Upon discussion with its Member Organisations, EFIL has taken the first concrete step towards cooperation with the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector. A new 2-year project (November 2017 – October 2019), with the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships funding, is coordinated by UNISER Italy, with EFIL being the only partner from outside the VET sector. The main aim of the project is to jointly develop a format, methodology and brand for an international Summer School for VET teachers. The Summer School will be centred around the importance of developing their intercultural competences and empowering the VET students to work in diverse working environments in their countries and abroad (the “work based learning”, which is required in the VET sector, can also be combined with international mobility).
EFIL’s contribution to the partnership is largely based on the outputs from the Strategic Partnership “ICL for Pupils and Teachers” project: the chosen intercultural teacher training contents developed there will be adapted to the VET sector. The Summer School format will be piloted twice within the project (in Italy in 2018 and in France in 2019) with involvement of AFS trainers from these countries delivering the Intercultural Learning contents. The idea is to also develop a closer relationship between AFS organisations and VET providers within the countries of the project partnership (Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, France), to explore opportunities for AFS to provide intercultural trainers for VET teachers in future Summer Schools, which can be organised beyond the lifetime of the project.
The Kick-off Meeting of the project took place in Cologne, Germany, 4-5 December 2017. It was used not only to lay the ground for cooperation between the partners and plan the project milestones, but also to already start the design of the Summer School format. In the upcoming months the partners will survey their respective networks on their needs and desired learning formats. AFS organisations will have several opportunities to contribute and benefit from the project – first of all in the countries of the partnership but also beyond, especially in connection to VET sector interest and experience.
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