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All countries around the Baltic Sea region face a great shortage of entrepreneurs and managers for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This substantially limits economic growth and innovation capacity. Due to demographic reasons population and thus working age population is expected to decline in almost all European countries in the near future, so that this shortage will even increase and have a strong impact on the SMEs, that must compete with major industries for the few well-qualified talents. To tackle this pressing issue, experts from Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Norway teamed up in an EU-funded project to develop a common vocational training titled 'Master Craftsman' that reflects the needs for SMEs, in particular from the craft sector. This publication contains all relevant information, from the concept and background to the actual curricula and example for examination regulations.
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1.1 | Challenges and tasks
1.2 | Objectives and outputs
1.3 | Consortium
Concept and curriculum for the uniform Master craftsman training
2.1 | Existing Master craftsman training, requirements, conditions and qualification needs
2.2 | Overview and concept of the uniform Master craftsman training
2.3 | Curriculum Part A1 Practical Training and Part A2 Specialised Theory
2.4 | Curriculum B1 Business administration, law and management
2.5 | Curriculum B2 Vocational and occupational education knowledge
2.6 | Implementation notes
2.7 | Concept for Master craftsman training in form of a dual Bachelor’s course in the Baltic Sea Region
Examination regulations, evaluation and recognition
3.1 | Analysis of existing examination regulations in the countries
3.2 | Concept and regulations for the Master craftsman examination in Electrical Engineering
3.3 | Examination regulations for the Master craftsman training in Electrical Engineering
3.4 | Classification in the EQF and BSR QF and international recognition
Train the trainer course
4.1 | Concept of the Train the Trainer course
4.2 | Evaluation concept
4.3 | Evaluation results and application notes for future use
Implementation of the Master craftsman training
5.1 | Implementation in Denmark
5.2 | Implementation in Latvia
5.3 | Implementation in Lithuania
5.4 | Implementation in Poland
5.5 | Evaluation concept of the Master craftsman training
5.6 | Evaluation results and application notes for future use
Master school in Latvia
Dissemination and transfer of project results
Other Publications by the Baltic Sea Academy
Members of the Hanse Parlament
Members of the Baltic Sea Academy
Between September 2015 and August 2018, the project "Common Vocational Training to Master in the Baltic Sea Region" - Master BSR (2015-1-DE02-KA202-002372) was carried out. It was funded within the Erasmus + programme, Strategic Partnerships by the National Agency Education for Europe at the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training. The following partners implemented the project:
Hanse-Parlament, Lead Partner, Hamburg, Germany
Dresden Chamber of Crafts, Dresden, Germany
International Business College, Kolding, Denmark
Nordic Forum of Crafts, Oslo, Norway
District Guild of Crafts Small and Medium Enterprises – Employers in Wejherowo, Poland
Gdańsk University of Technology, Gdansk, Poland
Public Institution Vilnius Builder Training Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
Latvian Chamber of Crafts, Riga, Latvia
We hereby like to thank you for the financial, professional and advisory support of this important project and the very constructive and pleasant cooperation within the consortium.
This publication presents a summary of the most important project results.
Hamburg, July 2018
Hanse-Parlament Dr. Jürgen Hogeforster Elina Priedulena
“Entrepreneurship is a powerful driver of economic growth and job creation: it creates new companies and jobs, opens up new markets, and natures new skills and capabilities”2 and even more, “it also contributes to personal fulfilment and the achievement of social objectives”3.
However, as in many countries of the European Union, in the Baltic Sea region as well, there is a great shortage of entrepreneurs and managers of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), thus substantially limiting economic growth and innovation capacity. Due to demographic reasons population and thus working age population is expected to decline in almost all European countries in the near future, so that this shortage will even increase in SMEs.
Many factors play a role in the decision to become an entrepreneur and must be addressed. In addition to financial obstacles, difficulties in accessing the market, possible sanctions in the case of failure or cumbersome administrative procedures, inadequate training and skills that support entrepreneurship are decisive factors4.
