ShowValA stands for ‘Showcase & Valorise Achievements in Transnational Work-based Learning’ and the project was launched in Brighton on the 2nd October 2019 at the 1st Transnational Meeting.
The European Commission thorough the Erasmus+ Programme aims to develop the quality & benefits of transnational work-based learning (TWBL) across Europe & encourage greater numbers to take part. The idea for ShowValA comes from research & the observation that the learning & achievements of those who undertake a period of TWBL are often not recognised & do not always contribute to any potential certification. This can discourage trainees from taking part in this type of experience. There is therefore a gap between what trainees require and the level of current uptake EU tools & methods
The ShowValA project brings together 7 partners from 5 EU member states & aims to fill this gap by producing a Guide, Process & Tools for educational institutions & mobility organisers on how to fully integrate a period of TWBL into a vocational pedagogical programme & assess formal & non-formal learning, leading to a recognition of the achievement of learning outcomes & their contribution to the overall course assessment. The guide & process will be compatible with & complement the already existing materials developed & promoted by the EU, such as ECVET, Europass CV & the European Skills Passport.
It will be linked to a multi-format smartphone/tablet application which will allow trainees to collect, save & organise evidence of their achievements during their TWBL on a day to day basis. It will fit in very well with their current lifestyle habits as young people tend to manage a significant proportion of their activities on their Smart phones. It will have the potential to be a complete record of their experiences, achievements & unlike a traditional diary, the interface will be structured in relation to agreed learning objectives, units of learning outcomes & skills/competences. The stored information can be uploaded into a database or a Mobility Management Platform, such as the platform currently being developed in the MobMan TWBL Project.
A Guide & Training Modules for Trainees will also be developed in five languages with an innovative methodology for the online pre-departure preparation of trainees to use the smartphone application to record & organise their learning & achievements during the placement & post-mobility, a structured, online activity-based valorisation programme on how to link their learning during the work placement with Europass CV, Europass Skills Passport & to best showcase their achievements.
5 Pilot Studies will take place in 5 countries to test the ShowValA materials on through transnational work-based learning of 3-42 weeks in duration. This will involve at least 10 organisations, 50 trainees & 45 host companies. Some of these placements will involve young people who would not typically take part in transnational mobility, including those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
All resources will be open-source, consultable & downloadable via the ShowValA web-platform & available in 6 languages- English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish.
The promotion of work-based learning will therefore be on three levels. Firstly, on the number of training institutions that reward trainees for their learning & achievements from a transnational work-placement. Secondly, on the number of trainees who undertake a period of TWBL. Thirdly, this increase in participation & recognition of achievements will improve labour market relevance of learning provision and help trainees to secure fulfilling employment.
The ShowValA project will help increase the impact of transnational work placements for the trainee, leading to added value on a CV & thereby improving employability by helping to recognise the skills that have been developed that are required by businesses.
In the words of scientist Thomas Edison ‘There’s a way to do it better….Find it!’ This is what we hope to achieve through the ShowValA project.