Manfréd Weiss Vocational School resides on Csepel-island, a Danube island on the outskirts of Budapest with a history of over 130 years of industrial production, particularly in the steel and metal industry. To support industry productivity and to prepare young people to become competitive on today’s labour market, the island is also home to the Budapest Complex Center of Vocational Training. BCCVT acts as a coordinating hub for 11 member-schools in the Budapest area, Manfréd Weiss Vocational School being one of them. The visit offered ILO constituents a good opportunity to understand how TVET can adapt to the challenges of today’s world of work.
Around 800 TVET students yearly receive training at Manfréd Weiss Vocational School, most of them young people from the age of 14 years onwards. BCCVT Director Mr. Péter Valló pointed out that the school also engages in training adult learners who seek to increase their skills-levels, as well as in offering vocational training opportunities for prison inmates with the aim of re-integration into society. Occupations offered include electronics, mechatronics, IT, law enforcement, gastronomy and beauty professions. Schools have the possibility of alterating a certain percentage of the curriculum to adapt to local industry demands and to apply innovative teaching methodologies.
One of BCCVT’s role is to search for effective education methodologies, including inspiring practices from abroad which they share with schools. Manfréd Weiss Vocational School decided to adopt the Complex Instruction Programme (CIP) methodology, developed by Stanford University. At the heart of the CIP is the ambition of giving equal opportunities and teaching solid soft and analytical skills for disadvantaged pupils. The method encourages cooperative group work in a diverse classroom. Confronted with different challenges, students assume different roles in each group (teacher, time keeper, reporter, management of work material) and receive differentiated tasks according to their abilities. CIP has proven to be successful in stimulating learning transfer, building students’ intellectual abilities and improving their teamworking skills.
The application of this methodology has lead to a decrease in student droput by engaging students more actively in the learning process and boosting their confidence. As Ms. Mária Herczeg, Director of Mannfréd Weiss Vocational School shared, out of the 800 students about 30 drop out every year.
In this context, dual education is also an important part of the curriculum. Partnerships with companies and learning-on-the-job allow students to master their trade at an actual workplace. Companies maintain good relations and regular exchange with vocational school teachers and in the current situation of labour shortage in Hungary, graduates easily find work, particularly in the IT sector.
Through the visit, participants had the opportunity to reflect on the challenges of adapting TVET to the constant changes on the labour market, especially in the context of an increasing digitalisation of the economy and the Future of Work.