In 2017 a group of VET stakeholders envisaged the need to create a European community of practice (EROVET) with the aim of devising tools to increase youth employability in Europe, mainly in countries, such as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy where youth unemployment rates were and still are very high. Eight partners in seven countries decided to join efforts and use their knowledge, experience and power to help reverse the situation. Although currently (2019) some countries such as Spain have improved their youth unemployment rate, the situation is quite similar and still much more needs to be done. EROVET partners still believe they can contribute to this important priority.
Four working lines were outlined in 2017 with the belief that internationalisation, orientation, work-based learning and entrepreneurship could help improving the employability of our youngsters. The partnership has so far contributed with the creation of a European mobility network, a European job pool, an Orientation resource bank, a Guide on work-based learning, an Entrepreneurship prize, an Entrepreneurship label for VET centres and a Business Management course. Nevertheless, EROVET+ aims to go a step further and expand the existing work of the partnership with new resources and training activities.
Now in 2019, we recognise that skills regarding people, project and personal management are often not a feature of VET, but nonetheless a feature which businesses increasingly require. In response to this we anticipate the introduction of a fifth priority in the network, which focuses upon counteracting this recognised weakness and enabling both learners and businesses to succeed and develop faster. We expect that this innovation will help VET learners to manage people, projects and their own personal development enabling them to access better employment and careers. This element of work is aligned particularly to the European Commission New Skills Agenda, which aims to reduce the difference between the training undertaken and how this relates to employment opportunities.
According to all this, our objectives for the continuation of EROVET are:
- Complementing the existing work of EROVET and expanding the work with new projects, to support more young people, training centres and businesses across Europe
- Ensuring that the EROVET network is recognised throughout Europe as a leading edge partnership, becoming a reference point for VET stakeholders.
- Ensuring that young people are more “work ready” and secure employability, technical and soft skills to meet employers’ current and future needs
- Promoting education and skills provision that better aligns to employer’s needs, especially in key sectors respective to each partner country’s economic demands
- Sharing best practice across a transnational footprint to enable the mobility of young people, their skills and employment.
In order to make the most of the partnership, again eight VET stakeholders from eight countries (representatives from France and UK have also joined the network): will now contribute with their different strengths and specialisms towards the benefit of the partnership. This will ensure a holistic approach to the partnership activity encompassing fourteen particular specialist areas: electricity and electronics, energy, the environment, business, logistics, carpentry, hotel and tourism, health, ICT, metal work, car maintenance and repair, construction, engineering and design. This ensures a diverse range of opportunities and experiences for young people, training centres and businesses alike.
The eight new EROVET results will be related to four of the five lines of the partnership and will complement the existing ones. Among others, we aim to produce:
- A video that will particularly promote VET training and emphasize on the different role models to counteract issues of gender stereotyping and also promote positive opportunities in key economic sectors of each partner country.
- An Innovation platform where joint innovative projects developed by learners in the partnership will be uploaded. The platform will be also be the means to find mentorship, financial support or practical support to improve or develop the projects.
- A course on managerial skills to train students for the identified gaps in their existing project learning related to the three P ́s of management – project, people and personal management
- An app to support guidance and orientation
We aim to impact on differing target groups at local, regional and European level: VET Training centres and teachers, VET learners (this being the main target), companies, employment entities, educational institutions and authorities, associations of training centres, other European networks and the European Commission (by participating in the VET Skills Week).
We are confident that the new results of EROVET will ensure both a great impact on the improvement of the employability opportunities of our youngsters and a successful continuity of a partnership born from VET stakeholders that aim to contribute to VET European priorities.