Name of organization: Marijampolė Vocational Training Center
Good practice title
Amanda’s success story
Baseline / problem
During the last two years, Marijampolė Vocational Training Center has been actively involved in promoting a new form of learning - apprenticeship. In 2020-2021 school year, the number of apprentices increased to 104. Amanda Dapkūnaitė, a third-year cook‘s profession student, an apprentice at the sushi restaurant SushiMasters in Marijampolė, shares the benefits of apprenticeship. Apprenticeship has one big advantage. Students can both work and study their profession. By working as an apprentice, you can improve your knowledge not only at school but also in the working environment. Your skills improve and you gain a quite new experience. Currently Amanda, being a sushi master, is glad that learning through apprenticeship has made it possible to put into practice the knowledge acquired at Marijampolė vocational training center and to implement personal aspirations. Since I am a chef, I want to try myself not only in our traditional kitchen. I chose Japanese cuisine. When I started working, I remembered the things I was taught. The first thing was maintaining order in the kitchen and working safely and responsibly with kitchen inventory. I gradually applied all my acquired knowledge and strived for a better result of my skills. Having the opportunity to learn in the form of apprenticeship, I am fully committed to the work, continue to improve myself and try to gain even more knowledge. Amanda’s success story is just 1 of 104 apprentice stories. Each of them, with the help of Marijampolė vocational training center, can discover the place of apprenticeship that meets their expectations, can become as successful as the sushi master Amanda.
The form of apprenticeship not only earns recognition among members of the Marijampolė vocational training center community, but is also welcomed by employers in the region. Rapidly growing number of apprentices every year shows the more active involvement of employers in fostering vocational education in Marijampolė. By implementing a successful apprenticeship learning method, the Marijampolė vocational training center community, employers' representatives and students work as a team - this is the key to a knowledge and skills valued by employers and successfully implemented by students. The main factor demonstrating a positive outcome is that apprentices remain in their workplaces after completion of a vocational training program. Moreover, by monitoring and evaluating students‘ achievements through apprenticeship learning, Marijampolė vocational training center teachers get acquainted with the latest trends in the profession they represent in the market and thus update their knowledge, which they later apply in students' vocational training.
Problems and constraints encountered and solutions found:
The main challenges are:
• Fear of students trying themselves in the labor market before completing a vocational training program;
• Lack of motivation of employers to hire an apprentice. How we solve this:
• Students' fear disappears when they can earn a competitive reward in the marketplace through apprenticeships.
• In order to motivate employers, we organize and successfully implement a project financed by the European Union, which partially compensates the apprentice's salary and pays the master for the time spent working with the apprentice.
In order to successfully implement this good practice, the most important thing is the close cooperation between Marijampolė vocational training center, employers and students.