The paucity of entrepreneurs is particularly high in countries with predominantly school-based vocational training and a lack of further vocational training. The high demand for entrepreneurs is matched by at least as high a demand for executives who can offer not only solid professional and technical qualifications but also leadership and management skills. SMEs in countries with predominantly school-based vocational training also require skilled workers with training and trainer qualifications to carry out in-house training within the framework of the dual training model.
The adaption of the German Master craftsman training (Meisterausbildung), which brings the advantage of acquiring technical skills at a high level and equipping professionals with entrepreneurial skills through comprehensive occupation-specific and entrepreneurial qualifications, offers an outstanding way to unleash entrepreneurial potential and overcome the skills and knowledge gap in the craft sector.
So far, Master craftsman training varies widely in the countries of the Baltic Sea Region and shows various levels of quality.
The aim of the project “Common Vocational Training to Master in the Baltic Sea Region” was therefore to develop and pilot a uniform Master craftsman training for the entire Baltic Sea Region, considering the specific needs and conditions of the individual countries, which is based on the German Master craftsman training and the experiences from other Baltic Sea Region countries.
The pilot phase of the Master craftsman training was carried out in four countries in the Baltic Sea Region to gain experience with different regional and national conditions and to ensure a high level of transfer and implementation success.
The aim of the project was to especially train SME successors, entrepreneurs and managers in the Baltic Sea Region at a high level of qualification. Other target groups were:
Employees in SMEs;
Unemployed people with good qualifications and experience, who would greatly improve their chances in the labour market, or persons seeking self-employment;
Lecturers of chambers, higher education institutions and vocational education and training institutions.
Another objective was to increase the efficiency and competitiveness of SMEs by promoting dual vocational training rooted in the work-based learning approach.
The applied uniform Master craftsman training belongs to the category of further education and consists of four individual parts. The first two parts impart knowledge and skills in a profession-specific field. Based on the needs analysis, the participating countries decided on the profession of electrical engineering. The profession-specific curriculum parts were then developed for this profession. The other two parts provide cross-professional knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship and corporate management as well as pedagogical skills to train trainees in the company.
Based on the official examination regulations, after completing all four Master craftsman training parts, the candidates receive recognised certificate of the qualification (Master craftsman diploma). The individual parts can also be offered separately to train employees of SMEs, students or unemployed persons. In this case, the candidates receive a certificate for the respective training part in which they have participated.
The qualification programme is included in the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and assessed according to ECVET-based credit points to ensure cross-border transfer of the skills acquired and international recognition of the qualification.
Moreover, a training programme for trainers was developed and implemented, which will be offered at chambers and different kind of educational institutions in the future, to attract qualified lecturers to carry out the Master craftsman training in the long term. The content of the trainer programme is based on the Master craftsman training to enable the teaching personnel to carry out this specific training.
The project consortium, coordinated by the Hanse-Parlament, consists of seven partners from Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Norway: chambers of crafts, educational institutions, vocational schools and association of Nordic crafts’ organisations of SMEs. Altogether eight project partners developed, tested, evaluated and implemented the training measures. 67 chambers of crafts, industry and commerce with their educational institutions, other funding institutions, colleges and universities from 50 regions in 13 countries were involved as associated partners.
All project results were transferred to the 67 associated partners, who were supported by needs-oriented implementation consulting. The results were presented and discussed in workshops and three international conferences, involving other actors from politics and businesses. This should lead to the integration of the uniform Master craftsman programme into education and economic policy at local, regional and national level and ensure the sustainable use of the project results on a large scale.
General objectives of the project were:
Securing the next generation of entrepreneurs and managers for small and medium-sized enterprises,
Strengthening the competitiveness of SMEs,
Developing a concept for a uniform vocational training to Master craftsman in the Baltic Sea Region.
In order to achieve these overall goals, the following concrete objectives were pursued, and the outputs developed:
Output 1: Fundamentals, qualification needs and concept
The output contains results of analyses of economic and demographic developments, educational and labour markets and education systems with a synoptic assessment of the advantages and disadvantages as well as the development and reform need of the countries in the Baltic Sea Region.
Moreover, qualification needs and conditions in the participating countries for the Master craftsman training were identified and summarised.
