Co.Tutor. Systematic approach to enhance the participation of construction industry SMEs in apprenticeship programs is a project funded by the 2016 Call of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, inscribed within Key Action 3 of Support for Policy Reform.
The main objective of Co.Tutor is to improve the participation of the SMEs of the construction industry in the training programmes that include practices in companies (Dual system training, Professional Certificates, etc.).
With this aim, a series of actions have been carried out: analysis and proposal of strategic solutions to help overcome difficulties faced by the SME to host apprentices, and to boost the role of the in-company tutor, as the key actor to ensure the student’s learning success, creating a framework where her/his competences may be recognised.
Training for transformation
Construction industry has been hardly hit by the crisis, and faces the challenge of being capable of emerging stronger by responding to an increasingly demand of skilled workforce, due to both its clear technification and the replacement of the workers who will retire soon.
One of the solutions that the public authorities are promoting is the commitment to the continuous learning that combines training in the classroom together with practices in a company, a modality that neither in Spain nor in Italy are achieving the expected success.
The need to address youth unemployment through these practices is considered necessary in both countries, since they are in the first positions among the EU states with highest youth unemployment and young unemployed people who have not reached the secondary educational level.
Main objetives and stages
In this context, the practical learning obtained in a company is a solid opportunity to allow apprentices and businesses to build their future, and, in this sense the participation of the SMEs of the construction sector is essential. Consequently, the main aim of the project is to improve the involvement of SMEs in training by developing actions for:
- Creating synergies with and among the business representatives of the construction sector as key actors for the promotion of the training culture in the companies, strengthening their position and performance in the short, medium and long terms.
- Supporting and encouraging SMEs and VET centres in appointing a qualified trainer, through mechanisms that activate the recognition of in-company tutors as key actors for the apprenticeship programmes, increasing the trust of the employer in this type of learning in the working place.
Throughout the project, proposals have been presented to overcome the constraints that are hindering SMEs and to improve their participation in training and apprenticeship programmes, through a strategic roadmap. Besides, the recognition of the role performed by the in-training tutor has been pursued, through the development of a new qualification in line with the EU standards.
As a consequence, the project’s outcomes have aimed to achieve a positive impact in the improvement of the VET training offer and its quality, in view of fostering excellence, and in the promotion of the apprentices’ training in the SMEs as an essential element for a competitive industry.