I will have the opportunity to participate in an interesting, exciting and stimulating conference named specifically «Sector Skills Alliances – Meeting skills needs through vocational education and training (VET) reform». It will be held on 15th of April, Brussels.
But indeed, WHAT ARE THE AIMS OF A SECTOR SKILLS ALLIANCE?
Sector Skills Alliances shall aim at tackling skills gaps, enhancing the responsiveness of initial and continuing VET systems to sector-specific labour market needs and demand for new skills with regard to one or more occupational profiles.
This should be achieved by:
modernising VET and exploiting its potential to drive economic development and innovation, notably at local and regional levels, increasing the competitiveness of the sectors concerned;
strengthening the exchange of knowledge and practice between vocational education and training institutions and the labourmarketintegrating work-based learning;
facilitating labour mobility, mutual trust and increased recognition of qualifications at European level within the sectors concerned.
WHAT IS A SECTOR SKILLS ALLIANCE?
Sector Skills Alliances are transnational projects drawing on evidence of trends in a specific economic sector and skills needed in order to perform in one or more professional fields. Sector Skills Alliances will work to design and deliver joint vocational training programmes and teaching andtraining methodologies. A particular focus is to be put on work-based learning, providing learners with the skills required by the labour market. Sector Skills Alliances also put the EU wide recognition tools into practice.
The sectors that will be eligible under this Action are those which have constituted a European Sector Skills Council, namely:
and those with skills imbalances to which current Commission policies respond, namely:
Information and Communication Technologies;
Environmental technologies (Eco-Innovation);
Cultural and Creative sectors».
As a general rule, Sector Skills Alliances target the cooperation between organisations established in Programme Countries. However, organisations from Partner Countries can be involved in a Sector Skills Alliance, as partners (not as applicants), if their participation brings an essential added value to the project.
Hence, as I have pointed out in previously. Sector Skills Alliances are now one of the actions supported by the Erasmus+ programme for cooperation on education, training, youth and sport; around 175 projects of this type will be supported by 2020.
On 15 April 2014 the European Commission will hold a conference to share the results so far of the four pilot Alliances, seeking to encourage take-up in the sectors concerned under the new Programme and drawing lessons for future calls.
This conference will bring together project coordinators of Sector Skills Alliances,
European and national associations in the sectors of automotive manufacturing, elderly care, sustainable construction and tourism, European and national networks of VET
providers, bodies with regulatory functions in Member States’ VET systems, experts who work on the European transparency and recognition tools for VET (EQF, EQAVET and
EC VET) and national and European policy makers concerned with sectoral policies.
I am invited to discuss and evaluate the progress of the pilot Sector Skills Alliances, identify gaps that could be filled by Erasmus+, after finishing the event I will write the and draw conclusions drawn in it.