FACILICODE (Facilitated Work Based Learning)
Dissipation of the FWBL methodology to innovative continuing professional development
1. Project presentation
The European Council in 2000 concluded that it is a strategic goal for the European Union (EU) to be the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world. To fulfill this strategy education and continuing education (lifelong learning) has a very high priority.
In the enlarged European Union there are 23 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) representing 99 per cent of all EU enterprises and employing more than 75 million people, according to ‘The New SME Definition – User Guide and Model Declaration’, 2005.
The importance of SMEs in the European economy is enormous and in an extremely competitive global market the continuous exploitation of knowledge will have a significant impact on the prosperity of the member states and the European Union. Therefore it is reasonable to focus on how society and the educational sector can support SMEs in developing the skills and competences that are needed now and in the future.
The need for continuing education is still increasing – but time made available by SMEs on the other hand is limited. Integration of continuing education into the everyday working task might be an answer to that problem, as tailor-made continuing professional development (CPD) activities match the needs of the SME to a much larger extent than traditional courses. By integrating the learning processes in the daily work, a much more effective continuing education will take place.
The EU Leonardo da Vinci programme is addressing lifelong learning measures with regards to the sector of vocational education and training (VET). The Leonardo programme has run for some years and has now reached a point where measures to transfer innovations arising from previous projects can be funded. The FACILICODE project – ‘Dissipation of the FWBL Methodology to Innovative Continuing Professional Development’ – is funded by the Transfer of Innovation sub-programme for this purpose and is aiming to transfer the methodology ‘Facilitated Work Based Learning’ (FWBL) which is developed for, and tested in, continuing engineering education collaboration between universities and engineers in IT SMEs and other more generic engineering companies.