09 Nov EFEE ONLINE INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP – OSH4Edu
On 5 November 2020, EFEE organized their first online interactive workshop within the “OSH4Edu: European Sectoral Social Partners in Education Enhancing Risk Assessment in Education Institutions” Project. The event was hosted and co-organised by the Pre-school National Principal Association of Slovenia (member of EFEE). In total, 32 members from both EFEE and ETUCE from Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, France, Latvia, Malta, Montenegro, Portugal and Slovenia participated in the workshop, which was targeted at southern European countries.
The workshop was opened with an introduction to the OiRA tools and their many advantages by Michaela Seifert and Julia Flintrop from EU-OSHA. Both presenters emphasized the crucial role that social partners play in the development and implementation of these tools and therefore welcome their active engagement. Subsequently, the participants were acquainted with the specific OiRA tools that EFEE and ETUCE developed in cooperation with EU-OSHA for the early childhood education and secondary education levels in 2019. Isaline Ossieur (EFEE) and Marie Raverdeau (ETUCE) provided the members with both a practical rundown of the tools as well as an overview of the current OSH4Edu project and its objectives for the implementation of these tools. Following these introductory presentations, the participants took the floor for the first time to introduce the audience to their national tools and good practices related to OiRA tools as well as discuss the role of social partners in the use and improvement of existing OiRA tools in education institutions. Many relevant and critical examples were provided from participants from Bulgaria, Czech
Republic, Malta, Portugal and Slovenia. Most notably, the need to translate existing OiRA tools into the national language of a country was highlighted as a crucial factor for the implementation of these tools. Moreover, it was noted that social partners play a key role in the awareness raising of these online tools as this aspect seems to be lacking in certain countries. Lastly, it was emphasized that coordination between the different stakeholders is paramount in order to ensure the effective implementation of the OiRA tools and social partners can play a big part in this.
The workshop concluded with two thematic sessions on identifying the specific needs and challenges to develop an OiRA tool for the Higher Education and Research sector on the one hand and the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector on the other hand. Regarding the former sector, participants highlighted its unique position among other education sectors as it deals with not only a complex and diverse working environment in the form of labs and field work but also with a larger quantity of stakeholders, including research staff, administrative staff and students. It was therefore concluded that it would be challenging to develop an OiRA tool for this sector due the different needs it has but is worth looking more further into. The interactive discussion on the development of an OiRA tool in the VET sector on the other hand revealed that this sector is even more complex than the Higher Education and Research sector as a general OiRA tool might not fit the needs of the multiple occupational sectors represented within the VET sector. While the prospect of a VET-specific OiRA tool was not rejected immediately, it was concluded that a lot more research needs to be done on this topic before a decision can be made on this matter. Lastly, it was highlighted by Julia Flintrop from EU-OSHA that social partners at the national level play a significant role in strengthening the cooperation between the VET sector and their respective counterparts in the labour market in order to foster an exchange on OiRA tools best practices between these important actors. The workshop was closed by Susan Flocken (ETUCE) and Daniel Wisniewski (EFEE), who highlighted the success of the already existing OiRA tools and encouraged the participants to contribute to their implementation in their respective Member States.
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