The Principal/CEO of MCAST and President of the European Forum for Technical and Vocational Education (EfVET) Professor James Calleja was a key-note speaker at the Congress of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) in Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain.
The congress was organized in collaboration with TKNIKA the Basque VET Applied Research Centre which is a world leader in vocational education research. WFCP is the largest association of colleges and polytechnics globally. The congress in fact gathered over 1000 participants from all continents. The theme of the congress was TVET Excellence for All and focused on the future of work, sustainability, inclusion and equity. This was the second time that Professor Calleja was asked to address this World Congress. His first participation as a key-note speaker was in Quebec, Canada in 2016.
In his intervention Professor Calleja focused on how learning is changing fast and the need for VET institutions to create for young learners new forms of work-based learning. It is this method of learning that will retain more students in education and training by making learning more practical, relevant and attractive. MCAST Principal said, “Many young people today are smart, quick learners and target oriented. Systems of learning have to combine college-based and work experiences and hence the need to bring industry on campus and match more carefully what is being learnt by the jobs available on the labour market. One fundamental lesson learnt from COVID19 in the context of education and training is that the future of work lies on the transformation of pedagogy. The internet of things has changed every space in which we live in a platform for learning including and more incisively the workplace. Colleges and polytechnics must extend their learning spaces and add the workplace as a key learner’s source for new knowledge, skills and competences”.
The congress was Dawn Ward the President of WFCP, the Spanish Minister of Vocational Education and the Vice Minister of Vocational Education and Training of the Basque Country as well as other distinguished CEOs of VET Colleges from Jamaica, Kenya, Australia, Brazil, the UAEs, the USA, India and Pakistan.
In his concluding remarks Professor Calleja stressed the need that in VET Colleges and Polytechnics “we need to embrace transformationat all levels but in particular in the training of teachers, in modernizing the infrastructure for learning and in assessing learners throughout their learning process. Technology has transformed the way we live, learn and organize our lives. Grasping its added value will determine the future of further and higher education”.