by Izabela Piotrowska-Grosse

The term ‘work –based learning’ in Poland is practically non-existent. It does not exist in a formal record, it has not been defined, so it does not appear, for example, in the Polish version of Wikipedia.

However, WBL should be understood as “learning in the workplace” and this form of education in our country is expected. Although there is definitely no European approach to this topic, it must be admitted that usually not very consciously but some activities within the WBL in our country are undertaken. With particular emphasis on the words “not very consciously” and “some”.

From time to time, I deal with the subject: I am looking for research and studies, I conduct interviews, I analyze surveys. I have over 15 years of experience in managing a company in CCI, conducting qualifying operations, moving to work in a resume, dealing with employees and getting answers that graduates are absent from work prepared for confrontation with the labor market.

Let’s start from the beginning, what the education system in Poland looks like:We start from kindergarten, then 8th grade elementary school completed, providing nothing but a great deal of stress, an eighth grade exam. Then the choice of secondary school … and here begins the introduction to our future professional life, no matter what school you choose, your chances on the labor market are almost the same.

“Almost” however, at least theoretically after graduating from a technical school you should be prepared for the profession. If you have chosen high school, you have absolutely no chance of practical tuition – even if you go to a school that has contracts with employers, even if the school is sponsored by a large company that promises graduates will have a priority if you are interested in work, even if this is how it is, and so ending education at this stage, you know and can not do much. Certainly you will go to university and here it should be downhill but unfortunately it is not … from over 15 years of managerial experience, an entrepreneur employing students or graduates with full responsibility I must admit that a young man entering the labor market knows nothing about the work environment, the employer’s expectations towards students or graduates are absolutely divergent  and this is not about criticizing young people entering the labor market right now, nor is it about criticizing the education system. The idea is to show how important the concept of “Work –based learning” is – how important it is to pay attention and formalize a final conscious implementation.

Only it provides employers with a well-trained young employee and gives young people the chance to make their dreams come true. Regardless of the system, irrespective of the type of studies completed, irrespective of the theoretical knowledge that the young man acquired – thanks to CONSCIOUS learning in the workplace, he has a chance to become a great specialist, fulfilling in the profession he chose and at the same time meeting the expectations of the employer.

An attentive reader will probably ask: if WBL in Poland is practically non-existent, if it has not been defined, then the concept is how to choose them consciously, on what basis to implement them? And here we come to the bottom. We are an EU country, learning from the best and implementing the practices that our neighbors use.

The L2C project, under which a number of activities related to WBL are undertaken, is to serve this purpose. Let’s use it!