Objectives of the pilots?
The objective of the pilot experimentation phase, was to test and validate the apprenticeship scheme, developed in the framework of the DESSA project.
The piloting of the apprenticeship scheme, was combined with the piloting of the self-assessment tool, developed and uploaded on the DESSA platform.
Who were the participants in the pilots?
Each VET provider of the consortium, namely PIT, IEK DELTA, Friesland College and KSPMC, involved at least 5 students, with a total 20 students. They also involved 2-3 tutors/mentors which makes a total of 8-12 mentors. IDEC SA, a company from Greece which welcomes students every year for apprentices, also participated in the pilot experimentation.
The pilots were conducted from February until December 2021.
According to the DESSA apprenticeship scheme, the pilots were implemented in four stages: the preparation, before, during and after the apprenticeship.
During the preparation phase, VET providers made an offer for students and companies to participate in apprenticeship. Interested students and companies expressed interest to participate.
Before the apprenticeships, VET providers did the matching between students and companies. Companies appointed mentors and students selected a natural mentor and used the self-assessment of soft skills, using the DESSA platform.
VET providers and Companies together, set the objectives of the apprenticeship and prepared an apprenticeship plan with specific learning outcomes. They included hard skills, based on main program, soft skills, based on self-assessment results and DESSA project program, and a time plan of all apprenticeship programme.
During the apprenticeship, company trainers used the trainers guide, in order to apply the natural mentoring methodology, gamification elements and monitor the progress of the students. Mentors also consulted the trainers guide, to find examples of how to motivate apprentices to develop soft skills.
Students consulted the trainings guide and picked at least five assignments, which they worked on during their internship. Students also were prompt to read the orientation guide and use the logbook provided, to see their progress in developing their soft skills.
At the end of the apprenticeships, students completed the self-assessment tool again and discussed the results with their mentor. Students and mentors completed the final evaluation form, to document the impact from the DESSA apprenticeship.
Lastly, VET providers completed the final report on pilots, based on the results from the questionnaires completed by mentors and students, before and after the apprenticeship.
Was it a success?
The use of the DESSA tools, resulted in the development of the student’s soft skills, according to the final evaluation report, from all parties that participated in the process. Thus, we can say that the piloting experimentation phase was a huge success. The results from the pilots and the final impact report will be soon uploaded on the DESSA webpage, so stay tuned!