[L&W] Latest news on European research in learning and work - April 2021

[L&W] Latest news on European research in learning and work - April 2021

In this edition of the L&W Newsletter, you should note in particular the call for proposals regarding the following conferences: Conference of the journal Scuola Democratica on "Reinventing education" online, ICL 2021: Interactive Collaborative Learning in Dresden, GeNeMe 2021: Communities in New Media in Dresden, Cedefop-OECD symposium online (see Conferences), and the call for contributions to special issues of: JOVACET on TVET/adult learning, and the IJHRD on the Impact of Covid19 on HRDM (see Publications). And don't miss the deadline for application for the TVET Leadership Programme (see Programmes)!

Special thanks to all who contributed information for this edition, and also to our partners CR&DALL, CVER, Education & Employers Research, ILO Employment Policy Department, PASCAL International Observatory, UFHRD, UNEVOC, VET&Culture and VETNET for providing input and sharing the L&W Newsletter via their mailing lists and web portals.

The L&W Newsletter focuses on transnational research activities across Europe in the field of human resource development (HRD) and vocational education and training (VET), centred on major categories: conferences, networks and organisations, programmes, projects and publications. The next edition will appear in early June 2021. You are invited to submit short texts (100 to 200 words, including links to web pages, but without attachments) - please by 31 May 2021 at the latest!

The L&W Newsletter reaches you via a mailing list of experts in and beyond Europe. You can also view the latest edition in the WIFO Gateway and download the L&W Newsletter in PDF. Please pass the Newsletter on to your colleagues and networks.

Best wishes
Sabine Manning
Research Forum WIFO
Editor of the L&W Newsletter
Contact: [email protected]

Please note: My new email address [email protected] has replaced the former address <sabine.manning[at]wifo.b.shuttle.de>. My contact address [email protected] continues to be valid.


AVETRA 2021 conference program released
The Australasian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA) is Australasia's only national, independent association of researchers in vocational education and training (VET). AVETRA’s 2021 conference “Recover, rethink and rebuild: All eyes on VET” will be online 19-23 April, 2021. We are delighted to tell you that the provisional program is now available from the AVETRA conference website. Head to the conference website to register. This five-day event offers exceptional value. Financial AVETRA members pay only AU$35, non-members who are students, retired, part-time or unemployed workers pay AU$85, and employed non-members pay AU$120. We're looking forward to a dynamic and diverse conference this year and encourage you to forward the program link and share this email with any colleagues you think may be interested. 
(Posted by Lizzie Knight <[email protected]>)

2021 IVETA Europe eConference
Sustainable Innovative Teaching + Learning. IVETA (International Vocational Education and Training Association) Europe eConference, Warnborough College (Ireland) 28 April 2021
Warnborough College, together with IVETA Europe, is pleased to announce a new eConference on April 28, 2021 on "Sustainable Teaching and Learning". In the last year, the world has seen an explosion of distance and online learning. Much of it has been in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw schools shut for extended periods. Those institutions that were not ready were plunged headlong into distance delivery, with little experience or knowledge of how to do it. Firstly, there were the technological challenges. Secondly, there was the pedagogy. Students (and their parents) had to be taught a new way of learning, too. There were also challenges with management, communication and assessment of all the stakeholders involved. One year on, what have we learnt? Is there still more we can do to improve? A lot of focus has been on the design and development of online teaching, but we would like to highlight the position of the learners, as well. This conference will bring together experts, practitioners and other educational stakeholders to share their wisdom, experience and ideas for creating sustainable but effective learning, despite a physical distance. The call for abstracts ended 26 March, but you can still register for the eConference here. For further information please visit the conference website.
(Info received from UNESCO-UNEVOC TVeT Forum digest - 01 March 2021)


Didactics of professional fields: Online conference
Conference on the "Didactics in vocational fields in Switzerland" ("Berufsfelddidaktik in der Schweiz"), 21 May 2021, 09:00 to 13:00 online (conference website)
Together with the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (SFIVET), the SGAB (Swiss society for applied research in vocational education and training) is organising the online conference on the didactics of professional fields in Switzerland. Presentations from practice and academia as well as individually selectable workshops will give you an insight into the current state of vocational field didactics in Switzerland. The programme, moderated by Prof. Antje Barabasch, and the registration form can be found on our website. We look forward to exchanging ideas with you (the event will be held in German).
(Contributed by Jonas Probst <[email protected]>)

