The European Union needs competences, innovation, balanced and integrated territory development in order to boost its growth. Higher Vocational Education and Training (HVET), especially for qualifications around EQF level 5, has a relevant role, and a tremendous potential to that aim.
SHINE targets actors governing and managing HVET programmes, as well as students, aiming at bridging the gap among local economic contexts and goals set by corresponding regional Smart Specialization Strategies, by acknowledging the role and innovative potential of high-level technical professional profiles.
Rationale and background
The European Union needs competences, innovation, balanced and integrated territory development in order to boost its growth.
Indeed, innovation is not only a linear process, a result of R&D activities. On the opposite, more and more innovation sprouts in broad, multi-sectoral socio-economic contexts, strongly application-oriented, and through complex processes, integrating top-down (based on economic development policies) and bottom-up (user- and market-driven) approaches.
Higher Vocational Education and Training (HVET), especially for qualifications around EQF level 5, has a relevant role, and a tremendous potential to that aim. In fact, its curricula:
- link to high-tech production sectors;
- without being academic, fulfil the market demand of technicians with new and high-tech competences, able to foster innovation and master and manage advanced organisational and productive processes;
- lay between upper secondary school and university, right at the hub among education, academy and business;
- are governed, designed and managed jointly by public authorities, schools, training bodies, enterprises;
- are highly interesting to students, as they offer tempting perspectives on several fronts: steady employment, career advancement, continuous training.
Aware of such challenges and potential, SHINE targets actors governing and managing HVET programmes, as well as to students, aiming at bridging the gap among individual local economic contexts and goals set by corresponding regional Smart Specialization Strategies, by acknowledging the role and innovative potential of high-level technical professional profiles.
SHINE locates in the expertise of actors like ITS in Italy, Fachochschulen in Germany, and others, the best tools to contribute to the development of local production contexts.
The project follows a cycle foreseeing:
- survey and evidence of excellence in HVET in partner territories, as to crosslinking HVET and business, management practices, governance;
- peer review of excellence and identification of innovations/spillovers for improvement, especially regarding smart specialization and local development strategies, proactive approach to training and skills supply design, business involvement, ability to deliver innovation services;
- definition of an innovative model for design and governance of HVET programmes, in order to encompass the above issues at stake;
- piloting the model in practice, by local action plans;
- assessment of results and subsequent identification of policy mechanisms to improve the use of EU tools (e.g. ESCO, ECVET) by HVET;
- definition of possible improvement processes and related indicators for high level (national/EU) policies;
- review of the model, by involving the “Triple Helix” stakeholders (training/innovation, business, institutions);
- validation and fine tuning.
Main expected results are:
- improvement of training offer by partners, with subsequent increase in the employment chances for students and in competitiveness for local companies;
- improvement in competences of company trainers involved in programme delivery, thanks to sharing and discussion with other EU excellent partners;
- set-up of a permanent, relevant EU network, gathering public and private excellent HVET actors;
- capacity building of decision makers governing HVET, and subsequent acknowledgement of tools for reviewing innovation policies, with special regard to professional technical issues, as innovation driver inside business;
- definition and piloting of a governance system, based on the integration of HVET policy makers and the labour market.
Structure, output, target
The project deploys in three phases:01
- ensuring valorisation and impact of outcomes on systems and policies in partner territories,
- mainstreaming at a national and European level;
- integrating triple helix networks of partners.
Main outputs directly linked to operating phases quoted above are:
- Survey of national frameworks and best practices in HVET in partner territories
- Peer Review of best practices and identification of spillovers for improvement
- Dissemination tool
- Guidelines to innovative governance model(s)
- Development and piloting of Local action plans
- Assessment of local action plans
- Identification of policies to improve usage of EU tools in HVET: ECVET, ECTS, ESCO
- Definition of possible indicators and channels/processes for policy improvement at national/EU level
- Review of outcomes by involving Triple Helix stakeholders
- Assessment of outcomes, fine tuning, development of final document
Other deliverables relate to supporting work packages:
- Communication and dissemination plan
- Dissemination outputs: yearly newsletters, articles on papers, possible interviews during meetings and multiplier events, project flyer (in all partner languages + English)
- Project web site in English
- Quality Plan and tools for monitoring and evaluation
- Interim and final report to the Italian National Agency.
The partnership aims at reaching thousands of potential beneficiaries, including:
- teachers/trainers and staff of EQF level 5 programmes partners manage;
- students of same programmes, involved in the pilot phase;
- representatives of Triple Helix stakeholders in partner territories: decision makers, local authorities, social parts, business and associations;
- participants to multiplier events;
- representatives of National and European Agencies.
Multiplier events will accompany project meetings, meant to disseminate project concepts and outcomes and to involve stakeholders in partner territories. One multiplier event per country will take place, starting from March 2016.
- Excellence in HVET: best practices throughout the EU - Zwickau (DE) - March 2016
- Public-Private partnership for the governance of HVET: sharing European best practices - Göteborg (SE) - September 2016
- HVET excellence supporting growth, innovation, competitiveness - Brussels (BE) - March 2017
- Excellence in HVET: best practices throughout the EU - Timisoara (RO) - November 2017
- Towards tomorrow's HVET: best EU practices and new governance models - Zagreb (HR) - March 2018
- HVET, innovation, business: a new model for local excellence - Venice (IT) - July 2018