – The graduate

If the state institutions organise the placements, they face considerable problems with bookkeeping and financing. These problems are acceptable in the case of pilot projects; however, a standard solution does not exist.



Summary:

It is the phase after finishing of the project which is essential for the development and implementation of the results, because this phase is paramount and decisive for the project results to be successful at all. The intention concerning this phase should be described in the project in terms of its content, timing, financing including marketing, timing and costs of entering and keeping at the market. Even when the financing of this phase is not covered by the project any longer, it makes it apparent that the authors understood their commitment to work, finance maintaining, and development of the results. The evaluators can then assess whether the project is realistic, underrated or exaggerated in this important aspect.

In some cases – e. g. in local projects or projects focused on limited concrete target groups or in projects with authors from a non-commercial sphere – the authors are not sufficiently interested in the dissemination of the results.

Low market flexibility, a long reaction period and exaggerated financial requirements are the main obstacles to the exploitation of products. If more such factors are accumulated, the dissemination is problematic.


8.4 How did the programme contribute to the exchange of positive experience concerning the employment support in the transnational scale?

A 30 – Vocational training programme for the Romany people

This project tries to solve the problem of changing a non-working Romany person into an entrepreneur in a short period and with respect to his/her ethnic specifics, and of providing him/her with knowledge and skills in the area of entrepreneurship and of helping him/her to develop the entrepreneurial project. The experience from abroad is extremely valuable because our experience with these issues is mainly negative.



B 17 – Mobility centres as an innovative link between in-company training and training policy for the labour market

The idea of mobility centres as tool for limiting of consequences of unemployment is not transferable into our conditions easily; however, it is inspiring and it could be implemented also in our country after modifications.



B 23 – Shared employment system SHARE

The way to employ two part-time persons instead of one full-time person was developed in the advanced market economics and it mushrooms further. Through it, also experience in its implementation, advantages and disadvantages gets spread. In our country, this system is nearly not used at all, but it is sure that it will come to us. Therefore it is good to be prepared for it.



C 11, C 14 – Working flexibility of young workers with secondary education in dynamic SMEs

C 12 – Europe II, C 13 – Europe I.2

All placement projects can serve as an example of the fact that the employability of young people can be easily supported. After the accession of the Czech Republic to the EU, their organisation should be considerably easier and cheaper.


Summary:

The Czech Republic learnt about issues concerning training and education support of its citizens from its own development, and it disseminates this experience. Nevertheless, there is still a lot to be improved; therefore, this country depends in a considerable extent, and is also going to depend, on countries where the development has taken another course, in different conditions. Not only large events such as OECD Conference 2000 in Prague, but also the Leonardo da Vinci projects contribute to the exchange and sharing of experience.



This programme is a versatile preparation for a period when the Czech Republic will become EU member. It is a preparation for formulation of project intentions, project management etc. The acquaintance with the European environment, with the work of enterprises, with life in various cultural and multicultural environments, with „what is in and what is not“ – all this is a „side“ product of it. The more people have acquired this knowledge, the smoother accession to the EU will be.

8.5 How did the programme contribute to the improvement of employability of specific groups?

A 24 – Information technology for people with a sight handicap

The project did not bring sufficient concrete results yet, because it is too early for it; however, it has the potential of being very useful in relation to its target group. The current orientation of computer skills training is focused above all on private use, rather than on employment.


A 27 – Computer programme for career diagnosing

It could be assumed that part of all pupils who have finished the primary education and dealt in accordance with the results of COMDI programme, choose their branch of study better.


A 28 – Guide through the world of occupations

It could be assumed that part of all pupils who have finished the primary education and dealt in accordance with the project test, choose their branch of study better.



A 30 – Vocational training for the Romany people

The project did not bring any concrete results, its first real use is in preparation. I think it has the potential to be useful for the target group. The establishment of broader group of Romany entrepreneurs would help considerably to employ them.



A 31 – Technology training for the SMEs

The project output is intended a. o. as a preparation for the start of one’s own business, and also e. g. as study material for schools with a similar aim.



A 32 – Regular forecasting of training needs: comparative analysis, development and application of methodology

Regular forecasting of training needs may considerably help to bring the supply and demand together for the group which is most at risk – the school graduates. The influence on employability is indirect.



A 34 – Database of continuing training

Information about training in any form only influences the employment of an individual indirectly, it stands at the beginning of his/her training activities. This indirect influence is still limited by the fact that only few people understand the necessity of lifelong learning so that information about it is still not as sought as it should be.


B 23 – Shared employment system SHARE

The project assumes that two persons with a health handicap, after maternity leave etc., i. e. persons from hardly employable groups and from groups at risk, will share a working place. The project has the potential to help to find a job for groups at risk.


B 24 – Ronja – local project for development of chances for unemployed women

The project was individual and non-repeatable due to the high personal engagement of its main organiser, and to the then situation at the labour market. Women with minimum qualification were hardly employable job seekers, and the enthusiastic organiser managed to encourage and motivate them by means which were close to their mentality. Thanks to that, the women found their way back to the labour market.



C 11, C 14 – Working flexibility of young workers with secondary education in dynamic SMEs

The influence of placement abroad on the employability of the young worker in general is evident also without a project. The placement with a well-prepared orientation and duration can accelerate the career path. The employer should ensure as well as possible the returnability of his/her investment into the placement.



C 12 – Europe II, C 13 – Europe I.2

The school graduates who were in retraining for work in the hotel sector and finished the preparatory courses participated in the projects. After finishing the placements in the UK, they are workers with European qualification and they have considerable competitive advantage at the labour market.



C 15 – Improvement of prospects for young unemployed school graduates

C 16 – The graduate

The placements organised by the labour office bring equally positive results as placements organised by other organisations. The participants acquire ability of decision making and acting. Their self-confidence is increased and they are successful at the labour market.



Summary:

Employability is a complex term and it refers to a concrete individual, and to a concrete situation in the supply and demand at a concrete place and time. The relationship between employability and qualification or lifelong learning is well-known. Each project evaluated contributed to employability in its specific way.

Some projects were directly oriented on providing the unemployed individual with new skills or increasing his/her qualification so that he/she could be attractive for possible employers.


The second part of projects understood the problem more generally and they solve a concrete training issue based on the fact that an easier access to training automatically increases also employability of those who are trained.

Some projects were focused on the lifelong learning – implicitly also on the lifelong employability. It is necessary to say that we stand only at the beginning, because lifelong learning is still not understood as a preventive standard; so, the lifelong training activities have to do only with the minority. It seems that the offer of training establishments is now prepared considerably better in relation to the demand.

8.6 How did the programme contribute to the improvement of counselling and guidance activities dealing with possibilities of VET and employment?




1   2   3   4   5   6


The database is protected by copyright ©hestories.info 2017
send message

    Main page