By our member Bruno Lasnier, MES France.

The Solidarity Economy Movement (MES France) has been involved for 1.5 years, with APDES Coordinator (Portugal), Solidarius (Italy), CRIES (Romania), DOCK (Greece), Tekchnet (Germany) and RIPESS EU (Europe), on a European Erasmus + “SSEVET2” project whose objective is to propose at European level a training module for trainers in vocational education and training so that they are able to better integrate SSE into their training pathways.

For more information on the first steps of the ESS IVET 2 project, see :

The next step was to test this pilot module in each country participating in the project.

The aim was to build a group of trainees mixing VET trainers, SSE trainers and SSE education framework to experiment the module and build the basis of a community of trainers of trainers with the capacity to eventually disseminate the module. These experimentations are also intended to contribute to the improvement of the Pilot module.

In the framework of this project, the MES conducted in spring 2020 two experimentations of the pilot module, one session organised in Paris and the other one in Toulouse, gathering a community of 11 participants.

An evaluation report of the French experiment was sent to the European group where a synthesis of the different experiments was carried out. A collective evaluation session on a European scale bringing together one trainee from each experiment is currently underway (9 to 13 November 2020) in order to draw sources of improvement for the European module based on the experience of the trainees.

At the end of this stage, the European reference system for the Training for Trainers module will be finalised and we can then move on to the last stage of the project, the dissemination of this module.

Beyond this framework defined by the European project, the French experiments have led to the emergence of an action research project.

In the course of these two experiments, the participants questioned the notion of specific competence of SSE and the interest of their transmission in education and vocational training. Indeed, the notion of specific competence of SSE was recurrent in the exchanges, yet the scientific literature on these issues is limited.

At the same time, the question of articulation between pedagogical methods and principles and values of SSE also came up repeatedly.
During the experiments, we organised an exercise to compare what we were producing in terms of contents with the external but enlightened view of two university professors, Gilles Caire, HDR Lecturer in Economics, Responsible for the Professional Master in Law specialising in “Law and development of the social and solidarity economy” and member of the CRIEF Laboratory at the University of Poitiers and Sandrine Rospabe Lecturer at the IUT of Rennes responsible for the university diploma on popular education and social transformation and who published in 2017, with two other academics, the book “Animation and social and solidarity economy” which deals with the links between SSE and popular education.

These confrontations highlighted the interest of continuing and sharing the work started, within the framework of the experimentations, with a wider field of researchers and actors of SSE.

In the last 20 years, specific training courses on social and solidarity economy have multiplied at universities (university training guides, conferences of university presidents) as well as in the field of vocational training. They respond to a need for training of employees and volunteers of these private democratic collective organisations with limited lucrative and social utility. The risk of trivialisation and isomorphism has long been identified. The emergence of a collective culture and its transmission are factors limiting these pitfalls. Identifying the specific competences and pedagogical practices that are in use could ensure the development of good SSE practices and enable their dissemination beyond SSE.

At the end of the experiments, a group of trainees, including Florian BARES, SSE Education and Training Project Manager at CRESS Nouvelle Aquitaine and Amélie Lefebvre-Chombart, coordinator of the Chair’ESS of the Hauts de France and the researchers mentioned above, and myself as trainer, was formed under the coordination of the MES and CRESS NA around the idea of launching a research-action project that is part of a wider issue: “How do the socio-economic models of SSE call for specific skills and practices“.

The aim would be to question the existing SSE training practices and make them dialogue with the needs identified by the SSE practitioners in order to answer the following questions:

  • What skills are needed to involve stakeholders in the project?
  • Are there specific competences for SSE? If so, which ones?
  • If not which “key” competences are implemented in SSE organisations?
  • What methods are used in specific training of SSE stakeholders?
  • Are there any good practices? Are they specific for SSE?

The general objectives of this action-research would be both to improve SSE training to meet the needs of SSE organisations by providing tools and concepts to SSE trainers and to better disseminate SSE culture and practices in the field of education and training.
An enlarged steering group is being set up to reflect on the possible follow-up of this project.

If you are interested in this approach, please contact us.

Full article (in French) here.