Global and Local, Policies and Living (#104)

by Ulla Virtanen, TAKK

TAKK local Nasta Café

The local café we sit in every working day, Nasta in TAKK Nirva Campus

Good news for the Education of Europe: Commission proposes to double funding for Erasmus programme for 2021-2027. This is the big news of the week, meaning political support for European Education Area by 2025. Moreover, the big goals of empowering young people and strengthening European identity are getting the attention they so need and deserve to have. It’s a free-flowing world for the future youth.

There are wonderful new, but natural elements to the programme: mobility periods that are consistently longer and cooperation that goes further than Europe – also for Vocational Education and Training! Which ais an absolute delight. The so called ”Centres of vocational excellence” will create more connections and larger networks for our secondary VET. Great!

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From global to local, yes. This week I had the privilege and joy to read the Master’s thesis by one of our previous trainees in TAKK. She writes about sustainable development and compares Chinese VET with Finnish VET. It touched me how she reminded us all about the need for place-based policy-making, despite the overwhelmingly great strategic policies we have from the global level decision-makers. Good job, Ms Riikka Yli-Arvela. Your Master’s thesis keep spinning in my mind. Continue reading

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Choices for VET (#103)

Choose wisely, said Indy Jones

by Ulla Virtanen, TAKK

There are Small Choices and then there are Big Choices to be done on Vocational Education and Training.

The State of Finland is now in front of Big Choices, in order to respond to the changing worklife and the competence needs of all citizens throughout their lives – fast enough. We are irreversibly getting out-of-date in our skills in the big scale, without big actions. The government has set a goal of retraining a million Finns*. One million. Can be done, but won’t be easy. Continue reading

Making Vocational Qualifications Count (#102)

by Ulla Virtanen, TAKK

Making it count with TAKK!

Make it count. Such a powerful expression. Familiar to many of us from Titanic and Leonardo di Caprio’s sentence, ”Make each day count”. The expression has slightly varified meanings, but the idea is to make something have a meaningful, useful and positive effect, to count on it to happen and come true. Continue reading

Strategic International VET (#101)

What is your golden strategy for internationalisation?

by Ulla Virtanen, TAKK

VET Reform now done and implementation under process, it is time to turn our minds and heads towards the next strategic years to come. Let’s see what tools do we have to affect the internationalisation of Vocational Education and Training (VET). Continue reading

Bearing in Mind The TAKK Spirit (#100/100)

Bearing in mind 🙂

by Ulla Virtanen, TAKK

This little teddy bear is the last one of its kind, the TAKK bear. It is the last of the big pack of TAKK teddy bears we used to have and give to partners. Actually, I took one to Spain in 2007.

I believe this bear is The One with the true TAKK Spirit (we are famous for it) and therefore he or she (I don’t know which one it is?) has to be held kindly and with compassion. BEARing in mind, bearing in heart, bearing through the hard times and “bearing” in the meaning of “carrying something new inside”.

Thank you for the journey of 100 blogs this year with You all.

Happy New Year, fellows!

Finland in International Trade – Competence? (#98/100)

by Ulla Virtanen, TAKK

Very interesting indeed to read about The 90 facts of Finland in the International Trade, thank you very much #ICC90 and Aalto University.

I just have to intervene into one more thing this year in our TAKK International Blog. Now, no matter what competence we develop here in the depths of TAKK and other VET providers, if our trained professionals do not develop international trade, we are doomed to the depths. Finland used to manage the internal finances by exchanging squirrel skins to bread and butter. Those times are sooo passé that we cannot even figure out how gone. I would love to say that please, produce yourself everything that you use, but the economy just does not keep up that way nor does to community without taxes. Naturally, the commerce can be done online, sustainably and also moderately, but all in all, for the GDP, export has to exceed the import or in other terms, we have to use less than we make. That is the layman truth, well, don’t we know that in VET.

Few reflections on competence development for the international trade on the basis of the study. Fact: EU-Exports make 17% of jobs in Finland. Message? Continue developing the flow of EU projects and mobilities. Fact: Export-related jobs employ mainly medium skilled (59%) workers. That is our graduates. Message? Keep on making students understand how important the export trade to Finland is. Fact: The top 3 foreign countries operating in Finland by end-2015 are: 1) Sweden 2) USA 3) Germany. Message? Do not let the European language skills fade in VET, Swedish and German are very much there on the front. For more interesting specifics, pls see the report.

PS. I love it the way they say in their report, ”We all are the Merchants of Peace” and ”We believe that trade can strengthen relation between nations” (slide 4). Hearts to You all in the report team.