Conference on reinventing education: Call for proposals
2nd International Conference of the journal "Scuola Democratica" on "Reinventing education", 3-4-5 June, 2021 online, hosted by Scuola Democratica, Centro Interuniversitario per la Ricerca Didattica (University of Cagliari and University of Sassari), Il Mulino

We invite you to submit abstracts/papers about a range of themes, including the digital competence of teachers in vocational education and training at the Panel session: G.2 Educating digitally competent teachers: Theory, models and practice. Convenors Silvia Zanazzi (Università degli Studi di Salerno) and Cathrine Edelhard Tømte (University of Agder, Norway). Keywords: Digital competence; Educational technology; DigCompEdu; Educator; Teacher. Professor Giuditta Alessandrini (Department of Education, University of Roma Tre, Italy) will manage the panel “Lifelong learning and continuing education as a complex and interdisciplinary framework for the 21st century”. Further information about the panel can be found here. The abstracts/papers for the conference should be submitted here by April 4, 2021. For details about the abstract, the fee and the conference in general see Conference website.
(Contributed by Silvia Zanazzi <[email protected]>/ Giuditta Alessandrini <[email protected]>)

JVET keynotes conference
JVET Vocational and Technical Education Keynotes Conference 2021, Saturday, 10 July, 2021 - 10:00 to 15:00 online
In these challenging times, the Journal of Vocational Education and Training is delighted to announce plans for our 2021 conference which, due to the pandemic, will be virtual. The conference presents four keynotes: Professor Joy Papier "From policy symbolism to evidence-based policymaking – VET research on the rise in the South"; Professor Leon Tikly "Transforming TVET for Sustainable Futures: Challenges for theory, policy and practice?"; Professor Hugh Lauder "The End of Neo-Liberalism and the Future of  TVET"; Professor Leesa Wheelahan, Professor Ann-Marie Bathmaker and Professor Kevin Orr "Researching VET: looking back, moving forward". Book your online conference place here. For further information please visit JVET website.
(Info received from CR&DALL Site Digest for 25/03/21)

Multi-conference ICL 2021
24th International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning (ICL 2021) on the topic „Mobility for Smart Cities and Regional Development – Challenges for Higher Education” at TU Dresden and HTW Dresden, Germany, 22-24 September 2021
Intelligent mobility is a key component of growth in modern cities and rural areas, when networking and automating traffic and transportation systems operate with high efficiency and great comfort. This interdisciplinary conference aims to focus on the exchange of relevant trends and research results as well as the presentation of practical experience in Interactive Collaborative Learning and Engineering Pedagogy. All paper and short paper submissions are subject to a double blind reviewing process. Only accepted and presented papers will appear in the proceedings if they have been uploaded before the deadlines. The conference proceedings will be published as REV2021 Proceedings with Springer in the series Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing. Some of the submissions will be open until the beginning of June 2021. The conference is planned as a hybrid event, including online presentation and participation. Overall Conference Website: www.icl-conference.org

(Info received from Thomas Koehler <[email protected]>)

GeNeMe 2021: Call for proposals
Communities in New Media. Researching the Digital Transformation in Science, Business, Education & Public Administration. GeNeMe 2021: Annual conference in Dresden 6-8 October 2021 (website)
We are pleased to invite you to the 24th "Communities in New Media" conference in Dresden. You can find the call for papers and everything else at www.geneme.de. We have special formats in our portfolio for the active participation of students and doctoral candidates. Also new: you can now find our proceedings in the GI's digital library (https://dl.gi.de) and soon also at www.pedocs.de. Regarding the course of the conference: We will meet on October 6-8, 2021 with the pre-conference largely online. We are encouraged by the experience of last year, and look forward to an inspiring conference! The proceedings from 2020 can be found as an open access publication on the SLUB server.
(Info received from Thomas Koehler <[email protected]>)

