During Edge’s study visit to the Netherlands On Edge’s study visit to the Netherlands many examples of good practice were observed across the Dutch Vocational Education and Training (VET) system. A key highlight was illustrated at Da Vinci College, a regional training centre offering VET provision in the fields of engineering, ICT, construction, infrastructural engineering and media & design. The Duurzaamheidsfabriek or the ‘sustainable factory’ model at the college promoted a hybrid approach where companies and education work together to meet the demands of the labour market. The Sustainable Factory specialises in smart industry, general and maritime technology, energy transitions and control engineering.
A highlight at the college was the Inspire Week Initiative they had set up which was an expanded form of tutor training that encourages lecturers’ to keep their expert knowledge up to date. A key challenge posed by the college was recruiting lecturers that had the skills to integrate the changing dynamics of the profession into their curriculum. The Inspire Week initiative allows lecturers to maintain professional industry-level practice by leaving the college for a week to take up a placement in either companies, government agencies or schools. Upon returning to the college lecturers would report back on their newly acquired inspiration with ideas and suggestions for improvement within their practises.