Modelling Vocational Excellence Research Project
The Modelling of Vocational Excellence (MoVE) research project is an initiative which aims to identify, develop and promote the key characteristics of excellence in trades and vocational skills.
WorldSkills Australia, Dusseldorp Skills Forum and RMIT University joined the MoVE Australia project in 2010 as a result of the research being conducted by the Research Centre for Vocational Excellence at the University of Tampere in Finland.
The research project began at the WorldSkills International Competition in Helsinki (2005) and was continued at the competition held in 2007 Shizuoka, Japan. The project involved the collection of data from the WorldSkills International Competitors, their Experts, trainers, families, employers and judges.
Data is collected through a series of surveys which are shaped around a multidimensional theoretical framework, which analyses the processes of influences on cognitive and social development, goal orientation and adaptive learning.
The Australian research team administered a survey, which had been developed from the Finnish project, on 50 percent of the competitors at the WorldSkills Australia National Competition held in Brisbane in 2010.
Research findings from the data collected at the WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Brisbane 2010 revealed that:
- 71% of competitors highly valued their association with WorldSkills Australia
- 26% said that they found the competition to be better than expected
- 45% reported that the competition was much better than expected
- 62% claimed that WorldSkills would be ‘significantly’ beneficial to their careers whilst 15 percent stating that it would be crucial
Over time, MoVE aims to build a thorough understanding of what characteristics define vocational excellence and apply that knowledge to improve the support and delivery of WorldSkills competitions and vocational training Australia wide.
MoVE International – what contributes to vocational excellence?
The long-term aim of the Finnish/Australia MoVE project was to extend the project to include other WorldSkills International members and use findings gathered to provide other national teams with feedback on their effectiveness of nurturing excellence in vocational education and training. WorldSkills made the first step towards achieving this goal at the 2011 WorldSkills International Competition, London which was brought together by the newly established WorldSkills Foundation.
Project partners include:
During the competition, the International research team distributed surveys to both Competitors and Experts. The primary focus of the MoVE research was to:
- Establish what kind of personal characteristics and attributes produce high
calibre vocational performance.
- Assess whether WorldSkills competitions make a difference to the vocational performance and professional identity of competitors and trainers (experts).
Important findings from the research included:
- WorldSkills competitors placed high value on mastery – learning things as deeply as possible – and on being well respected for what they can do.
- WorldSkills competitors needed personal persistence and determination. Such personal attributes sat alongside technical skills as important aspects of expertise and excellence.
- Competitors were motivated mostly by challenge mixed with desire to succeed, and the desire to learn – challenge alone was not enough.
- Experts were motivated by the opportunity to build professional skills and to see young people performing at their best.
- Competitors and experts shared similar ideas about what makes their trades or professions attractive – both groups reported a passion for work, enjoy learning, and like working with new technologies.
- Experts saw their main role as supporting the competitors.
- Competitors believed the most significant changes produced by their WorldSkills experience were improved skills and confidence.