Cedefop-OECD symposium: Call for papers
Cedefop and OECD symposium on "Apprenticeships for greener economies and societies", 21 and 22 October 2021, virtual event (website)
We are pleased to announce that the call for papers for the 2021 joint Cedefop-OECD symposium on "Apprenticeships for greener economies and societies" is now open. Deadline for abstract submissions: 3 May 2021. Cedefop's work also contributes to the ongoing EU debates on apprenticeship quality, three years after the adoption of the Council Recommendation on the European Framework for quality and effective apprenticeship. See our latest publications on the analysis of apprenticeship schemes relating to several of the Framework criteria, the need for comparable statistics on apprenticeship participation and the importance of having a clear identity and purpose for apprenticeships.

(Contributed by Vlasis Korovilos <[email protected]>)

NOTE: Forthcoming and recent events related to European research in work and learning are listed on the WIFO Conference page [www.conferences.wifo-gate.org].

Networks and Organisations

Henrik Kock In memoriam

Dr Henrik Kock, Associate Professor in Education and formerly Co-Director of the Helix Competence Centre at Linköping university, Sweden, passed away peacefully on March 2, 2021 at the age of 68 after a long struggle with cancer. Starting his academic career as a teacher in Sociology, he was later appointed as lecturer in education, in particular education in working life. His research concerned human resource development (HRD), including workplace learning, leadership and organizational change. Henrik was until his death one of the leading members of the Helix team of researchers, and was among other functions Director of Helix Graduate School. Henrik's recent publications include the following titles: “Interactive Research: concepts, contributions and challenges” published in Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 2020; “Organizational change competence in workplaces” published by The Swedish Agency for Work Environment Expertise, 2020; “Understanding factors that enable and inhibit assessment of outcomes of competence development”, published in Human Resource Development Review, 2020; and “The owner-manager’s role as a facilitator of learning in small business”, published in Human Resource Development International, 2019.
(Contributed by Per-Erik Ellström <[email protected]>)

NOTE: References to research networks in the field of European work and learning are available on the WIFO page Networks at a glance [www.networks.wifo-gate.org]. Contact: Sabine Manning


Programmes and Projects

TVET Leadership Programme
We are pleased to announce that applications are now open for the 2021 UNESCO-UNEVOC TVET Leadership Programme. This year’s Programme, offered online, focuses on Skills for digital transformation: How TVET institutions can respond to future demands. The programme will include a series of webinars addressing Trends: Understand the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market, and how TVET systems need to transform to respond; Case studies: Learn from examples how institutions have adapted their activities to respond to the changing context; Strategies: Learn how to develop strategies to support TVET institutions to respond to future demands; and Future planning: Develop ideas to transform TVET institutions. Please click here to find out more about the programme, including how to apply. The deadline for applications is Friday, 21 May 2021. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] for any questions.
(Info received from Wouter de Regt on UNESCO-UNEVOC TVeT Forum digest - 25 March 2021)

Piloting of FAVILLE training course for virtual learning facilitators: Places available
The project “Facilitators of Virtual Learning – FAVILLE” is piloting a European Training Course for Online Tutors. Faville aims to enhance the quality of facilitation in virtual learning environments and to provide skills and competences that facilitators of virtual learning need to develop or improve their activity. The course is aimed at teachers and trainers who have little or no experience in online teaching but would like to be trained in this area. 20 Places are available to participants from Germany. Piloting is scheduled to start on 26 April 2021 and run over 6 weeks. More information can be found here.
(Contributed by Susanne Lattke <[email protected]>)

GetInvolved: Supporting democracy and citizenship in VET
GetInvolved is an Erasmus+ strategic partnership (2020‒2023) aiming to promote an understanding of democracy and social engagement in Vocational Education and Training. Establishing democratic thinking, participation and discrimination awareness in the field of VET helps to strengthen common society values, as multiple stakeholders are involved in vocational education. The project aims to empower young VET-learners and trainers in VET institutions and companies to raise their awareness regarding discrimination or participation in the work place. The project partnership (DE, AT, IT, PL) will organise trainer workshops and develop a learner competitions manual, a self-monitoring tool for schools, companies and institutions and a certification concept („GetInvolved Label“). 3s research laboratory from Austria will develop the GetInvolved Label, which is a certificate for VET providers and companies who successfully promote democratic structures and foster democratic competences. More details from Monika Auzinger, 3s research laboratory, Austria: [email protected]
(Contributed by Sabine Schwenk <[email protected]>)

