In the framework of Work Based Learning Thematic Network (NetWBL), the State Scholarships Foundation (IKY), organized a National Conference in Athens, at Athinais Cultural Centre, on the 13th of June 2016. The NetWBL is a Thematic Network among 29 National Agencies in which the Greek NA is a partner as well, as of the European Commission and its Executive Agency (EACEA).
The NetWBL aims to strengthen work-based learning (WBL) elements in existing Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Education (HE) systems and to support apprenticeships in particular. The main output of the NetWBL is the online TOOLkit which highlights EU funded best practice projects from Lifelong Learning Programme and Erasmus+ Programme. Furthermore, the NetWBL aims to address the key factors involved in WBL in each European country.
The Athens conference gathered about 280 participants, featuring a wide involvement of relevant stakeholders. During the WBL conference, thematic Network and WBL TOOLkit was further disseminated among representatives from various backgrounds.
The conference succeeded in achieving, among others:
- Dissemination and exchange of knowledge on WBL
- Networking. The conference gathered public authorities, social partner organisations, education and training stakeholder organisations, various experts and people from different levels and different institutions
- Linking VET and HE systems for further cooperation
- Debate on the legislative regulations and apprenticeship system in Greece
Kyriakos Athanassiou, Emeritus Professor and president of the Administrative Board of IKY, in his welcoming speech, pointed out the need for this Conference to emphasize on the importance of apprenticeship and learning while being on the actual working environment.
WBL, as an innovative educational practice, manages to fill the gap between traditional educational system and the workplace.