Proved – Erasmus+ Projekt

PROVED (“Productive Learning in Vocational Education”) was a two-year project from 01 September 2014 until 31 August 2016 performed in Finland, Germany, Greece and Lithuania.

The main aim of PROVED was to contribute to a higher employment rate of youth and young adults, to reduce the rate of drop-outs of the vocational education system and in that way to fight poverty and social exclusion of young disadvantaged people.

The project aim was the transfer of the principles of a successful educational approach called Productive Learning (in short “PL”) from the field of general education to the field of vocational education.

The experiences of the successful VET systems in Finland and Germany and the innovative ideas of PL were the basis for the development of an attractive pedagogical program for young disadvantaged people between 16 and 33, offering more practical experience in real life working situations with reference to the personal interests and needs of the learning person. With regard to the needs and demands of the VET systems in the countries involved, each vocational training institution involved developed, tested and implemented its own adapted PL concept. By that PROVED contributed to improve the VET systems in the participating countries.

In Germany 92 secondary schools offer PL, more than 10.000 students who were at risk of drop-out of the school system participated so far. The majority left with a school certificate and with a clear vocational perspective. During the last years PL was also implemented in secondary schools in Finland and Lithuania.

The leading aspects for the concept development were the following principles of Productive Learning (see more details about PL in the attachment “What is Productive Learning (PL)? Productive Learning – Common understanding in PROVED”):

  • Learning in real life situations / learning-on-the-job
  • Individualisation of the learning process
  • Connecting theory and practice
  • Connecting general education and vocational orientation

Due to the specific situations in the participating countries the vocational education institutions involved in PROVED focussed on different aspects of Productive Learning: In particular, in Greece and Lithuania there is no tradition of practical learning in companies or public institutions. Vocational education is organized as a full-time school-based training whereas in Germany there is a very long tradition of the so-called dual system of vocational training that combines workplace training and vocational school. In Finland there are many innovative forms of vocational training but school-based-training still dominates as well.

The consortium of PROVED consisted of eight partner institutions from Finland, Germany, Greece and Lithuania, working in the field of general, vocational or non-formal education, experienced in project and curriculum development, in community education, in teacher training or in teaching (in secondary schools or at VET). Six partner institutions are members of the International Network of Productive Learning Projects and Schools (INEPS) – two of them became a member in the frame of PROVED. Five partner institutions – three Vocational Schools, one Training Center and one Adult and Youth School – tested the developed concepts in practice.

The main project activities were the concept development and the implementation of the concepts, the design of a teacher training concept including the development of different materials, the training of the teachers involved and the preparation of the mentors in practice, four transnational meetings, the internal and external evaluation of the project, the documentation and dissemination of all activities and results, the project and quality management including the organization of the cooperation between the partners and with important stakeholders, especially companies in the region.

The main intellectual output of PROVED are five adapted PL concepts. Closely connected with this intellectual output are the following products:

  • A Teacher Training Concept and Program,
  • A Study Letter “Vocational Orientation through Productive Learning & Productive Learning in Vocational Training in different European Countries”,
  • A Manual with pedagogical material for the work with principles of PL in the frame of vocational education,
  • A Hand-out for Mentors in Companies cooperating in the frame of PROVED,
  • Information “What is PL?”

65 disadvantaged young people between 16 and 33 “tested” the adapted PL concepts in the 2nd project year. The main important impacts for the youth and young adults are: motivation to continue the learning process, more clarity concerning individual skills and interests, a better idea of the demands of the world of work, developed skills in particular needed in the world of work, better vocational perspectives and more economic independence (see results of the external evaluation). 

12 teachers participated in a teacher training program, including international and national seminars, school based trainings, self-study units using the developed Study Letter and material concerning the topic “Digital Learning in PL”. The main impacts for the teachers involved is more knowledge about the VET systems in Finland, Germany, Greece and Lithuania and about PL, professional development and improved methodical skills, more job satisfaction, better chances in the working field of VET and more international contacts and exchange.

The main characteristic of PL (“Learning in real life situations”) needs a close cooperation with companies and other institutions, especially in those countries without a tradition of cooperation between the world of education and the world of work. Depending on the different concepts the vocational training institutions established between two and 21 sustainable cooperations mainly with companies offering practical places. The main impacts for the local economy and for mentors in practice are better educated young people, the possibility to “test” young people in practice, more knowledge about PL, a better understanding of the needs of disadvantaged young people and improved methodical skills in counseling young people in their learning process. 

The main benefit for the institutions which were part of the consortium is an expanded pedagogical profile or expertise in the field of vocational education and a deeper cooperation at regional (in particular with enterprises), national (in particular with the ministries and with networks working in VET) and international level (especially between the participating countries and in the frame of INEPS).

In conclusion, PROVED was a successful project with a high impact on the young disadvantaged people involved, for the cooperating companies, for the partners of the consortium and also for the VET system itself; this way PROVED also contributes to the development of the European Qualification Framework (EQF). The results are sustainable which the results of the external evaluation show: the young disadvantaged people who participated in the project are better prepared for the labour market, the teachers trained in the frame of PROVED are now multipliers for their regions, all products and methods can be used by institutions which are interested to implement PL, cooperation with enterprises is established and the adapted PL concepts are tested and implemented.

Find the results of the project on this website: