The MobMan TWBL Project

The Erasmus+ programme aims to encourage the development of high quality transnational work-based learning (TWBL) across Europe and increase the numbers taking part. The idea for MobMan TWBL comes from research and the observation that the managing of TWBL can be a daunting, time-consuming process and that the resources currently available are not as helpful or relevant as they could be, thereby discouraging educational and training institutions from offering this type of experience to their students.

There is therefore a gap between what institutions require to manage TWBL and what is currently available in terms of resources. Furthermore, if the numbers undertaking a period of TWBL start to increase, there will be an even greater need for a mobility management tool that allows for effective and efficient use of time by staff who organise these work-based learning opportunities.

The MobMan TWBL project brings together 5 partners from 4 EU member states and aims to fill this gap by producing a user-friendly & adaptable mobility management platform to facilitate the management of TWBL.

The platform will be a comprehensive open-source resource for the management of transnational work-based meaning. It will allow for the grouping of all necessary information into one place and production of tailored key documents with ease.

There will be an Training Module, allowing users to develop their knowledge of the functionalities of the platform and in particular the interface and the document generator. There will also be an interactive User Guide to support users in the use of the key elements of the platform and enable autonomous use by education and training institutions, career guidance and job centres, associations and private enterprises both independently or a tool within existing TWBL programmes

These resources can be used on individual computers and also via servers for multiple users thereby enhancing transparency, usefulness & accessibility.  They will be open source and freely consultable and downloadable via the MobMan TWBL web-platform and available in the 4 languages of the project.

These materials can be tailored according to the needs of specific target groups.  They will empower schools, universities, training establishment and mobility service providers to manage high quality work-based learning with more efficient use of time. The project thus contributes to the mainstream utilisation of innovative resources, work methods and training for trainers and teachers.

The MobMan TWBL platform will also provide a pathway for validation of qualifications, learning objectives and learning outcomes. It will be compatible with & complement the already existing tools & methods developed & promoted by the EU, such as Europass CV & ECVET.

The platform will be tested by at least 10 organisations and the project partners on a control group of 100 trainees who will undertake a transnational work placement of 3 weeks to 6 months in duration in 100 host companies and also by the project partners through their networks for additional work placements to be managed during the life span of the project. Some of these placements will involve young people who would not typically take part in transnational mobility, including those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. It is expected that MobMan TWBL will feature up to 600 transnational work placements, involving up to 25 educational establishments and VET providers, up to 500 host companies and up to 30 additional interested parties, such as local public administrative bodies.

The promotion of work-based learning will therefore be on three levels. Firstly, on the number of training institutions that offer TWBL to their trainees. Secondly, on the number of trainees who undertake a TWBL. Thirdly, this increase in participation will improve labour market relevance of learning provision, also facilitating formal and non-formal learning and their validation. Well-performing education and training systems that include TWBL provide people with the skills required by the job market and the economy, while allowing them to play an active role in society and achieve personal fulfilment.

The MobMan TWBL project will help increase the impact of transnational work placements, leading to added value on a trainee’s CV and thereby improving employability by helping to develop the skills required by businesses. This in turn may contribute to improving the quality of the labour force and helping to promote economic development within the European Union.

Another anticipated long-term benefit is to facilitate stronger partnerships between the educational and business sectors by increasing the involvement and ownership of host companies in the work-based learning process.

In the words of American Tom Freston ‘Innovation is taking things that already exist and putting them together in a new way.’ This is what we hope to achieve through the MobMan TWBL project.