Platform, ongoing since 2021
Submitted by / EUSDR Priority Area(s): PA 9 People & Skills
The Danube Region Platform on Centres of Vocational Excellence was launched by EUSDR Priority Area 9 in cooperation with the European Training Foundation (ETF) to provide a forum for exchange on national, regional and international experiences and best practices regarding centres of vocational excellence (CoVEs). The platform’s thematic focus lies on the topics of going green and social inclusion. As part of the initiative, a Policy Platform on CoVEs with national representatives from Danube Region countries and experts from the European Commission, PA 9 and ETF was established. The Danube Region Platform will also promote cooperation between CoVEs from the Danube Region within the ETF Network for Excellence.
The kick-off event took place online on 29 November 2021. A second platform meeting is planned to be held in the second half of 2022.
In the EUSDR Action Plan, “promoting the establishment of ‘centres of vocational excellence’” is named under Action 6 as an important goal of PA 9. In this context, the Action Plan refers to the function of CoVEs as “catalysts for local business investment, supporting local innovation and smart specialisation strategies by ensuring supply of high quality skilled workers through flexible and timely offer of training”.
Need and (expected) impact
The Danube Region Platform on Centres of Vocational Excellence was established as a result of a joint initiative of PA 9 and ETF and in close cooperation with the Steering Group of PA 9. The thematic focus of the platform lies on VET excellence in the areas of going green and social inclusion, which are highly relevant in the context of the green transition and efforts to make sure to leave no one behind.
The platform provides a forum for exchange on national, regional and international experiences and best practices. It supports cooperation in the Danube Region both on a policy and implementation level:
The Policy Platform promotes dialogue on national approaches to VET excellence and current developments regarding CoVEs in the Danube Region. Experts from the EC, PA 9 and ETF contribute to the discussions and share information on developments on a national, regional and international level and opportunities for cooperation and financial support, e.g. in the framework of the ETF Network for Excellence, Erasmus+ or other relevant instruments. Best practice examples in the form of project presentations from CoVEs at platform meetings further support mutual learning and cooperation.
The Danube Region Platform will also promote cooperation between CoVEs from the Danube Region within the ETF Network for Excellence. As a potential further step, if a partnership between Danube Region CoVEs reaches the stage of concrete elaboration, participating CoVEs could apply for Erasmus+ or other funding sources to finance project activities.
As of November 2022, the following 12 Danube Region countries have agreed to participate in the platform: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Germany (Bavaria), Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine.
The Policy Platform brings together a core group of representatives of responsible national administrations/institutions from Danube Region countries (i.e. ministries or public agencies/institutions responsible for vocational education and training and in particular CoVEs) and experts from the EC, PA 9 and ETF.
Another group of stakeholders involved are CoVEs active in the respective thematic areas (going green and social inclusion). Representatives from CoVEs share good practices during platform meetings. The platform will also promote cooperation between EUSDR CoVEs in the thematic fields within the ETF Network for Excellence.
Budget and Funding
The policy platform is facilitated via the PAC project in cooperation with ETF.
Potential spin-off activities could apply for Erasmus+ or other funding sources to finance project activities.
PAC9 AT: Jürgen Schick, Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research of Austria (Juergen.Schick@bmbwf.gv.at); Sarah Fellner, OeAD – Austria’s Agency for Education and Internationalisation (Sarah.Fellner@oead.at)