Workshops on cooperation between the Colombian national training service and the industry

10 May 2021

In April, CINOP global organized two workshops to enhance the cooperation between the Colombian SENA (national training service) and the industry. The workshops focused on the maritime, transport and logistics sector. They were organized in the framework of a Tailor Made Training program funded by the Dutch government and implemented in cooperation with the Shipping and Transport College of Rotterdam (STC International)

It is important to find out what are the training and upskilling needs of employers in the sector

One of the conditions for good industry cooperation mentioned by one of the participants to the two workshops that CINOP organized for staff and stakeholders from SENA (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje)

The workshops aimed to:

  • increase the understanding of objectives and different modalities to involve sector stakeholders;
  • raise mutual understanding and trust between the training provider and economic sectors;
  • strengthen and diversify various types of cooperation with sector representatives with the aim to improve the quality and relevance of training and the employability of graduates;
  • raise awareness and actively promote equal opportunities for men and women in training and employment in the maritime and logistics sector.

During each workshop, around 35 participants were exposed to a number of concepts, principles and conditions for cooperation between providers of vocational education and training and stakeholders from the sector. They were also made aware of the factors influencing this industry engagement. Various types of industry engagement for TVET institutions were presented and relevant examples were provided through videos.

The workshop paid specific attention to gender equality aspects in industry engagement and provided a number of reasons why it is important to promote gender equality in training and employment, especially in the maritime and logistics sector. In addition, various ways to promote access of women to training and employment opportunities in this sector were discussed.

In a breakout session, groups of participants have elaborated a plan for improving a specific type of cooperation with sector representatives, proposing a new cooperation or improving an existing type of industry engagement. The plan also needed to integrate ideas about how to promote gender equality within this type of cooperation.

The main lessons learned from the workshops include:

  • SENA’s Mesas Sectoriales (Sector Round Tables) form an important reference or resource for different types of cooperation, as they represent a large number of sector stakeholders (public, private, associations, and individual companies). The role of the Mesas in further diversification and strengthening this cooperation should be further optimized.
  • It is important to search in each type of partnership for complementarity related to human resources, infrastructure and equipment, financial resources.
  • It is recommended to develop an institutional/legal framework in SENA that promotes the industry attachment or internship for instructors
  • All actors need to be made aware and capacitated in their respective roles
  • The benefits of cooperation with industry (e.g. of dual training) should be better promoted and this could be a role of the Mesas Sectoriales.
  • Any type of industry engagement should be properly integrated into the academic program and activities of the training provider: it should be well-prepared and followed-up in order to promote effectiveness and continuity.
  • Awareness needs to be raised in the importance, and both social and economic benefits of gender equality in the maritime and logistic sector. This should be combined with targeted and joined PPP actions for female teachers, students and employees that promote equal opportunities (related to career guidance, job and internship placement, student coaching and mentoring, sector promotion, role models in training materials and case studies, female guest lecturers from industry)