Three representatives from Coleg y Cymoedd joined over 100 participants from 40 countries at the Annual EQAVETâ€™s Forum.
Essential Skills Wales Co-ordinator Michelle Simmonds, employed in the Work-Based Learning department at Coleg y Cymoedd was joined by Jordan Lawrence and Jacob Morrissey, both studying an engineering apprenticeship at Coleg y Cymoedd.
This yearsâ€™ Forum, held in Vienna; was organised by the European Commission, the EQAVET Secretariat and the Austrian National Reference Point (ARQA-VET) and was part of the European Vocational Skills Week.
The event provided an opportunity to discuss the experiences of current and former VET learners from Austria, Finland, Romania and UK (Wales); and the ways in which providers and the national systems in these countries support and encourage learners to participate in quality assurance processes.
Speaking after the Forum Michelle saidâ€ Both myself and Phil Whitney, ColegauCymru EQAVET NRP in UK (Wales), had the opportunity to give our presentations which outlined the Welsh approach to Work Based Learning and the benefits and challenges of learners being engaged in designing and delivering WBL in Wales.
20 year old Jordan from Pontypridd and 21 year old Jacob from Caerphilly also participated as part of a panel, sharing their experiences with others at the forum, and responding to any direct questions from the audience. They were excellent role models throughout, providing their own personal first hand experiences of Work Based Learning, and the skills, knowledge and progress made throughout their apprenticeships.
Both presented themselves really well, demonstrating professionalism, outstanding manners and maturity. Their stories illustrated the many ways in which VET provision benefits from the learnersâ€™ perspective and why it should inform the quality assurance processes put in placeâ€.
Both learners enjoyed the experience and were impressed with the Forum and the value that was placed on the voice of learners; also the importance of their role in strengthening the quality of Vocational Education and Training (VET).
Speaking about his experience Jacob saidâ€ The Forum gave myself and Jordan the opportunity to discuss our motivation for choosing a Vocational and Educational Training (VET) programme and highlight the value of our experience of Work Based Learning in terms of the learnerâ€™s role in enhancing the programme.
We are both fortunate that our employers, Axiom Manufacturing Services Ltd and Al-Met Ltd recognise and acknowledge the advanced skills we are learning and the new ideas we are bringing back to our companies; we are always encouraged to contribute to improvements in the quality of provisionâ€.
Rhondda Cynon Taff