Based on these analyses, the concept for the common vocational training to Master craftsman in the Baltic Sea Region was developed. The concept primarily refers to the countries of the Baltic Sea region. However, it is applicable in any other country.
Output 2: Curriculum and learning materials for the Master craftsman training
Based on the results of output 1, a curriculum, teaching and learning materials, slides for lecturers, instructions for use for the Master craftsman training were developed. All this information is compiled in this output.
According to the acquired knowledge from the different countries, the Master craftsman training was structured in 4 parts:
Part I Practical training in the corresponding profession
Part II Specialised theory for the corresponding profession
Part III Business administration, management and law uniform for all professions
Part IV Vocational education and personnel management uniform for all professions
Each of the training parts is self-contained which has the advantage that either individual parts or the whole training can be completed.
The Master craftsman training is designed in such a way that it can be completed either part-time in the evening or weekend parallel to the regular work of the trainees or as a full-time training.
Output 3: Evaluation concepts
This output delivers evaluation concepts to be used when implementing all four parts of the Master craftsman training and the trainer training (train-the-trainer).
The scientific evaluation includes written evaluations and interviews of participants and lecturers as well as accompanying observations. Special emphasis is placed on determining and assessing the applicability of the acquired competences and skills. The evaluation of this complex Master craftsman training, which was carried out for each part in each country, was particularly demanding, especially considering the scope of the training in different training phases. The evaluation was country-specific, but the results should at the same time be comparable between and meaningful in the individual countries and thus highlight the most important aspects.
These demanding evenalution concepts with the presentation of methods, instructions etc. serve as essential evaluation tools for all training measures developed and implemented within the project.
Based on the results of evaluation concepts, curriculum, learning materials, application notes, etc. were revised and improved before the transfer.
Output 4: Train the Trainer course
The concept, curriculum, slides for lecturers, application instructions etc. are delivered in this output.
The train the trainer course consists of a larger set of modules covering both technical and pedagogical contents of the Master craftsman training.
From this set of modules, the applicants can then select the modules that meet their needs and combine them into a training unit. Depending on the regional conditions and needs of the participants, a variety of versions with different topics can be carried out.
The output serves the further education of teachers at universities, universities of applied sciences, colleges and other educational and VET institutions, so that they can regularly initiate the training of Master craftsmen on their own. The further training is completed by a qualified certificate of participation, which should also contain a description of the main topics studied.
In the test run within the project, teachers, trainers, lecturers of the project partners’ organisations were approached.
Output 5: Examination regulations, assessment and recognition
Output 5 presents examination regulations for the Master craftsman training developed in the project. These were drawn up which lead to recognised qualification and include a transfer of already acquired competences.
Existing examination regulations and legal bases were analysed in the participating countries beforehand. With this knowledge the preconditions were created to develop uniform examination regulations which can be adopted in all participating countries.
Each part of the Master craftsman training is completed with a separate examination. The examination for Part IV includes the instructor aptitude exam, which entitles the holder to vocational training of trainees in the company. Successful completion of all four exams after each part leads to the Master craftsman diploma.
The development and implementation of the uniform examination regulations required political persuasion in the participating countries and intensive negotiations with the public administrations and the authorities responsible for the Master craftsman examination.
Each part is assessed with credit points in the European and Baltic Sea Region Qualification Framework according to ECVET, which also enables the transfer of already acquired competences at the transnational level; a specifically coordinated procedure ensures the international recognition of the Master craftsman diploma.
Output 6: Practical tests of the Master craftsman training
The Master craftsman training developed within the project was carried out and scientifically evaluated once during the project period in all four implementation countries Denmark, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia in order to find out the following:
Can the uniform Master craftsman training be carried out according to the different national conditions throughout the Baltic Sea Region? What difficulties can occur? How can they be eliminated?
What knowledge and conditions result for the transfer and the implementation in other countries? On this basis the conditions and directives for the transfer and the implementation should be developed.
How should the success of training measures in the individual countries be assessed? On the basis of the evaluation results, revision and creation of concepts, curricula, application documents, etc.
