On November 30th 2016 in Rome the first meeting of the Erasmus+ project “SSEE Ivet” took place, aiming to promote the Social Solidarity Economy in Europe through an action research initiating an innovative study programme on initial and vocational training (IVET). It is about formulating and evaluating an SSE vocational training curriculum for young people who come out of the education system without a diploma.

The coordination of the project is done by APDES, a Portuguese education and prevention organization in the field of health, vocational insertion and local development, as well as supporting development co-operation in the global South, and which is also a founding member of the Redpes, the new Portuguese network of SSE.  APDES asked RIPESS Europe to be a partner in the project, together with other 7, of which 3 are RIPESS members (Technet Berlin, CRIES and Solidarius Italia).

The project rationale is based in two main assumptions:

(1) SSE as an alternative socio-economic model
The Social Solidarity Economy increasingly asserts itself as a vibrant and promising socio-economic model in the EU and in various parts of the world. The SSE is rooted in inclusive values and practices, and comprises organizations of the Third (citizen’s) Sector, as social enterprises, social movements and citizens who develop alternatives to the multilayered crisis that we face today (greater inequality, lower levels of democracy, increased structural unemployment, loss of social cohesion, environmental challenges, forced migrations, dismantling of welfare states, etc.). The current dominant economic paradigm is no longer providing answers to the deep aspirations of the people and the planet, and so there is a call to a sustainable model that highlights local communities’ social bounds and emancipatory relationships, on a reciprocity and solidarity basis.

(2) IVET as a tool for social change
A change in paradigm requires a change in consciousness. This is why education and training are a fundamental part of this process – and particularly IVET with its great potential to transform younger generations into citizens and professionals who are more knowledgeable and aware, as well as more able to deal with current societal challenges. These challenges call for an approach that evokes IVET, namely in upper secondary and non-tertiary levels, as a high quality choice on skills/vocational development and on transversal and general knowledge acquisition, to train highly skilled and educated young adults. In order to achieve this, IVET curricula need to be innovative in order to respond to contemporary labour market and social challenges

Given this context, the objectives of the project are the following:

  1. Map the opportunities and constraints for affirming SSE in IVET curricula at European and national levels
  2. Develop a common package of IVET training modules on SSE
  3. Advocate for the inclusion of IVET training modules in IVET curricula at European and national levels.

This is a 2 years project (Sep. 2016 – Aug. 2018) bringing together organisations from various European countries and a European network.

RIPESS Europe is expected to work on drafting of investigative tools (already carried out) and on compiling the results, drafting the document highlighting the existing and potential convergences between SSE and initial and vocational training as well as in the evaluation and compilation of training tools.

The first working meeting was held in Rome, organised in the premises of Solidarius Italia. It allowed the eight partners to be discuss on the development of the agenda and the content of the next phases. The APDES team reported on the assessments made by European experts to validate the project: innovative, well structured, bringing together a diversity of competent partners and at different local, national, European levels, sustainable extension beyond the project, clear planning and evaluation and the lucid account of risks.

millepianiAt the end of the working meeting, Solidarius invited the partners to visit two particularly interesting establishments.

One is a place of coworking, a fablab and a cultural place installed in an big old garage:Millepiani is a structure that protects workers and microenterprises, primarily from the market, by placing them in a collaborative ecosystem. The venue operates thanks to its constituent members. It is a collective patrimony that meets objective needs, it is a common good. The main intent is to change entrepreneurial paradigms by fostering co-operation, mutualization and collective intelligence.

moby-dickThe second place, Moby Dick is a virtual library installed in a very nice space, a former renovated public bath. This book-free library, except those that can be borrowed and deposited anywhere else in the world, was implemented by the University of Rome Three, it is dedicated to South American literature, is connected to the network of university libraries, includes local archives, a conference room, exhibitions and performances hall.

The librarys’ wealth can be accessed from there, ordered through free WiFi, and the books are withdrawn according to the order. The venue provides access to newspapers and a small space dedicated to children’s playgrounds. A common good!

We also tasted local cuisine through Soana Tortora and the Solidarius team who organized – quite well – the whole hosting and logistics.  To follow, this project is particularly rich and promising.

Download the presentation of the SSEE IVET Erasmus project

[by Josette Combes, Mes]