Chemtube 2018-1-NO01-KA202-038885

The innovative aspects of the ChemTube project is to exploit the potential of video documentation to cover individual performance acquired from formal, non-formal or informal learning experiences. Videos are added to a personal portfolio in a multilingual setting, directly availing transparency and permeability options. The video recordings will be directly linked to the respective learning outcomes in the ECVET based-multilingual qualification matrices in Skillsbank to visualize the performance level and document elements of tacit knowledge present in the skills concerned. The partnership comprises 10 partners from 7 countries (AT, CZ, DE, FR, IT, NO, SK)

The stiff international competition in the European chemical and pharmaceutical industries require a highly skilled workforce to secure quality and productivity. The sector represents a major part of the European process industry and where the industrial production employs 3,3 million Europeans in 94.000 enterprises with a multibillion turnover (2014: 1 078 billion €). This turnover is continually challenged by investments in the development of new products. The fact that patents are time-limited, with immediate releases of “copy products” from other parts of the world, intensifies the need for qualified staff rapidly taking on new tasks and challenges.

Laboratory functions and process operation are responding to new requirements, such as increasing complexity and safe and sustainable production. This is partly due to new methods and technologies new types of equipment and respective operational procedures. In addition, there has been an increasing emphasis on safety and security in the in the processes and strict environmental and sustainability criteria. To be competitive in a fast-developing market, the training quality, relevance and flexibility of training provision between schools and work-based learning is of utmost importance. Laboratory personnel and process operators with their skills and competences– tacit and tangible –represent a core part of the industry’s intellectual capital. This implies also that critical skills and crucial tacit knowledge acquired in workplace settings are central in the project. Video recordings of these performance-based competences will be directly linked to the respective learning outcomes in the ECVET-based multilingual qualification-matrices in Skillsbank.

The ECVET principles form the framework for this project. This secures the requirements linked to the shared responsibility between schools and companies in securing compatible standards between the training providers and work-based learning. Using carefully designed learning outcomes, which are organised in logical units, the core qualification criteria will be operationally defined. For transparency purposes these qualification definitions will be developed transnationally and in multilingual versions. They will be supported by video clips as best practice examples as well as for documentation of individual learners’ performance towards certification and employability.

A standard ECVET implementation is relying on precise definitions of learning outcomes organised in structured units. When the differentiation between Competence, (Responsibility and Autonomy), Skills and Knowledge is activated in the description of individual LOs, certain elements of skills and competence documentation may be lacking. These characteristics are technically labelled as tacit knowledge, “silent knowledge”, which forms the parts of a learning outcome which can only be seen, experienced and documented through practical performance. In the context of the priorities of the Erasmus+ programme, “Transparency and recognition of skills and qualifications”, is directly mirroring the project ambitions. With the focus on work-based learning the idea is to update and develop in-school training through close interaction with the industry itself. This should secure the relevance aspect, and with the video recording of individual learners’ performance as well as best practice examples the quality aspect are covered. This is clearly asked for in the European VET priorities “Developing VET business partnerships aimed at promoting work-based learning in all its
forms” and “increasing the quality of VET provision, the establishment of feedback loops to adapt VET provision based on outcomes, including by setting up or testing graduate tracking arrangements as part of quality assurance systems in line with the EQAVET recommendation”.

This project pursue the following key objectives:

  • Improving the training quality and relevance by using video technology linked to ECVET-oriented learning outcomes in process industries, exemplified by the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors.
  • Enhancing the ECVET-defined learning outcomes with the inclusion of video documentation of tacit knowledge and critical skills among process operators and laboratory technicians
  • Developing VET-institutions and enhancing VET-industry cooperation through work-based learning in line with EQAVET principles
  • Promoting recognition of work-based learning, including prior learning independent of arena of experience, for permeability, flexible training pathways and alternative career options within the industry

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.