Department of Education

Hendrickje Windisch

DPhil Student

College Affiliation: St Antony's College

Prior to her doctorate Hendrickje worked as a policy analyst at the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills where her last project focused on the many benefits of work-based learning.

She can herself confirm the value of work-based placements. A teaching assistantship in Paris and internships and consultancy work with Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the OECD in Paris and the German International Cooperation (GIZ) in Kosovo allowed her to gain first professional experience in the field of vocational education and training (VET) during her studies of an MA Honours in International Relations and French at the University of St. Andrews and Sciences Po de Paris and an MA in EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies at the College of Europe in Bruges. She became quickly intrigued with the many facets of VET policy, looking at it not only from the national angle and through the comparative lenses of the OECD but also experiencing it on the ground in developed and developing countries.

While work-based learning may offer advantages to young people, such as facilitated recruitment by their training company, it also often results in informally or non-formally acquired work-based skills that lack formal certification. Formal recognition of such skills has many potential benefits, in particular to workers who seek a new job but lack a formal proof of their competence, including refugees in their new host country.

Inspired by her previous OECD work and in response to the migrant influx to Europe in 2015-2016, Hendrickje’s doctoral research explores the integration potential of mechanisms that formally recognise refugees’ vocational skills for use in Germany’s labour market.

  • Windisch, H. C. (2019). Making the most of learning contexts: A literature review of family and workplace literacy programs. In D. Perin (ed.). Adult Literacy Handbook. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  • Kis, V. and H. C. Windisch (2018). Making skills transparent: recognising vocational skills acquired through work-based learning. OECD Working Paper. Paris: OECD Publishing.
  • Windisch, H. C. (2016). How to motivate adults with low literacy and numeracy skills to engage and persist in learning: A literature review of policy interventions. International Review of Education – Journal of Lifelong Learning, 62(3), pp. 279-297.
  • Kuczera, M., S. Field and H. C. Windisch (2016). Building Skills for All: A Review of England. Paris: OECD Publishing.
  • Windisch, H. C. and A. Morris,(2016). The best place to learn for a job may not be a classroom. Blog UK Commission for Employment and Skills.
  • Alvarez-Galvan, J. L. et al. (2015). Skills beyond School Commentary on Canada. Paris: OECD Publishing.
  • Windisch, H. C. (2015). Adults with low literacy and numeracy skills: A literature review on policy interventions. OECD Working Paper. Paris: OECD Publishing.
  • Forti, A. et al. (2015). Investing in Youth: Tunisia. Strengthening the Employability of Youth during the Transition to a Green Economy. Paris: OECD Publishing.
  • Broecke, S. et al. (2014). The Transition from Secondary Education to Employment. ECO/CPE/WP1(2014)18. Paris: OECD Working Party No. 1 on Macroeconomics and Structural Policy Analysis.


Recognising refugees’ non-formally and informally acquired vocational skills for use in Germany’s labour market

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