In order to improve the quality of apprenticeship in Croatia following the good practices from European countries, the Croatian Government has introduced several changes in the Crafts Act starting from January 2020. One of changes includes the introduction of programme for educating mentors in crafts and companies. The ministry responsible for economy, entrepreneurship and crafts is responsible for the development of the programme, and the Chamber of Trades and Crafts and the Chamber of Economy will be responsible for its implementation.
At the centre of work-based learning model is the mentor as the expert who has the knowledge and skills to teach at the workplace to achieve planned learning outcomes and acquiring knowledges and skills necessary for the specific occupation. Also, the mentor is a key person for the cooperation with the school during the learning process and ensuring the quality of learning. The mentor is responsible to organize the work and learning processes at the workplace and, accordingly, monitor student’s achievements and keeping the record of those achievements. Also, the quality of learning process at the workplace depends on the good cooperation with vocational schools as well as implementing new innovations in the learning process coming from the successful and efficient cooperation. Therefore, it is very important to have a quality programme for mentors so that companies have the possibility to educate and strengthen their human capacities and ensure the high quality of apprenticeship offer.
The implementation of this programme will increase the possibility to licence one’s craft or company and be eligible to take apprentices. That way, the quality of apprenticeship will be increased because more crafts and companies will have mentors educated for teaching apprentices during their work-based learning part of education. The related exam will consist of following parts: the knowledge of vocational education and training system as well as the assessment of theoretical and practical knowledges and skills for efficient teaching, planning work-based learning lessons, addressing individual needs of students, monitoring and evaluation of learning outcomes and efficient communication with students.
Also, since the raising of the quality of VET for crafts has been a very important element of Chamber's everyday work for 20 years, the participation in Erasmus+ projects such as Bequal.app is another way to support this aim. The project aim is to develop the quality assurance in apprenticeship and other work-based learning forms in project countries by promoting the benchmarking culture, measuring quality indicators, and connecting VET providers and employers.
More about the project: http://www.bequalapp.eu/en/.