The V-UPGRATeS project aims to strengthen the digital competences of VET trainers and teachers (VTTs), increase their capacity and professional development thus achieving a systemic impact on the quality of teaching and students’ learning outcomes. The V-UPGRATeS projects aims to remove the greatest barriers of engaging in CPD that refer to conflicts with trainers’ and teachers’ work schedule, lack of incentives and the costs involved (OECD, 2013) and comply with the current budgetary conditions in utilizing all opportunities provided by the opening up of education.
With the projects aims and objectives in mind the V-UPGRAtES Platform was introduced. It is an OER platform developed for teachers in order to individually upgrade their digital skills to meet the needs of the current trends. The platform was designed to function as a transparent, multi-regulated, multi-assessed but self-directed process.
CPD is the key to success! The challenge for all is to create the challenging, motivational and approachable learning opportunities and to encourage VET trainers and teachers to keep up to date will all technological and educational advancements. Well-equipped, trained and supported educators will support the efforts of all MS to improve the quality of education, increase learning outcomes in an attempt to fight early school leaving, youth unemployment, reduce disparities, achieve better career guidance and skills match with the labor market.
It is expected that the results of the project will not only influence the profiles of the teaching profession, but will introduce a new ideology in the upgrade of VTTs with evidence based data generated from the dynamic tool. In this way CPD is oriented to the needs of each individual teacher while creating synergies with stakeholders to offer validation, recognition and incentives for further training.
The V-UPGRATeS project contributes to the aims of the European Union countries to support and empower VTTs by developing new approaches to strengthen the education and training paths of prospective and practicing educators. This comes as a result of the realization that educators across all sectors but most importantly Vet trainers and teachers face many challenges as they deal with increasingly complex and diverse learning situations. Therefore, there is an urgent need for TTs to enhance uptake of ICT in teaching and learning in order to promote stronger coherence between the needs of the labor market thus achieving a better skills match for students and bridging the gap between education and the world of work.