From June 12-16 the LOASA partners held their final transnational project meeting in Kokemäki, Finland. It was well hosted by SASKY college. 18 participants from different companies and educational institutions in Denmark, Spain, Finland and the Netherlands attended the meeting.
The aim of the project is to embed generic, professional and social-emotional skills in the learning outcomes of the ECVET units in order to reduce the skills gap in the labour market, improve labour mobility and increase the employability of workers. The project partners have worked on the recommendations for adjustments and optimization of the learning units and assessments, based on the pilot results. The project team reflected on the process and the lessons learned. They also discussed the impact of the LOASA project so far. Although the application was very ambitious, the project partners are glad to report that there’s impact on most parts. Some examples below.
All LOASA partners have built a strong common understanding of what working with the New Skills Agenda for Europe means and how to cooperate in developing those skills. Exemplary is SASKY. At this college the importance of developing social-emotional skills to increase the students’ employability, has become structurally part of both the preparation of students, and the training of assessors.
Students (and employees) who engage more actively in international mobility programs, will get an increased awareness and understanding of their own capabilities and the opportunities on the labour market, leading to an increased employability. Following this notion, Jordbrugets Uddannelsescenter Århus has used LOASA to organize all processes around mobilities in an integrated, structural way. Every student who goes on an internship abroad, now travels with a learning unit plus assessment form that has been prepared at school together with a coach.
Collaboration with the labour market
LOASA made a contribution to bridging the gap between the labour market and educational partners. Exemplary is the reinforced relationship between Centro Tecnológico Nacional de la Conserva y Alimentación (CTC) and Centro Integrado de Formación y Experiencias Agrarias (CIFEA) in Murcia, Spain. Prior to LOASA, both parties hardly ever met. Since the launch of LOASA, they have met nearly every month, resulting in effective collaboration - from co-creating learning units to organizing a multiplier event.
Collaboration with branche organizations
Branches have demonstrated their role as a supporter for the green sector in innovation and proved to be a strong partner to disseminate the outcomes to the whole sector, e.g. ProAgria, association of agriculture and horticulture, has actively participated with YA vocational college of Ostrobothnia to organize a multiplier event in Finland. The same goes for Van Senten's co-owner and managing director, who is also board member of Dutch branch association VHG and thus brings an substantial dissemination opportunity to the table.
Learning outcome-based approach
For VET institutes the learning units are a starting point to further develop and implement the learning outcome-based approach in their education in accordance with the needs of the labour market. Exemplary is Wellantcollege, where thanks to LOASA, the full training course Equine Sports and Management will consist of outcome-based learning units based on ECVET Principles and the New Skills Agenda.
The meeting also included an interesting excursion to the Frantsila company, an organic herb growing farm, processing factory, demonstration garden and shop, and educational facilities that also act as wellness centre.
Of course there are also some challenges left. One of them is how to make the companies more involved, more connected to the educational partners in the project. The project partners collectively want to make this project's outcomes sustainable. That’s why they’ve planned a next meeting on February 4-5, 2019 in the Netherlands to discuss LOASA’s longer-term impact and possible follow-up projects.
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