Output 7: Master craftsman school in Latvia
As part of the project, a new Master craftsman school should be founded in Latvia. The output contains the results of activities to achieve this goal. Firstly, a concept and business model for the new school was developed. Subsequently, comprehensive negotiations to establish the new Master craftsman school were carried out. Moreover, pilots of the Part III "Business administration, law and management" and Part IV "Vocational training and personnel management" were carried out.
Output 8: Dissemination, transfer and implementation consultations
The output contains:
A manual with all concepts, curricula, teaching materials, examination regulations, evaluation results as well as instructions for further use and implementation;
written and electronic transfer of all outputs which contain concepts, curricula, teaching materials, examination regulations as well as support concepts;
in-person implementation consultations on the Master craftsman training and the training for trainers;
preparation, implementation and follow-up of three multiplier events (international transfer and consulting conferences) in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland with all project partners, 17 higher education institutions and 50 chambers of crafts, industry and commerce from 13 countries, representatives from politics and administration as well as other stakeholders and multipliers.
About 350 participants took part in all three events.
The project consortium carried out various dissemination measures with a wide reach: publication of press releases, holding press conferences, presentation of project results at third-party events in various EU countries, publication of the project results on websites, in newsletters, member magazines and circulars of all project partners and transfer in writing to national and international umbrella organisations of trade associations and educational providers.
The project consortium was formed in such a way that
the partners in the consortium covered all competences required for the project implementation;
both transfer partners, who brought in relevant experiences, and implementation partners, who tested and implemented the Master craftsman training and the training for trainers, were involved;
partners with appropriate competences and decision-making powers were represented, for example, responsible bodies for vocational training and the establishment of examination regulations as well as the acceptance of Master craftsman examination;
partners from countries with different experiences and needs were involved. In particular, partners from Germany, Denmark and Norway with experiences and knowledge in dual and further vocational training on the one hand and partners from Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, countries where work-based learning or dual vocational training are just in the starting blocks, and high further vocational training needs exist on the other hand;
transfer and implementation consultations with transfer partners in 13 countries took place.
The Lead Partner Hanse Parlament draws on many years of experience in implementing complex international projects with up to 40 partners from 11 countries. In addition, the partner brought in comprehensive experience on vocational training of all Baltic Sea Region countries as well as differentiated knowledge about dual vocational training and Master craftsman training in Germany. After all, this partner guaranteed the transfer of results and advice on implementation to 67 educational institutions in 13 countries.
The Dresden Chamber of Crafts as the responsible body for vocational training, contributed all necessary information and experience on German Master craftsman training and played a decisive role in the development of curricula with its extensive experience.
The IBC International Business College from Kolding in Denmark contributed with its experience in vocational adult education; its successful, innovative learning and coaching methods could be used in the project. The partner piloted the Master craftsman training parts in Denmark.
Nordic Forum of Crafts brought 25 years of experience with the Norwegian Master craftsman training. Due to the partner’s excellent contacts and networks, it was predestined to disseminate the project results in Norway and to comprehensively examine implementation possibilities.
The District Guild of Crafts Small and Medium Enterprises – Employers in Wejherowo runs a vocational school, which training offers have been greatly expanded through the implementation of Master craftsman training. During the project, the partner tested the whole Master craftsman training and will permanently implement all four parts of the training in Poland. The partner is a member of the board of the Pomeranian Chamber of Handicrafts for SMEs that is responsible for the establishment of examination regulations and the acceptance of Master craftsman training examination, so that the Master craftsman training has been fully introduced in Poland.
The Gdańsk University of Technology has extensive knowledge of pedagogy, development of curricula and trainings for lecturers as well as in the teaching of SME management. On this basis, the partner contributed to pedagogical concepts, developed curriculum for the training for trainers and evaluated all pilot tests.
The partner Vilnius Builders Training Centre provides vocational training in Lithuania and carries out various projects on the realisation of training measures in the dual vocational system. The partner is interested in further vocational training of trainers as well as in the training of Master craftsmen. Through the partner’s activities on the board of the Vilnius Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts, Vilnius Builder Trainings Centre was able to ensure the establishment of examination regulations and the acceptance of examinations.
