The Life-Long Learning in SAVS offers the willing learners an opportunity to deepen and develop their knowledge in a specific field of expertise or gain an entirely new one. The LLL programme is aimed at professionals, trainees as well as general public. There are two general options to choose from
- attend one to several day courses aimed at specific skills and receive a certificate specifying the skill or competence
- study individual courses over given period of time (normally part of the standard programme), and possibly combine them into your desired study plan, gaining credits and certificate which can be recognized later if they enroll at the regular study programme should the credit system be fulfilled and other requirements met.
This modular system allows for easy and flexible qualification gain, requalification, focused professional development, company trainings etc.
The car production oriented courses are backed by highly practical approach due to Škoda Auto’s manufacturing facilities, production lines and customer oriented departments.
What was the challenge intended to be addressed? Why? What did work well? What did not work well? What have been the main achievements? How did you evaluate its success? What has been the change brought by this good practice?
Škoda Auto University is trying to bridge the skill gap between what market needs and has. The Czech Republic is currently struggling with a lack of technically and vocationally trained workers. The market has been flooded with graduates from management, economy and legal trained professionals leaving the technical/vocational positions empty or heavily under-qualified. Often the lack of interest in VET among the students, or their parents respectively, is the prospect of well paid and guaranteed job position.
What are the enabling conditions (e.g. institutional, economic, social/cultural, regulatory) that needed to be in place or played a facilitating role for the good practice to be successful?
SAVS offers education and related employment at the same time, adopted modular system enabling easy previous skill recognition and focused education in the desired area. The fact that Škoda Auto runs all the work lines related to their fields of study allows for smooth and effective work-based learning. Škoda, being the largest employer in the region, also has their fingers on the pulse of the job market adopting their educational courses accordingly and promptly. I believe it is the combination of above mentioned along with the modular based both formal and informal educational approach that ultimately led to success.
What are the challenges, barriers or limiting factors encountered? How have they been addressed?
Some of the production lines in the industry have been modernized in a way that eliminates great amount of workers due to their traditional training and the lack of available upgrading possibilities. The accreditation of new adopted programmes are costly both time and resource wise. Such an environment opens chances for informal institutions to fill the gaps of needed training, but often without a proper context and professional background. The SAVS approach of opening up the curriculum for modules, which can be picked individually as courses or in a package as studying programmes seems to be the viable solution.
Feasibility & Sustainability
What are the elements that need to be put into place for the good practice to be sustainable (institutionally, socially, economically, etc.)? If applicable, indicate the total costs incurred for the implementation of the practice. What are the benefits compared to total costs?
In order to ensure the sustainability of such endeavor the provider needs a mid to long-time plan in action, needs to communicate with other job providers in the region/country and conduct intensive discussion with the supervising educational body to foresee and possibly help shape any upcoming policies and changes.
Replicability & Upscaling
What are the possibilities of extending the good practice more widely? What are the conditions that need to be in place for the good practice to be successfully replicated in a similar context? What are the steps that should be taken/respected to ensure that the good practice is replicated / up-scaled, but adapted to the new context?
One of the main conditions this practice needs fulfilled is the guarantee of time flexibility for the students but mostly for the trainers in order to put the system in effect. The courses are not limited to a fixed beginning once a year but can be picked up on demand or at regular initiation. This naturally calls for a highly developed logistics and supportive back office ranging above the traditional administrative background of VET in the CR.
What would have facilitated an earlier and/or bigger impact? What are the key features that should be kept in mind if this would have to be implemented again? What would you do differently if you could go back in time? What could have been done better?
SAVS proved they are indeed very good at job market needs monitoring and fast to respond to the findings. Furthermore, the size of their mother institution (Škoda Auto) allows for tailoring the training programmes to their needs without taking unnecessary risks. The size of impact is a factor not to be ignored in order to maintain sustainable effort. Should the practice be replicated by a smaller company, a partnership with an umbrella region/country organisation (e.g. Chamber of Commerce) is highly recommended.