The partners of the Eduwork.Net project participated in a study visit organized by the Irish partner CDETB (City of Dublin Education and Training Board) at its centers in Kildare and Wicklow.
The highlight of the study visit was at the bakery “Bretzel Bakery” in Kilcullen (County Kildare) where an interesting experience, in cooperation with the “Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board” in the context of Work Based Learning (WBL), which is the topic of the Eduwork.Net project, was started in 2021.
The Management, the Head Teacher, some trainers and some students told us about a unique training experience: two parties, the Training Centre and the company, has been working deeply together in planning and implementing of a 24-week vocational training course, which offered concrete job opportunities to the students involved.
The first element about the experience that struck us was the fact that the “Bakery Laboratory” was located in the company itself, close to the ordinary activities carried out by the employees. The laboratory has an own dedicated space closely connected with the production activity; it is a training environment very close to the working reality and strongly permeable to the needs and dynamics of a real working context. Such a proximity and strong collaboration between a training environment and a working one, allows the trainees to experiment the skills they have learned at school quickly in the production reality, and, at the same time, to develop transversal skills (time management, colleagues relationship, teamwork) that are difficult to learn in a non-real context.
The second element that struck us was that the training course, aimed at qualifying adults (over 18), during the pandemic was organized in a timely blended mode, both in theoretical parts and in practical activities, allowing a continuity of learning, even in a home environment, which was much appreciated by the trainees.
Certification and referencing to the national qualifications system is a further building block of the pathway, with a view to job placement with very specific skills sought after by companies in the sector.
To sum up, we enjoyed the products of the “Bretzel Bakery”, both the hearty and excellent welcome breakfast and the lunch it offered to us, but we also bring back home a very interesting experience in the framework of the WBL.
It can be a good practice to follow and develop in the other project partners’ countries context