SECOVE aims to establish a cooperation platform for Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) across Europe in the sector of renewable and sustainable energy. It will be locally based, with a CoVE in each partner country. The platforms’ main goal is to promote the uptake of innovative and qualitative lifelong learning opportunities, oriented towards the development of skills, competencies and the achievement of qualifications, including the promotion of mobility opportunities. The project will adopt and support a holistic approach to promote creativity, inclusion and entrepreneurial mindset together.
The CoVEs for Sustainable Energy respond to European, national and regional policies for promoting excellence in VET.
We intend to address the following challenges:
Sustainable energy and its different applications such as energy efficiency in buildings, renewable energy and smart energy systems are integrated in national and regional policies of the involved countries and thus highly relevant for VET.
The development of new and relevant learning programs that tackle major challenges of sustainable development. In this direction we see the Green New Deal promoted by the European Commission at a strategic level, as well as different policies-relating technical skills for sustainable development, such as the European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience (adopted in July 2020).
The promotion of work-based learning and engagement of the labor market in VET education – a trend identified and contemplated by CEDEFOP in its 2021-2023 Programming Document. Furthermore, VET providers at EQF levels 3-5 lack internationalization strategies and the capacity to organize quality transnational apprenticeships using Erasmus+ or other grants.
The attraction of more women in technical qualifications is apparent in all countries, especially for lower VET qualifications at level 3-5, but also in higher EQF levels (A Union of Equality: Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 by the European Commission).
The promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship at all levels of education and training, in line with regional smart specialization strategies and using the existing capacities of partners and local networks.
The establishment of a quality culture in vocational training that goes beyond conformity, with standards and regulations that address common and shared values for excellence, inclusiveness and sustainability (EFQEA implementation: a Cedefop analysis and main findings, 2021).
In Greece, the new Law 4653/2020 previews the development of Centers of Excellence in higher education to support good practices in quality and innovation. Similar approaches have been undertaken throughout Europe: a few examples are the Basque VET Plan (in Northern Spain), which makes it a core priority to face the challenges of industries and transforms VET centres into High-Performance Centres, or Sardinia’s in its “Intelligent Specialization Strategy”, which distinguishes 3 “fundamental” production themes Agro-industry, Tourism-cultural and environmental heritage and ICT, plus Networks for the Efficient Management of Energy in Italy. Criteria for the Centers of excellence are the quality and effectiveness of teaching and research work, the relevance of curricula, the connection between education and research, international cooperation and the high quality of support services.
To ensure the sustainability of SECOVE platform, through engagement of stakeholders, alignment with Smart Specialization Strategies and securing governance and financing.
To promote learner-centred and inclusive COVEs, bringing holistic approaches to the individual, labor market-driven qualifications under the umbrella topic of sustainable energy.
To promote creativity, entrepreneurial mindset and innovative learning opportunities through the cooperation between education, industry and incubators.
To establish innovation hubs and support work-based learning at national and transnational level.
To develop work-based schemes following the principles of ECVET and arrange transnational certification and recognition.
To attract more women in technical occupations.
To promote quality culture and support VET providers to adopt European and international quality standards.
SECOVE is a project designed over 4 years of implementation. Its ambition to achieve a positive impact in VET and the sustainable energy sector can be reasonably understood thanks to its long duration, involvement of a large number of partners from five different countries, representing different types of stakeholders and substantial financing. SECOVE team is indeed committed to monitoring, measuring and most importantly acting to ensure that the activities of the SECOVE network bring about a positive long-term change.
SECOVE – Sustainable Energy Centres For Vocational Excellence (project No. 101056201) has been co-funded by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union. This website reflects the views only of the author. The European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.