TAB4BUILDING: Training for architects and construction workers on the use of composites in the construction sector
The Erasmus+ strategic project TAB4BUILDING (2020‒2022) brings together 5 European countries (PL, ES, AT, SI, EL) and intends to increase the understanding of architects/civil engineers and construction workers when it comes to the use of Fibre Reinforced Polymers (FRP) in the construction sector. The increase of technical, quality control and management skills in the application of polymer composites and the improvement of existing concepts and processes is one of the project’s objectives, as is also the provision of guidelines, especially on the use of necessary tools. This will be implemented by a workplace-based and collaborative research methodology („VQTS“) that takes into account the respective target groups and country-specific characteristics. The establishment of sustainable networks intends to increase transnational cooperation and learning in the field of composites in construction. More details from Sigrid Mannsberger-Nindl, 3s research laboratory, Austria: [email protected]
(Contributed by Sabine Schwenk <[email protected]>)

EXPECT: Exchanges of practices on sustainable education development in VET
The Erasmus+ peer learning project EXPECT – Exchanges of Practices in Education for Climate Targets (2020‒2022) aims to develop new education and training pathways for vocational education in MINT areas, in order to implement the climate targets set by the European Commission and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The EU member states have committed themselves to the objectives of the climate agreement which will only work with the involvement of the education sector and in particular with the help of vocational education and training. Qualification structures, curricula, pedagogical-didactical approaches or employer involvement have to be revised and redesigned in order to implement a sustainable circular economy. The project partnership from 7 countries (NL, AT, ES, IT, UK, LV, FI) will examine the status quo of VET in the participating partner countries, the progress they are making towards the climate goals, the role VET plays in this process, and the strategies and instruments used. 3s research laboratory, AT, is a consortium member. More details from Tanja Bacher: [email protected]

(Contributed by Sabine Schwenk <[email protected]>)

NOTE: Contributions are invited to update the Overview of European research projects [www.projects.wifo-gate.org], provided as part of the WIFO Gateway. Contact: Sabine Manning


Call for papers: Special issue of JOVACET
Journal of Vocational, Adult and Continuing Education and Training (JOVACET), Volume 4, 5th edition, 2021
You are invited to submit an abstract for the fifth issue of JOVACET to be published in October 2021. Deadline for abstract submissions: Sunday, 28 March 2021 (special concession to L&W readers: submissions until midnight 4 April will still be considered!). Abstracts should have a maximum of 700 words and be submitted in MS Word format via the journal website at www.jovacet.ac.za or emailed to Dr Catherine Robertson at [email protected]. Should you prefer to submit a full article, please limit the number of words to 8 000, which includes the abstract and list of references. The website will provide the style guide. Contributors may share any recent research relevant to the theme and the TVET/adult learning sector. Submissions of papers are invited that respond to this call to share recent research, its conceptual framing and its findings, with a view to identifying areas of further research for exploration. Submissions should be of high quality and follow academic research/writing conventions in the social sciences. Specifications can be found on the JOVACET website or obtained from Dr Catherine Robertson at the email address above. We look forward to receiving your submissions!
(Info received from Catherine Robertson c/o Antja Barabasch)

Call for papers: Impact of Covid19 on HRDM

The International Journal for HR Development has launched a call for papers for their special issue on The impact of Covid19 on HR development and management. We seek a variety of papers that include: conceptual aspects, critical reflections/ auto-ethnobiographies, evaluations, literature reviews, provocations and research papers (including case studies) from any part of the world and any sector/ industry. Papers can be 3000-7000 words. The topics are almost limitless, and we welcome different perspectives (e.g. micro to macro, employer and employee) Full details can be found on our website www.ijhrdppr.com. We also welcome any other submissions that may be suitable for the journal. Please submit via email to [email protected]. The special issue deadline has been extended to 19th July 2021.
(Posted by IJHRD PPR <[email protected]>)

