FINAL INTERNATIONAL skillME CONFERENCE
GOOD PRACTICES IN SKILLS DEVELOPMENT IN THE METAL AND ELECTRO INDUSTRY
REPORT AND MATERIALS FROM THE CONFERENCE
The international conference titled "Good Practices in Skills Development in the Metal and Electro Industry" took place on 4 October 2017 at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The conference marked the end of the three-year Erasmus+ “Skills in Metal and Electro Industry – skillME” project and brought together VET providers, teachers, trainees, regulatory bodies, employment agencies, national agencies for education, embassies, experts, and representatives of the industry from the metal and electro sector and beyond.
The purpose of the conference was to present good practices and innovative approaches in filling skill gaps, matching skills with labour market needs, developing new skills for new jobs and adapting national strategies in order to improve the quality and efficiency of vocational education and training, foster mobility, and increase the competitiveness of workers.
The skillME project manager Ms Janja Petkovšek (CCIS) opened the conference with the presentation of the developed training materials and overall project achievements, which surpassed the project aim in both its scope and its impact. The pilot trainings generated much interest among students and employees, which resulted in the fact that 16 pilot trainings for employees in 4 participating countries trained 92% more employees than planned, and 16 pilot trainings for students trained 83% more students than initially planned. This confirmed that the identified skill gaps are indeed highly topical and relevant and will significantly contribute to raising employability of workers and the competitiveness of the metal and electro companies.
The general manager of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia as the leading partner, Mr Samo Hribar Milič, emphasised the need for strong, flexible, and attractive vocational education and training systems, which will be able to meet the labour needs of today and tomorrow and will path the way to a competitive metal and electro industry that can respond to the fast-paced technological progress. This view was also shared by guest speakers Mr Jurij Snoj, the Acting Director of the Employment Directorate of the Slovene Ministry of Labour (MIZŠ), and Ms Urška Marentič, the Deputy Director of the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Vocational Education and Training (CPI), recognizing the value of such projects that open ways for new forms of collaboration and detection of current and future skill needs.
Representatives of national regulatory and industry representative partners from Slovenia, Latvia, Slovakia and Croatia presented the state of affairs and various approaches to strengthening VET in their countries and national strategies for implementing the curricula designed within the skillME project into national VET frameworks. Ms Vlasta Stojak (Employment Service of Slovenia ZRSZ), Ms Laura Strode (Latvian National Centre for Education VISC), Ms Marija Šutina (Croatian Employers’ Association HUP), Mr Nino Buić (Croatian Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Adult Education ASOO) and Mr Andrej Lasz (Association of Electro-technical Industry of the Slovak Republic ZEP SR) all emphasised that the skillME project demonstrated the value of new ways of collaboration among key actors in the field of VET, representing the state, the industry, and the VET providers. The speakers underlined the need for a more systematic approach towards new skills detection and filling of skill gaps on their respective national levels, as the increasingly rapid development of technologies and transformation of manufacturing industries will bring about changes for which VET actors need to be prepared. The skillME project presented one such model of developing curricula, with an added value of being applicable to any sector.
In addition, trainers and students presented their concrete experience with pilot trainings implementation. Trainers Mr Primož Kurent, Ms Klavdija Stropnik, Mr Damjan Poljanec, Ms Meta Arnež from the Slovene attracted school, School Centre Kranj (SCK), shared their experience with leading the pilot trainings for students and employees from various point of views, agreeing that the trainings were comprehensive and well designed and included many practical examples. Students of the Secondary Technical School Stará Turá (SPEST) Jakub PERICKA and Radovan PETER demonstrated the usability of the trainings and skills acquired within the Machine Vision training – the usage of camera for robot control based on the board game Ludo.
All conference speakers recognized the usability and effectiveness of the skillME curricula design approach, which includes all main stakeholders in the quality curricula design: national regulatory partners, industry representatives, and VET providers. The conclusions of the conference recognized the need for even more such innovative trainings designed through a trilateral approach based on industry needs, for strengthening the collaboration of VET providers, regulatory bodies and industry representative, increasing the competitiveness of EU member state manufacturing industries and improving cooperation among EU member states. This is why the partnership will continue to focus its efforts within the Alliance for the Advancement of VET in the Metal and Electro Industry, which will serve as a platform for the exchange of information and best practices, networking, developing new project ideas and offering support with curricula development. All conference visitors were warmly invited to join the Alliance.
All of the speakers’ presentations and the bulletin of conference reports are available below.
· Ms Janja Petkovšek, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia: Key achievements of the skillME project
· Ms Vlasta Stojak, Employment Service of Slovenia: Metalwork Action Plan in Slovenia
· Ms Laura Strode, Latvian National Centre for Education: skillME project results in the context of the reorganization and modernization process in VET
· Ms Marija Šutina, Croatian Employers’ Association: skillME project results and overview on VET in Croatia
· Mr Nino Buić, Croatian Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Adult Education: skillME project results and overview on VET in Croatia
· Mr Andrej Lasz, Association of Electro-technical Industry of the Slovak Republic: skillME trainings in the context of dual education in Slovak Republic
· Mr Primož Kurent, School Centre Kranj: Competencies for the industry of the future
· Ms Klavdija Stropnik, School Centre Kranj: Composite materials: New era of usage
· Mr Damjan Poljanec, School Centre Kranj: Pilot training: Reading technical documentation – Electrotechnics
· Ms Meta Arnež, School Centre Kranj: Translation of professional terminology and texts
· Jakub PERICKA and Radovan PETER, Secondary Technical School Stará Turá: Machine Vision – camera usage for robot control
Interested to find out more on individual conference presentations?