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 France 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 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 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 on adult learning and VET policies and in the context of the current refugee crisis in Europe, Hendrickje’s doctoral research aims to explore the integration potential of skills recognition measures that make informally or non-formally acquired vocational skills of refugees visible for use in Germany’s market.