From Vocational Training to Success

About the VOTTS project

This book is a project result of the Leonardo da Vinci Lifelong Learning Programme. The “From Vocational Training to Success” (VOTTS) project connected 6 project partners from Croatia, Slovenia and the Netherlands, representatives of the labour market and institutions that provide vocational training. The main objective of the VOTTS project was the creation of a new vocational training programme to attract young people to develop and foster their skills as young entrepreneurs in tourism, with a special emphasis on restoration and the use of resources relating to old historical centres. The overall project objectives were:

  • to contribute to the growth of young entrepreneurs in tourism, as well as to the development of new tourism products and services;
  • to raise awareness among local and international stakeholders of the importance of entrepreneurship in tourism with an emphasis on cultural heritage;
  • to help young people to gain more employability skills before entering the job market;
  • to help young people to recognise their personal employability skills, their quality and their need for improvement;
  • to encourage entrepreneurship in the tourism industry and have a direct impact on improving and developing the tourist offer;
  • to gain and use information and knowledge about entrepreneurship in tourism training methods and content in order to improve the vocational training programme, with a special emphasis on restoration and the use of resources relating to historical centres;
  • for participants to gain the knowledge and skills to be able to co-operate and communicate with each other and other entrepreneurs, and to develop and increase their personal, professional and practical skills, as well as their language and entrepreneurial skills.

During the project, project partners aimed to find a solution to the problem of bridging the gap between vocational education and the labour market and strove to find methods to improve vocational education and training. As the final deliverables of the VOTTS project, here are the 10 modules for training in entrepreneurship:

  1. Story-telling
  2. Business models
  3. Networking, marketing, communication
  4. Verbal and non-verbal communication
  5. Social media for tourism
  6. IT: understanding trends in tourism
  7. Organisational skills: a practical approach to organising an event
  8. Sociology of tourism: critical thinking
  9. Self-analysis and elevator pitch
  10. Coaching instead of teaching

About the modules

The primary audience of a training module are usually the trainers, teachers and mentors of young people in vocational training. The aim of the modules is thus to be a teachers’ resource for those working with young potential new entrepreneurs in the tourism sector in the project partners’ countries and elsewhere.

The description of a training module below is taken from Luciano Mariani’s work. Modules are nowadays increasingly being used to make curricula more interesting, and many course books are structured on the basis of “modules” rather than “units”.

  • The concept of “module” is strictly linked to the idea of a flexible curriculum, which can be adapted all the time.
  • A module aims at developing a clearly identifiable and certifiable portion of the curriculum, expressed in terms of competence objectives.
  • These objectives should be achieved within a clear and realistic time limit. This time limit is an important feature of modular organisation.
  • Modules enable learners to achieve a certain level of competence.

Each of the modules contains:

  • A SHORT DESCRIPTION OF THE PURPOSE OF THE WORKSHOP: a short introduction to the module, and information on what knowledge and skills people gain by participating in the module.
  • LEARNING OBJECTIVES: information on what knowledge and skills people gain by participating in the module.
  • SUPPORTING LITERATURE/MATERIAL: an essential part of each learning module; the content of the module.
  • INTERACTIVE METHODS: it is important to note that modules are not intended as a teaching aid that allow only one-way lecturing but should aid the teacher/mentor to engage learners in discussion, critical thinking, activity-based learning, etc.
  • KNOWLEDGE ASSESSMENT: presents ways in which either teachers/mentors or learners themselves can show whether the objectives of the learning modules have been achieved.
  • MODULE EVALUATION: evaluation of the knowledge gained by learners is an important element of overall module assessment, yet it is not sufficient.
  • POTENTIAL FOR FOLLOW-UP

It is important to note that modules are not intended as a teaching aid that allow only one-way lecturing but should aid the teacher/mentor to engage learners in discussion, critical thinking, activity-based learning, etc. The most important point of consideration is the sources for our material. We need to include material from credible, preferably peer-reviewed sources, such as scientific publications:

  • Books, journals, journal articles (e.g. Annals of Tourism research, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Tourism Management).
  • Another important group of possible material is professional tourism industry magazines and publications (e.g. Hotel Management, Travel and Tour World, Travel Agent magazine).
  • Important sources of information are also companies and organizations from tourism industry.
  • Massive open online courses are becoming an important tool for education. They provide video and audio material for online learning that is often provided free of charge by universities worldwide (e.g. Coursera, Canvas).

There is a wide variety of possible pedagogical approaches for presentation of the content. For illustrative purposes, we present here only are few examples of methods that teachers/coachers can use. It is very important that not only verbal, but visual, audio, video and other interactive methods are included (more information about this topic is contained in the 10th module Coaching instead of teaching).