Who are we?
The Association of Slovene Higher Vocational Colleges (Association HVC) was founded as a public institution in 2005, when its Establishing Act was confirmed and adopted by the Slovene government. It is a professional association of higher vocational colleges on the national level. It includes 48 members (96% of all Slovene HVC institutions) all providing EQF level 5 as public or private providers. They offer their programs (31) on 25 locations across Slovenia to 99% of the national EQF level 5 students population (120 ECTS). The Association HVC main mission is to promote the interests of higher vocational education in Slovenia and beyond its borders and to contribute to the progressive development of professional higher education and professional research area. Our members do not only provide higher vocational education programmes, but also contribute to the field of applied research and professional studies as well as directly to the development of local communities and regions. The Association HVC and its members have 20 years of experience in coordination of national and international projects. Our specifics are 40% of curricula that are provided as in company work based learning and the teaching staff requirements that demand up to date professional experience and knowledge from the field of work as well as pedagogical and andragogical competencies of our teaching staff. In doing so we ensure up to date theoretical training at the institution facility and then monitored and guided in company placements with certified and qualified mentors. The result is that our graduates are 97% employed and cherished by the employers as ready to work and act graduates in comparison to their peer graduates from higher education that are experiencing a growing number of unemployment with the bachelor, master and even doctoral degrees. Our values are QUALITY – INNOVATION and ENTREPRENEURSHIP – RESPONSIBILITY – RESPECT.
Why we are Participating in the Project
Our main goal is to contribute to higher quality of apprenticeships, to promote a smoother transition from education to work for young people, giving them a good start to their working careers. We are aware that Apprenticeships at PHE level provide students with opportunities to build up new skills and knowledge both on and off the job, while providing companies with a reliable way to evaluate and shape potential future hires, and at the same time benefiting from new perspectives which can only be offered by students straight out of education. However, despite clear advantages, apprenticeship systems are extremely challenging to manage and as 40 % of our each study year curriculum is the apprenticeship in a company. We want to improve mentors in companies by strengthening the system of apprenticeships. The MentorTrain project is an ideal way to improve and support the apprenticeship process at its very core – the mentor in the company by creating a platform for imparting pedagogical skills to mentors, by defining the specific competences required by early-stage and experienced mentors, by creating a course aimed at prospective and early stage mentors, by assisting experienced mentors in designing detailed training-plans for specific placements, by creation of a practice-sharing platform and by creating a resource pack of templates and forms.
Our role in the project
The Association HVC is a project partner and is responsible for leading IO5 of the project, Creation of Model Forms/Methodologies, Mapping of Methodologies to Quality Assurance Schemes, Dry-Testing of Methodologies in Institutions and finally Collection of Feedback and Publication. We will also recruit stakeholders to national workshops, prepare and organize national workshop to present the competence framework for mentors in PHE, to prepare a self-assessment exercise for participants, allowing themselves to evaluate themselves against the competence framework, to present the online micro-learning training resources, to briefly present case studies of successful apprenticeship management, and to present the model strategies to help achieve similar results.