Job Ready - Traineeships with Practice Enterprise
The Job Ready – Traineeships with Practice Enterprise (ENGAGE) project comes out of a need to respond to an increasing demand of work-integrated and work-based placements from VET students due to a lack of possibilities for incompany internships in the real job market brought about by the challenges of the 2020-21 school year. 90% of all students were kept out of school due to school closures of Covid-19 and that means nearly none had the opportunity to participate in an internship or not at the scheduled time.
ENGAGE aims to offer a flexible, innovative and inclusive Practice Enterprise Traineeship that is adaptable to the future needs and requirements of the labour market. Combined school- and work-based programmes where a majority of the curriculum is organised as work-based learning in enterprises, have been particularly affected as businesses have closed or reduced their operations. With an economic crisis looming, it is still an open question whether companies will be able to take on interns as they struggle to recover from the economic setback. With current world developments affecting education, economy and employment, the need for alternative models of internships has become necessary. The challenges in education in the past years have made the need for accessible internships even more pressing and some groups of students find it increasingly hard to find good internship placements.
The objective of the project is not to create a substitute for in-company internships, rather it aims to provide a complementary alternative traineeship opportunity that offers an inclusive and flexible work-based learning option for VET trainees. The ENGAGE project will adapt the traditional Practice Enterprise program into a traineeship model to offer an alternative solution of work-based placements that closely match a real-world company in cases where VET students are unable to secure an internship that includes work-based components. Practice Enterprise traineeships will improve access to internships for VET students from disadvantaged backgrounds as educational institutions can prioritise marginalised and disadvantaged students. This includes overcoming any geographical or economic barriers for young people from remote areas for participation in traineeship activities. Development of an inclusive traineeship model for trainees coming from different economic and social environments offers the possibility of individualised traineeship pathways, as the traineeship takes place directly in the VET institution and is closely followed up by in-class trainers. The development of a traineeship certification and recognition system, based on the actual needs and requirements of employers, will offer an employment tool that trainees can directly add to their CV and present to potential employers as a work experience.