A skills contest is organised by the training centre for pupils 13–14 years old. Learners and their parents discover in a playful manner the possibilities of craft professions and the quality of the apprenticeship training offered by the training centre. The contest is an innovative way to inform learners at an early age and their parents and raise awareness of the possibilities of VET as an alternative to academic studies. The training centre is also promoted and develops contacts and partnerships with surrounding schools to attract potential learners.
Skilled craft Chamber of region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur – Campus GAP
What problem or issue has the innovative practice aimed to tackle?
VET and Work-based learning in all its forms (including apprenticeships) should be promoted as a first or 'equal choice’ to academic studies. The skilled craft sector also still needs to be promoted as a choice of excellence for career opportunities. However, the trend is still to prioritize academic studies. It is in the interest of the training centres to therefore propose outstanding initiatives to be better known as an alternative to academic studies and to attract future apprentices.
What have been the achievements?
For the skills contest, the following main activities were organised in 2018
Promotion and contact with local / regional school to interest and to “recruit” pupils – 13-14 years old
Preparation of the contest program with the pedagogical team (topics of the competition, the support provided, the assessment, the prize to win …)
Constitution of 8 mixed teams of 5 pupils / 40 pupils in total + 2 adults per group. 16 adults did support the challenges as coaches (external school teachers / internal staff / apprentices were mobilised)
Mobilisation of a financial sponsorships and support from the branch organisation (5000 Euros budget) for the challenges
Implementation and evaluation of the 8 “battles”: during one day, the entire training centres organised 8 challenges (rotation of 8 groups on 8 challenges); 8 awards & gifts for the winning teams were delivered at the end of the day
Evaluation of the satisfaction of participants and the impact
The initiative was a success. They had to select candidates (there were not enough places) and the satisfaction of the participants was very high. The training centre decided to repeat the event in March 2020 with doubling of participants (80 participants).
The financing organisation will also contribute again and another branch organisation has agreed to contribute with a budget. The training centre improved the contacts and collaboration with other schools (principals and the accompanying staff where invited) to discover and evaluate the apprenticeship training centre.
The challenge is supposed to be implemented at all 7 training centres of skilled craft in the region and will grow from a “one shot” initiative to a sustainable event. Another positive effect lays in the mobilisation and cohesion of intern staff (pedagogical teams), evaluation of the apprentices (acting as experts) through this initiative.
Who was involved and how?
Principals and staff of surrounding schools to recruit candidates
Branch organisation to finance the challenge
External school teachers / internal staff / apprentices were mobilised to invent and coach the challenges
All training centres staff to host the challenge (each member had a task: reception, guidance, information, bring support to the teams, evaluation, organisation …)