On 30 November 2022, the Department of Education (International Mobility Unit) of the Government of Catalonia organised the first International Seminar on Mobility and Cooperation Projects, gathering over 200 participants, consisting mainly of teachers and trainers, coming from 16 different countries. EARLALL was invited by its member region to moderate the project matchmaking session in the afternoon.
The first Seminar focusing on international mobility was opened by Mr Angel Miguel, General Director of the Vocational Education and Training Department. The seminar took place just one week after the Erasmus+ call for proposals 2023 was published. Therefore, the event was the perfect occasion to discuss the opportunities that the Erasmus+ Programme offers from a policy perspective but also acted as a starting point to build future partnerships among the participants.
In the morning, sessions were focused on policy recommendations with presentations from the European Commission followed by an introduction to the Pact for Skills, which the Catalan Department of Education and EARLALL are members of. Ms Anna Barbieri, European Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, introduced how the European Commission supports Vocational Education and Training internationalisation through the Erasmus+ programme. She guided the participants through the different European initiatives and stressed the importance of 2023 as the European Year of Skills. EARLALL is already planning events in the context of this important milestone for our regions. In her closing remarks, Ms Barbieri encouraged participants to submit their forward-looking project proposals in 2023. Ms Barbieri recommended that participants ensure the whole organisation is involved in the Erasmus+ project proposal and join forces to build partnerships with public authorities and labour market actors.
Ms Flavia Colonnese, from Ecorys-Pact for Skills Support Services, followed the European Commission presentation with an introduction about the Pact for Skills. This initiative aims to support public and private organisations to upskill and reskill, so they can thrive through the green and digital transitions. One of the key initiatives under the EU Skills Agenda is working to build relationships between stakeholders, such as regions, looking into tools for lifelong learning and exploring funding opportunities. Their new website https://pact-for-skills.ec.europa.eu/index_en explains how to join the pact, and includes a knowledge hub, among other services. The policy session was followed by an informative session where participants learnt more about the different VET networks, EPALE and also Work-Based Learning opportunities.
The afternoon was all about international cooperation projects. A project matchmaking session offered participants the opportunity to network and to get to know new innovative project ideas to partner with. EARLALL moderated the session which included the presentation of seven project proposals, coming from a wide range of countries. Participants showed their interest to work together on subjects such as “no gender in VET”, “digital skills”, “fashion skills”, and “centres of vocational excellence” or “tourism”. After the seminar, participants will explore the different opportunities to build their partnerships through the Erasmus + 2023 call for proposals.
The International Seminar was closed by the ‘video competition awards ceremony’ which recognised the excellence of international mobilities done by local learners and teachers during the past year.