The Latvian Chamber of Crafts is the responsible body for vocational training and examinations in crafts in Latvia. The ambitious goal of the project was successfully pursued: to establish and operate a Master craftsman school by offering the Master craftsman qualification at a high level in Latvia on a permanent basis.
In addition, public education administrations were intensively involved in workshops and conferences. In preparation for this project, the Lead Partner held various conferences, conducted negotiations, etc. with ministries, regional education administrations and politicians in the participating countries and received unrestricted support for the implementation of the present project.
The partners complemented each other optimally. Most of the partners had extensive experience in the implementation of international projects; they have already worked together on various projects. Overall, the composition of the consortium ensured smooth and successful project implementation.
1 Author of the introduction: Dr. Jürgen Hogeforster, Hanse Parlament, Hamburg, July 2018.
2 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, The European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the regions, Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan, Reigniting the entrepreneurial spirit in Europe, Brussels, 9.1.2013, COM(2012) 795 final, p. 3.
3 Flash Eurobarometer 354 – TNS Political & Social, Entrepreneurship in the EU and beyond, Summary, 2012. Conducted by TNS Opinion & Social at the request of the European Commission, Directorate-General Enterprise and Industry, p 2.
4 Ibid., p. 2.
As described in detail in the introduction, the Master craftsman training is widely different in the Baltic Sea Region countries, showing varying levels of quality. The project is aimed therefore to train company successors, entrepreneurs and managers in the Baltic Sea Region, based on a relatively high-level Master craftsman training. Another aim is to increase the efficiency and the competitiveness of SMEs by promoting the realization of the dual vocational training.
Based on the German Master craftsman training and the experience of further Baltic Sea Region countries, a concept for unified Master training for the entire Baltic Sea Region was developed. Piloting of the Master craftsman training was planned in 4 Baltic Sea Region countries - Denmark, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia in order to gain experience with different regional/national conditions as well as to ensure high transfer and implementation success.
As a basis for the development and testing a standardized Master craftsman training the following activities were carried out:
Analyses of economic and demographic development, educational and labor markets and also analyses of educational systems with a synoptic evaluation of advantages and disadvantages as well as development and reform need of the Baltic Sea Region countries
Analysis of existing Master craftsman trainings and determining qualification needs and conditions in the participating countries (Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Poland) for the Master craftsman training. Summaries of these analyses are reported below.
In Poland, the Instructor of Practical Vocational Training includes in its scope – Master craftsman qualification in the profession and pedagogical qualification. Only the Instructor of Practical Vocational Education is fully qualified to train students in a profession.
As entry into the Master craftsman course in the profession is linked with the possession of the apprenticeship title, the candidate should have the knowledge and skills of a general and professional nature related to the profession.
A person wishing to start Master craftsman training, should fulfill the following conditions:
Be not less than 18 years old
completed upper secondary school
title of journeyman/apprentice in the profession
6 - year period of work in the respective profession
The Master craftsman candidate can start Master craftsman training in the profession, in which he or she has the journeyman diploma and appropriate period of work in the profession.
The journeyman qualification is the basic level in the vocational education system and the key to obtaining permission to Master craftsman training. As a result, the candidate should have general knowledge and skills - unions associated with this profession.
It should be noted that at the time of submitting the documents for the Master craftsman examination, the candidate should have at least 6 years of experience in the given profession (i. e., theoretical preparation for the Master craftsman examination may commence before the obtaining 6 years of experience).
A supplementary element of vocational training (Master craftsman) is the acquisition of pedagogical qualification (completion of a course and passing an examination).
The educational examination boards of Chamber of Crafts perform the Master craftsman examination.
The title of Master craftsman and pedagogical qualifications are equivalent to the Instructor of Practical Vocational Education, which entitle to full training of young people and adult learners.
The general aim of the Master craftsman training is to gain knowledge to pass the Master craftsman exam. For this, Master craftsmen-to-be having theoretical and practical courses.
