ISC Pirmasens offered in June 2018 a “Learning, Teaching and Training Activity“ (LTTA) to prepare in-company tutors from Romania and Portugal for their role within Work Based Learning (WBL). For this purpose partners developed innovative training materials based on concrete Analyses of Learning Stations (LSA) that sketch learning potentials of real work processes. Training material is not only referring to technical skills; it includes pedagogical and didactical recommendations as well. Portuguese and Romanian partners gained an insight into the organisation and implementation of Dual VET system in German footwear sector.

ICSAS is not aiming at exporting or transferring the German dual VET-system, any steps to increase engagement of companies in VET in other countries must be according to existing structures, needs and potentials.

Partners from Romania and Portugal developed specific curricula for our piloting of 1 year; WBL piloting took place from autumn 2018 – autumn 2019 alternating with theory-phases. PT and RO succeeded to involve not only the direct beneficiaries like companies, apprentices and VET-schools but also wider networks, including policy makers, trade unions and chambers. In the last phase of project, these networks are involved in the activities with respect to sustainable impact: To include the ICSAS-curriculum in the national/regional VET-regulations.

Even in Germany, where the Dual VET qualification for industrial shoemakers was established decades ago, the newly developed training materials were a real step forward: No publicly accessible sector-specific tutor training material existed before ICSAS developed it.

Collaborative learning is extremely helpful because it uses past experiences from experienced employees to help newcomers to overcome challenges. In other words: Work-Based Learning is a form of knowledge management within companies and should be imparted according to certain standards. ICSAS project contributed to this by accentuating the role of tutors. The positive impacts which the project consortium achieved are manifold: to enhance training sustainability, the quality of the product as well as of the workforce, to promote personal development of individuals, to achieve improved recognition of VET qualifications in this sector in Europe and finally to strengthen the competitiveness of the European footwear industry as a whole.

Additionally ICSAS-project developed a Sector Qualification Framework (SQF, levels 2-4) for industrial shoe production; including referencing of the qualifications from Spain, Germany, Portugal and Romania.

Up till now, no such SQF for shoe sector existed, now we reached a better comparability of qualifications of participating countries and SQF possesses a very high transfer potential; once established, qualifications from other countries can be easily referenced.