EUCVET

The EUCVET – European Class in Vocational Education and training – project is a two year Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership project encompassing vocational education in welding, industrial automation, and trucks maintenance. It was kicked off in 2014 and will be ended in August 2016. The project transfers and continues the development of the European Class concept and the ECVET products and experiences created in the previous ECT and EURIAC projects. The results of the EUCVET project will be new units of learning outcomes in welding, industrial automation, and trucks maintenance, an assessment scheme for the units in each involved vocational sector as well as an extended network of vocational schools ready to provide a European Class.

Background

Many European businesses & industries face great challenges in order to remain competitive players in the global arena. The EUCVET project has been designed to respond to some of the gaps:

– Many companies still can’t fill their vacancies
In a study from Cedefop on European skill needs it is forecasted a net employment increase of almost 9.5 million jobs at the medium educational level (ISCED level 3 and 4) between 2006 and 2015. At the same time there are a large number of young, educated people available for work.

In a recent survey from McKinsey & Company (Education to employment: Designing a system that works, 2012), 43% of the employers stated that candidates don’t possess the skills they need. Yet 72% of educators believe new graduates are qualified to land jobs in the real world. In conclusion, educators don’t seem to be aware of what employers are looking for & students may have skills, but not the right ones. For instance, transversal skills and international experience are highly appreciated by the employers. Still few students are provided any learning opportunities to achieve such skills and competence as part of their education.

– Many schools have limited cooperation with the world of work
The leap from school to the workplace is more fraught with fantasy than ever because schools continue to train students for skills not in line with the skills needs of the labour market. In the EU alone there are major flaws in the education system that go unfixed because institutions refuse to work together. The world is constantly changing – but the education system continues to drag its heels.

– Vocational training less valued by young people
In the above mentioned survey, McKinsey & Company found that nearly 2/3 of the young people who participated in the study agreed that vocational training was less valued by society.  Fewer than 40% of those who said they preferred vocational work actually sought out this type of training. In Sweden alone, only 28% of young people apply for vocational education. At the same time, youth unemployment in Sweden is 25%.

– ECVET – still a well-kept secret
Few vocational education providers in Europe have discovered ECVET (i.e. European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training) as a mean to quality assure learning opportunities abroad & for VET development. Too few projects utilizing ECVET in practice have been conducted making it difficult to communicate the ‘real’ added value of ECVET. ECVET also needs further investigation, eg is still a challenge for VET teachers to describe & assess learning outcomes.

Aim & objectives
According to the European growth strategy EU 2020, the EU member states should aim to deliver high levels of employment, productivity & social cohesion.  In order to respond to this strategy, a new framework – Education & Training 2020 – has been created including strategic objectives, two of them concerning mobility opportunities & VET quality.

In line with the objectives of ET 2020, the aim of the EUCVET project is to continue to elaborate on ECVET & the European class concept, & to transfer it to new VET sectors. In doing so, the EUCVET project aims to tackle the following identified gaps:
– VET attractiveness & mobility opportunities
– VET quality & competence requirements
– ECVET elaboration
– Training & validating transversal skills

The following expected results, impact & long term benefits are anticipated of the EUCVET project:
– Increased attractiveness of involved VET
– Increased number of transnational mobility opportunities for VET students
– Increased teacher readiness for international cooperation in the involved VET programs
– Increased knowledge of how to utilize ECVET to organize transparent & transferable transnational learning opportunities
– Improved student results & higher motivation
– Decreased youth unemployment & increased EU labor mobility

In conclusion, the EUCVET project will ultimately promote a European identity, European labor mobility, & European cohesion.