The practical work may be conducted by employers or employees with professional and pedagogical qualification (obtaining the status of an instructor of practical vocational training), i. e:
at least the title of Master craftsman in the profession, which they will teach
pedagogical training of teachers defined in separate regulations or who have completed a course organised according to separate regulations approved by the school management and who have completed at least 70 hours of coursework in psychology, pedagogy and methodology and 10 hours of practice methodically or before 6 January 1993.
Master craftsman classes for exam preparation are organised by chambers of crafts and craft guilds in order to acquire knowledge about the Master craftsman examination.
Theoretical courses are aimed at people who have vocational training and are engaged in a given profession.
The scope of the course includes topics:
technology, machine theory and materials science
The theoretical course is conducted according to a specified study plan. The curricula are developed on the basis of the existing examination requirements in selected professions by the Polish Craft Association in Warsaw and modular curricula in certain professions issued and approved by the Ministry of Education.
Supplementary theoretical training, including teaching qualification: the aim of the course is to provide the students with pedagogical preparation for practical vocational training and to provide them with basic knowledge in the fields:
vocational training methodology
legal basis and training conditions in the workplace
The Master craftsman examination is a form of assessing the level of mastery of knowledge and knowledge in the field of a given profession, which is conducted by the examination committee of the relevant chamber of crafts (in the case of District Guild of Crafts Small and Medium Enterprises – Employers in Wejherowo - Pomeranian Chamber of Crafts in Gdańsk).
The examination takes place in two steps: practice and theory (partly written, partly oral).
The craft sector has a “permanent” vocational training and qualification system and is a model of the current vocational training and qualification system.
The documents issued by the Polish chambers of crafts are highly valued and honored in European countries. The chambers of crafts are open to adults who are looking for opportunities to prove their professional qualifications acquired through long-term professional work, which is important, especially for those working in professions related to construction and energy.
It can be argued that in Poland there is a system of Master craftsman education system, however, there are various problems: Firstly, the public system, which is represented by public schools and supported by the state, functions in parallel with the vocational training system for crafts. Secondly, there are Master craftsman examination commissions for the so-called district examination commissions, which compete with the craftsman system. Thirdly, young students in craft occupations can be trained by Master companies, which should be members of a chamber of crafts or guild, but this cannot always be legally enforced. Fourthly, in Poland, the system of school workshops operating at state vocational schools is in competition with the so-called dual system.
The Master craftsman qualification is regarded as an integral part of dual (work-based) vocational training model. Dual training or apprenticeship means that an aspiring worker (professional) learns the vocation ‘from the hands of the master’, through constant observation, trying and under supervision of a skilled and experienced worker (professional).
Therefore, in-company trainers (masters) are crucial to quality learning in apprenticeship and in any work-based learning schemes. However, apprenticeship has not yet gained its position as a clear pathway in Lithuanian VET and there is a long way to go. Most VET programs are school-based, while the actual scope of apprenticeship is small. The existing Lithuanian VET system has no officially recognized qualification of a Master craftsman. Consequently, there is no formal training for this type of qualification available.
The recent review on apprenticeship in Lithuania by CEDEFOP (2015) has identified the lack of in-company trainers (masters) as one of the barriers that discourage companies from taking apprentices or students for practical training. Company employees are often not able and/or willing to train others due to workload, issues with confidentiality, risk of possible damage to equipment or fear of probable future competition. Companies consider the requirements set for trainers in companies too demanding to implement: 120 hours of training or three weeks of a qualified employee time is a significant cost. Employers suggested that training of trainers should be short, modular, focused on pedagogical skills and flexible, including online resources that trainers could follow when they have time.
The introduction of a Master craftsman qualification could be a significant support for small and medium enterprises in providing opportunities to benefit from training young people and would contribute to making fragmented training in companies a regular activity in the long term.