Delphi study on effects of Covid-19

Bernd Käpplinger & Nina Lichte (2020). The lockdown of physical co-operation touches the heart of adult education: A Delphi study on immediate and expected effects of COVID-19. International Review of Education volume 66, Issue 5/6 [Details]
This article is based on the first wave of an ongoing worldwide Delphi study which is currently analysing the immediate and expected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adult education and adult learning. While the methodology of Delphi studies varies a lot, in a nutshell the core idea of a Delphi study is that it explores the future of a particular field in a collaborative way. The authors contacted more than 50 international experts in the field of adult education for a qualitative online survey between April and May 2020, asking them to provide information, observations, expectations and advice. While the findings show many cross-national similarities, there are also many differences. Clearly, adult educators are still trying to understand the implications of the crisis, which they perceive as unprecedented.
(Info received from Education and Employers Research Digest February 2021 <[email protected]>)

The future of HRD, Volume I+II
Loon, M., Stewart, J. and Nachmias, S. (Eds.) (2020), The Future of HRD, Volume I: Innovation and Technology, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan [Details]; Volume II: Change, Disruption and Action, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan [Details]
This edited collection captures current thinking about, and future practices and strategies for human resource development (HRD). It brings together contributions from a number of leading academics, practitioners and consultants who are active in the debate about the future of HRD. As the world of work grows ever more complex, diverse and ambiguous, there is growing interest in how technology, globalisation, changing workforce demographics and talent development can play a greater role in developing organisations for the future. In this context, HRD is a critical tool to address current complexity and offer solutions to organisational learning needs. Split into two volumes covering technology and innovation as well as the role of HRD in disrupting management and organisational thinking, these books provide analyses of the role of HRD in addressing the needs of the digital revolution.
(Contributed by Jim Stewart <[email protected]>)


Skills acquisition in upper secondary education and training
Green, A., Kaye, N., Pensiero, N. and Phan, H. (2021). The Effects of System Type and System Characteristics on Skills Acquisition in Upper Secondary Education and Training. LLAKES Research Paper 69, UCL Institute of Education [Details]
In this report we seek to build on earlier work and provide more robust evidence on system effects during the upper secondary phase in three ways. Firstly, we use data from the larger sample of countries in both waves 1 and 2 of SAS. Secondly, we test the effects of a considerably wider range of system indicators. Thirdly, we use a variety of statistical methods to analyse the relationships across countries between upper secondary system types and characteristics and changes in levels and distributions of skills between age 15 (in PISA) and the end of the upper secondary phase (18-20 in SAS). Whereas our previous work analysed changes using quasi-cohort analysis of published data on skills from PISA (at age 15) and SAS (at age 25-29), thus allowing compounding effects from tertiary education and employment, here we use customised data from OECD on skills scores at age 18-20 to capture more precisely the skills at the beginning and end of upper secondary education and training. The report is free to download.  
(Contributed by Andy Green <[email protected]>)

International transfer of VET: A literature review
Li, J. and Pilz, M. (2021). International transfer of vocational education and training: a literature review. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, published online: 28 Jan 2021 [Details]
The transferability of vocational education and training (VET) systems is a central issue within international comparative VET research. However, scholars working in related disciplines also focus on the international cooperation associated with VET. This literature review presents relevant findings from the field of VET research, but also from the fields of comparative political economy, comparative educational research, and international human resource management. It explores differences and parallels in research about policy transfer between these fields. For example, scholars working in the comparative political economy and educational sciences tend to focus on transfer activities at the systemic level, while those working in international human resource management tend to focus on regional management strategies, and scholars working in VET research focus on successes and obstacles associated with cooperation. All of these features are interconnected, providing important insights into the transferability of VET systems. The following discussion begins by exploring the reasoning underpinning different disciplinary perspectives on policy transfer in VET. Next, it reviews empirical research on the transfer of VET policies from different disciplinary perspectives. It concludes with a critical reflection on the transfer potential – and how scholars in all relevant disciplines stress the need for cultural sensitivity, adaptation, and long-term planning when transferring policy from one country to another.
(Contributed by Junmin Li [email protected])

