NEW DIGITAL VET TRAINING FOR THE “NEW NORMAL”
As we enter the COVID-19 recovery phase (the so-called “new normal”), it will be critical to reflect on the role of educational systems – and particularly vocational education – in fostering resilient societies. This includes rethinking how the Vocational and Educational Training should evolve after the cultural and societal changes brought by Covid-19. More specifically, in the VET sector:
a) we need to support teachers and trainers in providing digital solutions (e-learning);
b) we need to produce online vocational SPECIFIC material;
c) we need to overcome the extra-obstacles to internet access by some groups (e.g. immigrants and low-income families);
d) we need to assess and certify new competencies digitally.
VET programmes suffered a double disadvantage because of the pandemic. The combination between social distancing requirements and the closure of enterprises have made practical and work-based learning – so crucial for the success of vocational education – difficult to be implemented.
In this context, to develop digital solutions (e-learning) that are able to close the gap between VET and the workplace is necessary more than before. Nevertheless, the digitalization of VET training courses should not be considered just a solution to overcome the pandemic, but as an opportunity to introduce innovative learning methods in the VET training.
FUTURE SKILLS TO HELP EU ECONOMIC AND SOCIETAL RECOVERY
Because of the pandemic, a series of digital resilience activities have been put in place to overcome the difficulties of the lockdowns. For example, in the Wine and Food sector, new digital practices were born, such as wine clubs, masterclasses, digital and virtual tasting. Virtual tasting defines an interactive virtual wine tasting experience that can be enjoyed directly at home through the use of technology such as Zoom.
After having shipped wines, companies and clients meet together online to interact with each other enjoying a virtual wine tasting. A social and educational experience that needs new digital skills to be implemented (design a format for virtual tasting etc.).
Consequently, to transform the pandemic crisis into an opportunity for social and economic development, increasing job opportunities for all, WE NEED TO BETTER IDENTIFY, DEVELOP AND CERTIFY these new digital skills born during the pandemic.
DISSEMINATE EU FARM TO FORK STRATEGY THROUGH VET TRAINING IN THE FOOD AND WINE SECTOR
The EU Farm to Fork Strategy is the strategy launched by European Union in 2020 that aims to accelerate the transition to a sustainable food system that should:
a) have a neutral or positive environmental impact;
b) ensure food security, nutrition and public health;
c) make sure that everyone has access to sufficient, safe, nutritious, sustainable food. VET training in the Food and Wine Sector can play an important role in the dissemination of Farm to Fork strategies content and values.