The following eligibility criteria must be observed when developing Master craftsman training for Lithuanian VET system:
Master craftsman qualification corresponds to EQF level 5 and is delivered in the framework of continuous education and training (CVET);
Master craftsman has qualification in the vocation he/she trains for;
The course is delivered in the form of modular training program based on ECVET;
Master craftsman education includes theory and practice in craft and business and legal training as well as pedagogical/didactic competence;
At least 60% of total course time is attributed to practical training;
It is expected that upon completion of the training the Master craftsman will acquire the competences relating to:
Supervising (lower-qualified staff)
Training and evaluation (apprentices)
Master craftsman training in Lithuania can be implemented in two ways:
Formal VET program for Master craftsman qualification:
Legal requirements: New study program must be accredited by the Qualifications and Vocational Education and Training Development Centre (KPMPC) and included in the official Register for Training Programs and Qualifications
Form: full-time or part-time Duration: 1200 hours (1 year)
Implementing bodies: licensed VET providers (profession specific theory) and SMEs (profession specific practical training)
Enrolment: CVET students or company workers possessing a professional qualification
Final assessment and certification: final examinations are organized by external body (Chambers of Crafts), state-recognized certificates are issued
Funding: state budget (after formalization process is completed)
Non-formal VET program for Master Craftsman qualification:
Legal requirements: New study program is prepared and delivered by a VET organization. No official registration or licensing is required
Form: full-time or part-time
Duration: 1 or 2 years
Implementing bodies: licensed VET providers (profession specific theory) and SMEs (profession specific practical training)
Enrolment: CVET students or company workers possessing a professional qualification
Final assessment and certification: final examinations are organized by VET provider and company representatives, employer-recognized certificates are issued
Funding: project budget and internal resources of a VET provider and company
To take the Master craftsman examination, it is necessary to have:
Practical experience for 8 years or 4 years after the gaining the qualification of a journeyman and masterpiece. The Master craftsman candidate needs to prepare a document folder, showing not only the masterpiece, but also earlier work and its description. Each craft has a set number of works one must show for the examination, which is in accordance to the examination program. It should be noted that not in all crafts it is necessary to first obtain the qualification of journeyman and only then the qualification of master. If the candidate’s works fit the examination program’s criteria and they can pass the theoretical part of the examination, they can obtain the qualification of Master craftsman.
In accordance to the examination program of Latvian Chamber of Crafts, knowledge of the specific theoretical part of the craft.
Theoretical course (now – 160 hours):
History of craftsmanship
Legal issues in the craftsmanship enterprise (legislations)
After passing every part of the examination, the board of Latvian Chamber of Crafts reviews the examination documents, approves them and awards diplomas.
For several years (1996-2007) there was a Crafts technology and design study program in Riga Technical University which allowed craftsmen to obtain higher education in crafts. The entrance examination requirement was a craft master’s diploma. However, the study program was modified and there is no such opportunity anymore. Latvian Chamber of Crafts’ Master training is organized in a similar order to other EU countries; the four basic requirements are the same:
Company management and law
The differences are mostly in terms of required number of hours. Vision for Master training soon:
Slowly increasing number of Master course hours. Considering the fact our craftsmen mostly fund their own training (excluding cases where an organization pays for a master’s training or, for example, an educational institution is in need for a qualified educator therefore obliges them to obtain a master’s diploma because it’s required for working unless the person has higher pedagogical education), the number of learning hours must be increased gradually.
When organizing the courses, the Master craftsmen previous education, work experience and quality of works must be considered. A master’s 8 years of work experience does not always equal professionalism which is at the appropriate level for a master’s qualification.
The number of course hours for Master training could be as given:
Company management and legislation – from current 72 hours to 100-150 hours;
Pedagogy (up to now 45 – 54 hours): According to the current legislation about the necessary education and professional qualifications of educators, the pedagogical pro- gram minimum is 72 hours and Latvian Chamber of Crafts’ granted craft Master qualification;
Crafts theory: number of hours can be different depending on the craft – up to 150 – 200 hours;
Craftsmanship history: 45 hours;
Craftsmanship organization: 10 hours;
Altogether: 300-400 hours.
It should be emphasized that Master craftsman training does not end with just this. Considering that together with a master’s diploma, a practice certificate is handed out, which is only valid for 2-3 years, to receive the certificate for the next term, LCC plans to organize courses (the latest materials, resources, legislation in the profession and so forth). The course certificates will be one of the requirements for extending the practice certificate.
