Problem based learning for SMEs



Research has found that 59% of SMEs do not undertake any formal training activities (European Commission 2003). Training is key to providing SMEs with the skills to remain competitive in todays ever changing business worlds. Many efforts have been made by research projects to encourage SMEs to undertake formal learning. Despite this statistics have remained unchanged. This project aims to accredit informal learning approaches in SMEs by focusing it on learning outcomes through the use of problem based learning based (PBL) in the workplace and informal learning practices. It will accredit this process providing a bridge between workplace learning and academia

Objectives
The main objectives of the project are:
• Collect best practices in PBL and other forms of learning used by SMEs.
• Develop an organizational PBL framework with effective support mechanisms such as mentoring and ICT based social networking
• Create a curriculum and training modules to train mentors.
• Create a curriculum and training for staff in SMEs in PBL blended with other learning forms .
• Accredit the training course and recognition of such forms of learning in three Higher education institutes in Europe
• Test training in several SMEs.
• Create a learner-mentor network supported by an IT platform.
• Develop a transferability model for other companies.

Participants
Six partners from Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, Portugal and Romania have been chosen to partake in the project, each of these partners have close links with hundreds of SMEs and HEIs and have experience in research projects concerning learning in SMEs

Name of the Organisation

Country of the Organisation

UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK

Ireland

IAT, Westfälische Hochschule Gelsenkirchen

Germany

ISME Ltd

Ireland

SC IPA SA

Romania

Siauliu prekybos, pramones ir amatu rumai

Lithuania

Associação Industrial Portuguesa

Portugal