European Law Monitor

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EU awarded developers of vocational education and training


The European Commission has awarded ten vocational education and training projects that have successfully promoted the European goals at grassroots level. The projects awarded included e.g. developing a credit transfer system for vocational education and training (VET), and producing support materials for enterprises for on-the-job learning abroad. The Minister of Education and Science Antti Kalliomäki and Commissioner Ján Figel' presented the awards on 4 December in Helsinki, at the meeting of the European ministers responsible for VET taking place in Helsinki.

The projects awarded promote the aims of the Copenhagen Process on enhanced European cooperation in VET. The aims of the Copenhagen Process, parallel to the Bologna Process in higher education, is to improve the performance, quality and attractiveness of VET, to promote the development of a European labour market and, consequently, to improve European competitiveness.

The projects are funded by EU's Leonardo da Vinci programme, which supports the development of VET through European co-operation. In all, 26 countries have participated in the projects awarded.

The informal ministerial meeting, which is the second follow-up meeting of the Copenhagen process, will be held in Helsinki on 5 December. At the meeting, the ministers and European social partners will adopt the Helsinki Communiqué, outlining the strategies and priorities for European cooperation in VET for the coming years.

Raising the image of VET is one of the main goals of the European co-operation. In the recent years, attention has been paid particularly to quality assurance, recognition of qualifications and lifelong guidance.

At the same time, over 300 international experts on VET will convene in Helsinki. The 'From Copenhagen to Helsinki' conference is organised on 4 December by the Centre for International Mobility, CIMO, in collaboration with the Finnish Ministry of Education and the European Commission.

Projects awarded: Harmonisation of driving instruction in Europe The project developed common curricula and contents for training of driving instructors. www.ifd.szm.com

Workplace career guidance for low-paid workers The project focused on enhancing guidance at workplace particularly in low-paid fields so as to give workers better opportunities to participate in initial and continuing vocational education and training. www.workplaceguidance.eu

Support materials for on-the-job learning abroad The project promoted the mobility of the European workforce by producing support materials for enterprises for guidance for on-the-job learning. www.placementsupport.com

Recognising competencies in SMEsThe project developed ways of recognising and certifying learning at work and in everyday life. The aim is to develop a standardised European model to support recognitions of competence. www.eso-csa.com

Development of vocational qualification transfer system The project supported the mobility of students in vocational education and training by developing a system to ensure that on-the-job training periods abroad can be recognised back home. www.vocationalqualification.net

Language-teaching materials for peacekeepers The project produced language-teaching materials for peacekeepers and thus aimed at promoting language and cultural competency of peacekeepers in various areas. www.linguapeace-europe.net

e-learning environment for aluminium technology The project developed Internet-based approaches to pedagogy and produced e-learning materials including simulations of industrial processes in various areas of aluminium technology. www.alumatter.info

e-learning environment for paediatricians and nurses The project developed an Internet-based learning environment to support the continuing education of experts in paediatrics. www.peditop.com

Recognition of skills and competence acquired in voluntary work The project created a framework for recognising competence and skills acquired through voluntary work and thus supported the opportunities for lifelong learning in the volunteer sector. www.eEuropeassociations.net

Development of competence of teachers of vocational education and workplace trainers The project defined competence requirements for teachers of vocational education and workplace trainers and created competence profiles for the fields in question. The idea is to motivate and promote the continuing education and lifelong learning of teachers and workplace trainers.