Primarily, the project uses the results and findings of two earlier projects:
The project "BeKoSch –developing vocational skills for occupational travelers by teaching in different periods" (EU program Leonardo da Vinci/1999-2000) enables young people from fairground families to attend vocational training in the winter months. Until then, no European Member State offered training courses which focused on the specific needs of showmen.
The most important issue of the above project was to assign professional competencies with regard to the mobility of occupational travelers. Throughout the whole project showmen ´s associations and national institutions were also involved.
The modular system that was developed during the "BeKoSch - project" has proved to be particularly suitable in the field of vocational education. .
Modularization provides application-oriented part-qualifications and certificates that may be completed to an entire qualification. Specific educational contents have been identified and have been brought together to modules and methods so that vocational skills can be certified. All these modules consider the characteristics of different national education systems.
The vocational college Herne /Germany offers e. g. in January / February nine different commercial and technical courses.
Further courses are planned. During the period of implementation and development the German showman associations, the regional school supervision in Arnsberg and the Ministry of Education and Training of North Rhine Westphalia are always consulted.
In Germany the educational opportunities in Herne are recognized as a part of vocational training which is here compulsory.
But still, a well- organized distance learning concept, which allowed traveling teenagers to achieve an appropriate level of professional education was missing.
This was the starting point of the "eLvet – program".
Based on BeKoSch the vocational college in
Herne started between 2006-2008 to coordinate the EU Minerva project "eLvet-eLearning for vocational education of travelers" .
eLvet was intended to complete the already well-established Bekosch-courses in the winter months by a target group-oriented e-learning component during the summer months. During this project, extensive educational and organizational measures have been developed and tested. They show how young people whose school career is interrupted can keep their motivation to learn despite time constraints during the summer months when they travel.
One priority of the project was the development of appropriate e-learning materials. Currently there are two e-learning modules "marketing" and "business start-ups" available that cover the lessons for a two year course during the traveling period. Already during the teaching period in winter, the young people get introduced in the program and eLearning lessons so that they become familiar with the technical requirements.
Based on a "moodle-learning platform" which was established in Herne the traveling students can continue to work on different lessons by using their notebook. They always have the opportunity to contact their tutor whenever they have questions or need help.
Today the vocational college of Herne is able to offer professional education for young traveling people according to the "blended learning concept" throughout the year. And for the first time traveling young people are able to fulfill the requirements of compulsory vocational training in Germany.