All over the Europe, one critical problem of VET study programs is the gap between the level of technical knowledge and professional skills that the learners acquire and the required competencies expected by employers (European Commission's Report - 'New Skills for New Jobs: Action Now' , 2010). Footwear companies all over the Europe can find it challenging to recruit VET graduates competent and skilled in Computer Aided Design (CAD) of footwear. VET providers for footwear sectors could reduce this gap by widening their existing curricula to new available CAD/CAM technologies and software solutions that are developed through the latest research and commercial developments. At this point one main question appears: Do teachers/tutors/trainers from VET institutions have the right skills and competencies to teach Footwear Computer Aided Design ?
A preliminary investigation that was undertaken by partners in the preparatory stage of this proposal (in RO, ES, PT and UK) revealed:
- VET institutions which are running study programs for footwear sector have ICT based content in their curriculum, but it is designed to cover the only key competencies for generic skills (keyboarding, word-processing, desktop publishing and using the Internet for research and communication).
- Working with CAD/CAM technologies are occupational specific ICT literacy skills and VET curricula rarely cover these in detail. The reason for this varies, as:
- staff do not have right skills and competencies in CAD;
- there is lack of teaching resources for footwear CAD.
- the software developers for footwear CAD offer tutorials that do not meet pedagogical needs of VET system;
- some training centres use their own curricula and methods for footwear CAD and these differ from those in the public VET schools.