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Summary

The aim of the project is to develop a process for quality improvement and enhancement of learner experience in a workplace environment within the hospitality and food sectors across Europe

Workplace training is becoming increasingly important in Europe workforce development plans, vocational education and training curricula and lifelong learning strategies. The hospitality and food sectors are dynamic industries of importance tot the economic development of the partner countries and they are reliant on the flow of people with the right competences to deliver products and services to a high standard. The flow of people from business to business and country to country is increasing the need for transparency of qualifications.

Industry and education partners recognise the need to work together to improve the quality of workplace training. This project therefore seeks to identify general quality indicators for vocational education from which it will develop a set of specific quality indicators for the workplace learning community. This project propose a collaboration among partners from industry and education sectors within five partner countries to address quality and transparency by creating a common set of tools and evaluating them.

Key stakeholders from industry and education have acknowledged the need for better quality workplace learning and better quality trainers from within industry. However, a process to deal with both does not currently exist. To date, much of the workplace learning has been measured quantitatively but has not addressed qualitative and support issues. If workplace learning is to become more valuable then trainers and learners will require a set of tools to support them in key areas which to date have not been addressed by traditional workplace training. Quality indicators such as personal development, learning purpose and context, rights and obligations, cultural tolerance and self-evaluation are examples of areas that have not been effectively addressed in workplace learning. Communication between trainer and learner is an essential part of the process.

The process will follow a series of stages: initial des research to establish existing workplace learning practices; creation of quality indicators and a guidebook for trainers and learners; production of a training programme for identified trainers, implementation of a pilot study to test the process, evaluation, amendment and launch of final product.

A set of criteria will be produced for the selection of trainers. A specific training programme will be developed and implemented to enable trainers to deliver the identified quality indicators. The guide both for learners and workplace learners will cover the essential quality indicators and ensure effective communication between trainer and learner. The pilot study will be made in each of the partner countries to test the process; The project will be disseminated among local and national government agencies and industry representatives within each of the partner countries.

By achieving the aims of the project a number of positive outcomes are envisaged as follows:

  • A product which can be adopted by other industry sectors

  • Increased motivation and empowerment for the learner

  • A set of standardised quality indicators which will promote transparency of competences among employers across Europe

  • Improved quality of workforce skills and competences in the food and hospitality sector.

  • Improved image of the food and hospitality sector as attractive career choice.

  • Greater number of recruits attracted to the vocational education sector

  • Improved industry-education links

  • Better retention rats in both industry and education

  • The formation of new relationships among partners could generate new developments in the future.

  • Dissemination of the project results to government organisations and industry representatives could encourage greater support for workplace learning in each of the partner countries.

  • Contribution to the economic development and competitiveness of the partner countries