Work-based Learning in Professional Education of Latvia: Historical Development [PDF]

Ilze Briža, Anita Pipere
Daugavpils University, Latvia

Abstract: The Latvian labor market has been facing the problem of a quality labor force shortage for several years now. The acquisition of demanded specialties in Latvia is possible in the framework of professional education, which is offered at three levels – the level of primary education, professional secondary education, and professional higher education. Since 2015, work-based learning has been introduced in the professional education of Latvia, serving as a measure for the economic enhancement for the entry of quality labor force into the labor market. As a part of this initiative, educational institutions in cooperation with employers develop curricula that match the requirements of the labor market. This learning model is based on an example of a higher professional education model, where practical skills are acquired mostly during the students’ field practice. To conduct the empirical research on work-based learning in higher professional education, at first, it is necessary to look at the historical aspects of this learning model. The given article provides historical evidence, describing the historical development of work-based learning in professional education in Latvia. The beginnings of work-based learning in Latvia date back to the 14-15th century, but for the first time given form of education in its contemporary meaning has been introduced in Soviet times, as historical sources show the calls for get to know work experience as an integral part of communist work schools. After the regaining of independence, Latvia focuses on building the democratic education system, and since 2015 work-based learning is explicit in the Law on Professional Education as a specific form of education. Since its inception, work-based learning has reflected the public’s perceptions of the necessary specialties in the labor market.
Keywords: higher education, lifelong education, professional education, work-based learning, working environment.

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2021 = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2021
Rīga, University of Latvia, 2021. 1148 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-735-3