On January 27th, the Assembly of European Regions in cooperation with Skillman Alliance hosted the “New enthusiasm for Vocational Education & Training, Boosting self-confidence in young people” webinar. This was the ninth webinar on EU funding opportunities that are being co-organized by AER within the Skillnet project framework (co-founded by the Erasmus+ Programme) in order to bring together experts in different fields linked to vocational education and training (VET) and establish relevant groups of collaboration for future EU project proposals.
Generating enthusiasm for Technical and Vocational Education and Training
This webinar offered the opportunity to learn and exchange about regional policies and practices aimed at making young people more aware of the opportunities related to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). One of the main challenges in TVET is that it is often associated with negative representations such as the difficulty to follow general education or attend university. It is therefore crucial to inform the general public about the opportunities TVET offer and showcase it as a path for success.
Kjerstin Torpmann-Hagen, Policy Officer at the European Commission DG Employment, gave a detailed overview of financial support available to support VET across Europe. In her presentation (available on the event webpage) she emphasised the importance following EU programmes:
- European Social Fund (ESF+)
- The European Regional and Development Fund (ERDF)
- Recovery and Resilience Faculty (RRF)
- Technical Support instruments (TSI)
Regional experiences on showcasing TVET as a pathway for success
Two examples from regions were presented during the webinar, which shed light on how regions are generating enthusiasm for Vocational Education and Training and boosting self-confidence in youth.
Miquel Carrión Molina, Deputy Director at Youth Employment and Professional Qualification, Catalonia (ES) said to boost enthusiasm for vocational education and training, policies must put young people’s needs “at the centre”, for example, by allowing for a longer training process accounting for trainees leaving and returning to training. He also stressed the importance of personal guidance and support to young people and in relation to VET, the possibility for youth to choose among different programmes and training.
Gabriela Rus, Policy officer at Economic and Rural Development department, Alba County Council (RO) presented a project “Dual and vocational education – a new beginning” and explained how Alba region created a local working group of key VET stakeholders “to harmonise education offerings with the labour market” and increase engagement with vocational training among young people. The activities included:
- organisation of the parents’ meetings in schools in urban and rural areas to provide additional information to the students and their parents regarding the opportunities of a professional career in a technical field
- development of skills and professional interest questionnaire for professional counselling to students and parents
For a better future!
To conclude, the moderator, Hrvoje Kovač, Chair of the AER subcommittee on Youth, Varaždin (HR) highlighted that actions at the local and regional levels are vital for generating enthusiasm for Technical and Vocational Education and Training. Building a better future for the youth means replicating experiences from other regions and transferring knowledge.
Open and Future EU funding opportunities and initiatives:
- The new EACEA website has gone live today at this address: www.eacea.ec.europa.eu It contains information on programmes for the period 2021-2027;
- INNO4COV-19 Open Call to support fast deployment of solutions to fight COVID-19 – Deadline 31 March 2021;
- Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund – Deadline 30 September 2021;
- 2020 Erasmus accreditation in the field of Youth – Deadline 31 December 2021;
- European Commission: Funding and tender opportunities
- European Investment Bank – Social Innovation Tournament – Deadline 3 March 2021;
- European Social Fund – Call for proposals
- Publication of DG REGIO Grants and Procurements
- The Recovery and Resilience Facility
- Erasmus+ Calls for tenders and proposals