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For a Vocational Training professional who spends most time of researching on TVET /Apprenticeship programmes, EDULEARN18 was a fast pace double booster shot on EdTech, Teaching & Learning, Dual Degrees, Pedagogical Innovations and Informal Learning. The 10th Anniversary edition of EDULEARN Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies was organised at Palma de Mallorca from 2nd to 4th July 2018.  The programme, structured as main and parallel sessions, was a massive Education & Learning fiesta.  Explore it at your pace (risk! cause its mind boggling) here : https://goo.gl/avwMMd .

My nerves were getting the better of me already, it being my first time presenting a paper among seasoned researchers, professors, heads of academic institutions at a conference when the Organizer’s sent me a request to Chair the panel on ‘Workplace Learning” on Day 1 of the conference. It was a great honor for me and I most humbly accepted. My fellow panelists, all working/teaching at prominent Higher Education Institutions from Canada, Portugal, Norway & Israel were sharing about their programmes/ initiatives about linking Graduates to the job market through industry / work experience programmes. Perhaps, the link between all of us was – Apprenticeships – . Higher Apprenticeships for them and Vocational Apprenticeships for me. So we were all uniquely linked and complementing each other.  Read our abstracts here: https://goo.gl/utrPCA

After almost 2 years of research in Germany & Switzerland on the respective Dual Training models, I presented my observations and understanding on ‘Why companies Invest in Vocational Training & Apprenticeships?’ Through my paper presentation, I aimed to trigger a dialogue around practices, motivations and examples of private sector engagement in Vocational Education & Training (VET). I traced the motivation of companies (especially SMEs) in complimenting the public vocational training initiatives not only by way of offering work place learning but by co-financing the apprenticeship programmes. The presentation discussed the traditional Vocational Training financing vs the Co-Financing models and shared the German Dual System as a case. There were however several discussion points, such as skilling workforce in informal sector, creating inclusive programmes, issues of quality vs quantity that were relevant other non – dual VET systems. My presentation, which touches on some these points, can be viewed here : https://www.slideshare.net/poojagianchandani/why-companies-invest-in-vocational-training.

EDULEARN18 is one of the most engaging, well organised conference I have attended in recent times. Although the sessions were jam packed, it presented an opportunity to engage with fellow educators and learn about global programmes in Education & Learning at one place. The conference also paced well with self discipline from participants not requiring much moderation of the Organisers. This was particularly unique since there were approx 800 participants (including virtual attendance) from 90 countries who were part of Edulearn18. All accepted contributions have been included in the IATED Digital Library to form part of the database of innovative projects in Education and Technology and also added to the  ISI Conference Proceedings Citation Index. It can be searched using the following credentials – Title: EDULEARN18 Proceedings, ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5 

So many interactive sessions and interesting conversations ensued in the 3 days I spent at EDULEARN 2018 that perhaps, I will have to write several follow up posts on the sub topics and discussions. Meanwhile, check out some glimpses of the conference here : https://twitter.com/i/moments/1014144358331899904

Stay Tuned!

Pooja Gianchandani

PS: If you are considering joining the next edition do send me a message. I might be around there too 🙂

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