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Project ALTERNANCE - Real and viable alternance
Overview Alternance as a pedagogical instrument offers an opportunity for combining school-based and enterprise-based learning. This partnership project aimed at developing tools, through the exchange and comparison of European experiences, for supporting individual learners. 

Heterogeneous systems of initial vocational education (Denmark, Germany, Spain) were chosen to highlight differences. The presentation of the national systems, supported by evidence from the "Key data on vocational training in the European Union (1997)", served to provide a context for examples of good practice. Despite the differences found between the national systems, the partners found that lessons could be learnt, serving as a guide to other branches, regions and countries. By sharing views and experiences, the partnership developed a shared understanding of the similarities and differences in the systems of alternance in their countries.

The project produced examples of good practice, built upon interviews, presentations in workshops, former work, and a broad network of contacts by each of the partners. A questionnaire was carried out by the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) among member organisations in the three countries involved.

The project was particularly targeted at social partners and other decisions makers and practitioners in vocational education. (Clematide et al., 2000, pp. 3-5)

Insight The booklet (Clematide et al., 2000, pp. 8-27), presenting the project results, highlights challenges to the system of alternance and offers examples of good practice across the three countries.
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