Working with Swisscontact, I was able to advance two projects in safe, healthy and sustainable construction (Construya) and adaptation of the Dual Vocational Training System for Colombia (Formación Dual). The latter needed proper development and monitoring and has had significant impact on vocational training in the Latin-American country up to today. From 2014 on, the implementation of vocational training structures with strong participation of private companies has been successful in numerous sectors of the Colombian economy. The local partner SENA, in charge of most vocational training in Colombia, teamed up with Swisscontact and the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) to plan, implement and evaluate a german-swiss style dual training model.

My consulting for the public and private partners included curriculum development, strategic analysis of labor market trends and project monitoring and evaluation. The most important and exciting task was giving professional feedback on the integration of private sector needs into the training processes. The industrial sector has since shown high interest in the dual model, with participation from multinational companies in high-tech (Samsung), car manufacturing (GM) and textile production. Even outside the manufacturing spectrum, demand for dual training is high in sectors like agro-industry, customer support (call centers) and SMEs.

An important factor for the successful implementation of the dual system was the search and training of pedagogic staff to accompany the young apprentices in their company training environment. To qualify these trainers, I worked with the SENA on a centralized virtual training platform. The eLearning concept applied Blended Learning so the SENA could provide mandatory training courses for all pedagogic personnel. This new form of virtual training keeps flexibility high for companies retraining their staff and makes the dual system in Colombia a success until today. 

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