Utilitarian recognition of prior learning
Paula Guimarães, Borut Mikulec (2021). The paradox of utilitarian recognition of prior learning: the cases of Portugal and Slovenia.  European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, Vol. 12, Issue 1 [Details]
In this article we examine the vertical influence of the European Union (EU) policy on recognition of prior learning (RPL) in one Southern European country (Portugal) and in a Central European one (Slovenia). We stress the influence of the EU line on adult education (AE) policies and the development of RPL granting professional qualification. Although not widely acknowledged in adult education theoretical discussions, we use the RPL models introduced by Judy Harris to debate the main aims of core official RPL national policy documents from 2000 to 2018 using documentary analysis. Comparative analysis of the two countries is made, and similarities and differences between the RPL provisions are debated. Our findings indicate the relevance of the utilitarian approach to RPL within national policies. Furthermore, these findings allow us to question why employers give little attention to adult learners’ qualification acquired through RPL.
(Contributed by Borut Mikulec <[email protected]>)

Skill formation and employment in the border region
Leveraging Regional Differences and Cross‐border Collective Institutions: The Case of Skill Formation and Employment in the Border Region of France, Germany, and Switzerland. Swiss Political Science Review: Early View 24 February 2021 [Details]
European cross‐border regions often display substantial political and economic activity. A key example is the French‐German‐Swiss Upper Rhine region, where three distinct national governance models come together. In this dynamic cross‐border industry cluster, traditional political‐administrative units often do not meet the functional needs of employers and (future) employees. This comparative institutional analysis refers to Varieties of Capitalism and Local Production Systems perspectives, to explore the operations of this cluster. It finds two main patterns through which education and training are embedded in the cross‐border context: on the one hand, the leveraging of distinct institutional advantages in the different parts of the region, and, on the other, the creation of cross‐border collective competition goods in the form of jointly provided educational institutions. Through these two strategies, local actors within the cross‐border industry cluster can turn their peripheral location into an institutional advantage.
(Contributed by Lukas Graf <[email protected]>)

Institutional renewal: The case of apprenticeship
Johann Fortwengel, Howard Gospel & Phillip Toner (2021). Varieties of institutional renewal: the case of apprenticeship in the US, England, and Australia. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, Volume 73, Issue 1 [Details]
This study analyses attempts to renew apprenticeship over the last three decades in three liberal market economies – US, England and Australia. We conceptualise institutional renewal as entailing revival or growth in apprentice starts, and also extension, or widening its occupational base. The paper contributes to the literature by considering reasons for the attempted renewal and offering an assessment of the outcomes of renewal. It also contributes to research at the intersection of institutional and comparative training literature by developing the concept of institutional renewal and applying it to apprenticeships. It concludes that, in quantitative terms, renewal had some success in England and Australia, but that the effect of intervention is more uncertain in the US. The paper also identifies a paradox that policies to promote apprenticeships have undermined the quality of training in England and Australia, leading to questions about the sustainability of renewal.
(Contributed by Johann Fortwengel <[email protected]>)

Recruiting of foreign‐trained immigrants
Silvia Annen (2021). Relevance of qualifications and work experience in the recruiting of foreign‐trained immigrants – comparative insights from the Health and ICT Sectors in Germany and Canada. International Journal of Training and Development. Volume 25, Issue 1 [Details]
Germany and Canada differ significantly regarding their migration policies as well as the structures of the national labour markets and their educational systems. This paper aims to analyse how these differences affect the labour market outcomes of immigrants and the usability of foreign qualifications and work experience by using the health and ICT sectors as examples. The comparison focuses on the question how qualifications and work experience serve as signals and are screened for in the recruiting process of enterprises. The results show clear differences as well as several common aspects of the two compared countries.
(Contributed by Silvia Annen [email protected])

NOTE: References to publications on European research in learning and work are provided by the WIFO pages on Books [www.books.wifo-gate.org],  Journals [www.journals.wifo-gate.org] and Articles [www.articles.wifo-gate.org].

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