As pointed out in the ERASMUS+ Programme Guide, the adaptation of the Vocational Education and Training to employers’ and labour market needs is a major issue in order to ensure the relevance and the impact of VET in any territory. As a consequence, one of the priorities addressed by the Programme in the field of VET is “increasing the labour market relevance of VET provision and reducing skills mismatches and shortages in economic sectors through timely adaptation of curricula and qualifications profiles and establishment of stable partnerships between VET providers and economic actors, including social partners, development agencies, bodies in innovation systems, chambers of commerce.”
Local agents involved in VET can play a major role when it comes to ensure labour market relevance of VET in their territories. Those local agents work for different organizations (local and regional authorities, VET providers, employers’ associations, chambers of commerce, workers’ unions, development and employment agencies, research institutions…) which are directly involved in designing and delivering VET at a local level (City, town, urban area, district, county, province…).
Nevertheless, the lack of appropriate models and tools has prevented local agents to play the role they should play. Local agents neither share a common approach nor promote a common VET strategy in their territories. As a consequence, they are often just ‘implementing agents’ of the policies and strategies designed at national or regional level, without the capacity of adapting them to the specificities of their territory.
To tackle this issue, the ImproVET project gathers the experience of one Local Partnership : Consorcio del Pacto por el Empleo del Vinalopó, the applicant in Spain, hosted by a Public body composed by four councils Mancomunidad Intermunicipal del Valle del Vinalopó; one local authority (Provincia Avellino, in Italy), 2 research organizations (NOTUS in Spain and FGB in Italy), one VET provider (wisamar Bildunsggesellschaft gemeinnützige GmbH in Germany) and a local branch of a National Education Ministry (Gölbaşı, Turkey).
The project will produce an Intervention Model which is aimed at being a tool to be used by local agents and local partnerships involved in VET in order to ensure a rapid and proactive response to changes in labour market needs by effectively prevent or solve mismatches between those needs and VET provided by agents in the territory.
The Model is intended to guide local actors in its way of designing, implementing and assessing a local action plan for the continuous monitoring of labour market needs and the adaptation of VET provided. According to this purpose, the Model will be structured in 4 parts:
4 “How to” Guides. Those guides will describe the methodologies considered as more successful, covering the topics of:
a) How to build a Local Partnership for the continuous adaptation of VET.
b) How to monitor labour market needs and its tendency to proactively adapt the VET offer.
c) How to programme proactive VET locally.
d) How to assess the local impact of VET.
An Implementation Toolkit. The implementation of the “How to” Guides will require the use of a set of methodologies and tools (regarding, for instance: surveys, evaluation, participative decision making, ICT applications…).
4 Case Studies. In this section, local agents will have access to the detailed description of the pilot project experiences carried out in each of the participating territories.
Best practices dossier. In order to simplify the adaptation of the Model to specific territorial situations, the best practices gathered in the first part of the project will be compiled in a dossier organized by topics.