International Congress for Vocational Education Training
Yes, in Europe, coursework for the trades is appropriately still referred to as Vocational Education, and not, Career and Technical Education (CTE). As educational policy around CTE in the United States has received renewed focus after decades of disinvestment, many schools are realizing the importance of CTE in their programming to prepare students with job-ready skills that lead to fulfilling middle-class jobs without overburdensome college debt hanging over their heads.
Manufacturing Renaissance is one important partner in this effort as it has focused on advanced manufacturing in Chicago Public Schools for more than 10 years. Manufacturing Renaissance was invited to send a delegation to the International Congress for Vocational Education and Training. The Chicago Teachers Union Foundation seeks to expand CTE options for students and support teachers in their professional learning. As the career pathways coordinator, I attended the 2-day gathering to learn from the best international models for developing a comprehensive CTE pipeline.
The International Congress for Vocational Education and Training was held on June 5 and 6, 2019 at the Kursaal Conference Centre in Donostia-San Sebastián. Representatives from some 50 countries attended. The congress focused on the effects that the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) has and will continue to have on people’s lives, on their work, on society in general, on businesses, and the various sectors of production, and also the implications for training, and most especially Professional Training. It was attended by technical and political representatives from the European Commission, from international bodies such as UNESCO-UNEVOC, the ILO (International Labour Organization), the OEI (Organization of Ibero-American States), from Spain’s Ministry of Education and Professional Training, from the Autonomous Communities’ Departments of Education, and teachers at Professional Training centers in various parts of Europe.
The International Congress for Vocational Education and Training focused on the need to ensure the Industry 4.0 is accomplished with sustainability that reduces humans negative impact on the environment, and that all communities are equitably involved for technological advancement.
The highlight was visiting Tknika where they develop new technologies and train educators on how to implement into their classroom. From additive manufacturing such as 3D printing to biosciences, the instructors at Tknika are using innovative ways to reshape what the classroom environment using new tools in manufacturing and augmented reality. For students to become excited about CTE, these innovative approaches can support their interest as they learn about the vocation through these and hands-on learning activities. It also showed how essential it is to support the educator in learning about new technologies so that our students will be prepared for jobs that do not yet exist!
For more images of the conference, click here to view the slides from Chicagoland Manufacturing Renaissance Council Membership Meeting.