In Denmark there is no Master craftsman training at the national level. The vocational training institutions often have their own courses, which they offer to the companies with which they cooperate. Some of the different professions have their own Master craftsman training and work together with one or two different training institutions, for example one in Jutland and in Copenhagen.
There are recognised courses which consist more or less of the same content, but the content is aimed at a particular craft: painter, carpenter, blacksmith, bricklayer, electrician etc.
Two various kinds of Master craftsman training courses:
Labour market training courses designed to provide the necessary skills. This type of training is practice-oriented and geared to the daily tasks of the course participants. There is no exam at the end of the course. The courses consist of various recognised elements which the vocational training institution can choose. The elements of the course are often selected in dialogue, either with the company that sends its employees to the course or with a professional association representing the companies of the same company. For example, courses for tarred owners/middle managers in clothing stores, trading companies, production plants, joineries or bakeries.
Authorization courses for employees who want to perform tasks, which requires an authorization. It will often be the owner of a company, who has the authorization, but the course does only give the right to perform and approve certain tasks, it does not supply managerial skills.
There are different labour market training courses focusing on the development of management skills: human resources, strategy, marketing, economics, quality, innovation, etc., which is the actual vocational training for the Master craftsman.
Some trades have developed their own Master craftsman training courses. Usually they take place at vocational training institutions, which educate skilled workers of that specific profession. Part of that training is targeted the specific trade/craft.
One example: Master course for bakers and confectioners, 16 modules of each 2 days, 3-4 weeks between classes. The content of the course is:
Concept and strategy
Sales and store
The course is basic, and no prior qualifications are required.
Master craftsman training part I and part II - the concept of talent was introduced with the vocational training reform from 2015. Students in vocational training have the opportunity to train their theoretical and practical skills at a higher level. The national trade committees, of which there are about 50 different committees related to different vocational training, determine the content of talent training. As an example, the talented students in the industrial VETs are offered most of their subjects at higher level. In addition to this, the companies challenge their talented students to top performance in practical training. In companies, entrepreneurial talents are challenged by development programs that are specifically designed to develop their personal skills such as overview, relationship competence, initiative, communication, etc. in the company. Companies and schools plan this part together.
It would be appropriate to correlate the implementation of the Master craftsman training Part I and Part II with the training of talents.
Master craftsman training part III - in Denmark it is not necessary to have administrative or management training as a prerequisite for setting up own business. Anyone can do this, and every year around 30,000 new companies are created, about 10% of them in the construction sector.
It is of course interesting whether these companies create jobs and are viable. In this context, a Master craftsman diploma in economics and law is especially interesting for entrepreneurs and owner-managers. The separate phases that companies go through during their growth require a more professional approach to personnel, sales and marketing, etc. and require management skills. The importance of this is not sufficiently recognised, which has led to a decline in orders, redundancies and perhaps even closure. A more professional management could have kept a well-functioning company.
An administrative module in a Master craftsman training can have a major impact on the employment rate in the SMEs, which employs a substantial proportion of the workforce. However, this will not be a national requirement unless required by the EU, but it could be a requirement from banks and other sources of finance if the company needs external financing.
Master craftsman training part IV - about the practical part of the training, there is no obligation as to whether someone in the company has training as the person responsible. Studies and evaluations therefore show that not all pupils experience the coherence between practical in-company vocational training and more theoretical in-company vocational training at school and how well the company functions between school and the workplace varies greatly from company to company. Unfortunately, many students express a lack of connection between the theoretical and the practical part of their education.
Only in the training of social workers a systematic training of superiors take place. In the private sector it is very different how professionally the training is carried out. Some companies have a fixed structure that ensures that the student trains all skills while others have no structure.
Master craftsman Part IV - the training of the supervisors responsible for the practical training of students - may be suitable as an offer to the SMVs. However, it is unlikely that it may be a national requirement, unless it is a European Union requirement.
The following describes IBC’s position on the qualification requirements for the training parts III and IV:
Part III – Business administration, law and management qualification needs
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