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Www.ewf.be 65th IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference / 8th - 13th July 2012 / Denver, USA New Approaches to Welding Education and Training.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.ewf.be 65th IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference / 8th - 13th July 2012 / Denver, USA New Approaches to Welding Education and Training."— Presentation transcript:

1 65th IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference / 8th - 13th July 2012 / Denver, USA New Approaches to Welding Education and Training Bernardo Hourmat*, Eurico Assunção**, Luisa Coutinho*** *EWF, **EWF ***TU-Lisbon, EWF

2 65th IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference / 8th - 13th July 2012 / Denver, USA Introduction Countering the current European economic downturn requires overall improvement to one’s skills, and know-how in order to increase one’s chances at employability; Current EU policies are oriented towards individual (re)qualification and for clearer, more direct ways for workers to show and prove their skills and knowledge; In the case of the welding sector, although still affected by the negative economic trends, innovative strategies have been followed allowing for new approaches to providing training and education to welders

3 65th IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference / 8th - 13th July 2012 / Denver, USA European Strategies in Education & Training The EU’s 2020 Strategy Framework, has set up a series of strategic objectives for its long term training policies, such as: Making lifelong learning and mobility a reality; Improving quality and efficiency of education and training; Promoting equity, social cohesion and active citizenship; Enhancing creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship at all levels of education and training; In order to support their actual implementation, the EU created different “tools” such as the EQF – European Qualification Framework In paralel new tools and approaches to training and education are now becoming commonplace, such as distance & blended learning

4 65th IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference / 8th - 13th July 2012 / Denver, USA Training and Education in Welding in Welding Welder’s training and education also underwent significant improvements, both in terms of the actual contents of training curricula as well as in training processes and methodologies; The EWF, through its international harmonised system for training and educating welding personnel has been in the center of this process; This international system, established in the last 20 years accross the 31 members of the EWF network has been a major contribution to the sectors’ innovation in terms of training and education; One of the ways that have led to this has been through the EWF’s participation in European projects in the Lifelong Learning Programme, that have achieved interesting resutls for the network and its members

5 65th IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference / 8th - 13th July 2012 / Denver, USA Virtual Systems for Welder’s Training Use of virtual welding training systems has been a good example of innovations to the training of welding personnel; Training centres are becoming more interested in having trainees work with virtual training equipment as a way to ensure continuous practice with lower costs for consumables and welding equipment; Also allowing trainees to avoid exposure to more negative aspects of welders’ training, in terms of fume exposures and overall health and safety concerns; Although an initial investment in such equipment is required, in the medium- long term, its use can translate into actual savings for the training schools as well as the trainees; Through the VIRTWELD project, it has been possible to analyse different virtual training equipments in use accross Europe and have trainees use these equipment and assessing their different performance characteristics

6 65th IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference / 8th - 13th July 2012 / Denver, USA Virtual Systems for Welder’s Training

7 65th IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference / 8th - 13th July 2012 / Denver, USA Distance learning of Welder Coordinators Use of distance and blended learning has been an increasing trend throughout different sectors of activity; In the welding area, GSI-SLV Duisburg developed distance learning software, allowing for part of the Welding Coordinator’s training course to be given through distance learning; The software allows for reductions to the actual duration of the course (approx. 3 months) as well as ensuring considerable flexibility in terms of course planning and preparation from both trainers and trainees; The impact of distance learning methodologies can also be felt in terms of reduction to employees downtime and overall costs for the organisation of “traditional” course attendance; The success of this specific tool, in Germany, led to the DISTOOLWELD project, that looked into translating the software into Portuguese, Romanian, Italian and Polish in order to implement distance learning methodologies in the courses offered in the partner countries;

8 65th IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference / 8th - 13th July 2012 / Denver, USA Distance learning of Welder Coordinators

9 65th IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference / 8th - 13th July 2012 / Denver, USA Dictionary of Welding Terminology Language barriers are still one of the main obstacles for both trainers and trainees in today’s period of growing internationalization of the labour market and increased mobility of workers, students and trainees; As a network of 31 international members, the EWF has been very much aware of the impact that such obstacles can have and has tried to come up with relevant solutions; A particularly successful one has been the development of a dictionary of welding related terminologies, in both online and CD format; It has been able to cover over 200 welding terms and translated them into several European languages including Slovak, Portuguese, Spanish, Czech, Italian, Turkish and Romanian;

10 65th IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference / 8th - 13th July 2012 / Denver, USA Dictionary of Welding Terminology

11 65th IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference / 8th - 13th July 2012 / Denver, USA Dictionary of Welding Terminology

12 65th IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference / 8th - 13th July 2012 / Denver, USA WeldPlay – The new welding computer game In an effort to bring the welding profession in contact with younger audiences, the EWF has been involved in the development of a computer game for the welding profession; Through its involvement as partner in the ACCESSWELD project, with partners from Poland, Hungary, Italy and Romania, the EWF intends to make young students from secondary level to be aware of welding as a valid career option; The game intends to put the player in charge of a welding company, to hire different welders and perfoming different contracts with varying degrees of difficulty The game has tried to balance the need for a realistic approach to welding with the need to be a fun and visually appealing product for young students;

13 65th IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference / 8th - 13th July 2012 / Denver, USA WeldPlay – The new welding computer game

14 65th IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference / 8th - 13th July 2012 / Denver, USA Conclusions There is a specific need for improving quality and efficienct of training and education, through innovative tools and training methodologies; In the case of welding, the EWF has been actively promoting european cooperation, harmonisation and transparency of welders’ training; EU projects have been one important strategy to achieve this objective; Through the work done on these projects, actual tools and products were developed that have had an actual impact in the training and education of welders in the EWF network;


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