In-service skill development, or apprenticeship training, that can be directly assessed is the core of vocational education. The biggest problem in this training seems to be students’ lack of adaptation to working in companies. Those known to be successful at school may turn to be the most problematic students at work. It is widely claimed that students have problems in dealing with official documents, filing, hierarchy, and complying with rules. Thus, companies may demand replacement of students or tend to avoid accepting students at all. Feeling rejected and less confident, student could lose their potential rather than exploring it for work life. This causes excessive workload at schools and drop in students’ employment, thereby having a bad influence in national economy.
The project covers 11 Grade students and their field teachers. The other partners outside school will support us with technical stuff and about managing the process. Five student and two teachers from each partner country will join the both mobilities.
For the abovementioned problem there are online training opportunities provided by some European vocational schools under the authority of ministries of education. In these trainings students usually start up online companies in the 11th Grade. These virtual startups have the same steps as any actual ones. For example, they have their tax number, bank accounts, digital money, and founding members etc. Company management consists of managers, accountants, and marketing personnel etc. In their online trading with other similar companies, they sell and buy products. Each company has a name, slogan, logo and a specific sector. During this process, students are required to behave as in a real company and keep a record of all official documents. As employees of a virtual company, students become more prepared to work in companies when their apprenticeship starts.
Although work-based learning is the core of vocational education, there is no system checking the success of vocational schools in this in our country. Schools seem to manage their common platform which will advance our students pre-apprenticeship skills and build a relationship among relevant institutions.
Our project partner SIOV, an institution affiliated to ministry of education, applies the abovementioned training successfully in Slovakia. We, under the supervision of SIOV, plan to create a website providing service for online companies at our school. We will conduct the project by letting students in groups start their own companies on the main website. In the beginning there will be companies of three groups consisting of five students. There will be one supervisor teacher for each company. Student will manage most of the process. The most successful company will attend the educational fair in Slovakia and represent our country in the designated booth. The other partners will attend the same event and assist us. By gaining an international experience, our students increase their knowledge for the system to be built.
The second educational mobility will be held in our city. We, together with the project partners, will organize an educational fair for online training, and through the help of provincial administration of education we will invite vocational schools in our city. We will make sure the attendance of all relevant parties in vocational education, such as students, teachers, parents, NGO members and businesspeople. We will evaluate the success of our project and try to disseminate it at national level. We will also present our reports and outputs to the relevant department of ministry of education. We will make our website and database available for public use for dissemination as it is currently done in many European countries. We will also promote our project at schools, thereby enabling its integration to vocational education and sustainability in due course.
We expect all our students to develop their social and linguistic skills as well as work skills and eventually be more productive and happier in their work life. In this way, they will be indispensable to companies. Eventually, these employees will contribute to national economy and productivity and growth of companies, which is our ultimate goal and desire.