Article by Sofia Pereira, APDES, Portugal

RIPESS EU is launching a new Erasmus+ project: SSE+(I)VET = COOP4FUTURE

Since 2016, a process to promote SSE in the Vocational Educational Training (VET) system was initiated and has been developed in different steps. First, three training modules for young people were created and tested; after, a training-in-action course was designed and piloted; and now the partnership will boost a third chapter.

Here, as in the previous projects, the partners understand that youth has a key-role to play. Youth involvement in creating a cultural shift towards equality, sustainability and a renovated citizenship is crucial for the future. At the same time, young people are suffering from diverse constraints due to previous crises that have been increasing in consequence of the pandemic, and are already claiming for changes in public policies and practices. However, the needed paradigm shift requires awareness, a new work mind-set and skills development. This is why education and training are a fundamental part of this process, especially programs such as VET, designed to provide youth with professional qualifications to carry out an active role in the redefinition of the labour market, to create equal opportunities and to encourage cooperation. Nevertheless, due to the current socio-economic crisis and the traditional economic system, young people are facing a growing unemployment or underemployment, with consequent high rates of NEETs and school dropouts in many countries. Hence, VET curricula needs to be innovative, in order to meet local development needs with new strategies and to provide youth with competences in different vocational areas. The ability of VET systems to anticipate future skill needs and competence gaps calls for the inclusion of new paradigms and alternative models.

This is why this new project focuses on including SSE in the education of new generations, linking the VET course options to the labour market (especially SSE organisations) using community based teaching and learning approaches, in this case the Training Communities (TC). The project focuses on building and reinforcing TC linked to labour market needs and dialogue with decision-makers. This edition will enhance the contribution to a more complete and inclusive training and professional development of new generations, integrating more stakeholders in the learning process and fostering participatory experiences. Therefore, the project’s goal is to promote SSE in Europe through close work with the VET system.

The project will be implemented in the following three years by APDES (PT, leading organisation), MES (FR), Solidarius (IT), CRIES (RO) and Ideas Factory (BG), with the support of RIPESS EU.