New Erasmus+ KA2 project started with a meeting in France

Europe is facing its greatest threat since World War II. The COVID-19 outbreak is triggering unprecedented social and economic consequences. It has brought into question established practices and highlighted the importance of developing digital skills and tools in order to find innovative solutions to meet the new challenges in continuing to offer transnational work-based learning (TWBL) opportunities in the VET sector.

New project for improving work-based learning in VET

“Perfect Match” is a new KA2 project (Project Reference: 2020-1-FR01-KA226-VET-095013), which brought together six organisations from Europe: France (IRFA APISUP), Germany (Staatliches Berufsschulzentrum “Heinrich Ehrhardt”, Eisenach), Italy (Centro Formativo Provinciale G. Zanardelli), Austria (Berufsschule Linz 7), Lithuania (Karalius Mindaugas Vocational Training Centre) and United Kingdom (European Placement Network Limited) and aims to develop three main results:

  1. Online tutorials to develop key digital skills for trainees undertaking physical, virtual or blended TWBL: to improve students’ awareness and capacity to make effective use of the most valuable digital tools currently available before, during and after a work-placement;
  2. Digital marketing materials for TWBL in light of COVID19: that can be used by VET providers to showcase the value of hosting trainees from another country to companies and increase awareness of new approaches such as possibilities for virtual and blended work-based learning;
  3. Online “Market-Place” to facilitate TWBL opportunities in a COVID-19 context: this innovative and user-friendly digital tool will allow the remote matching of trainees and host companies for transnational work-based learning.

Official start and next steps of the project

On July 1-2, 2021 the first transnational project meeting was held with project partners from all six countries in Thonon-les-Bains, France. The representatives met and got connected, presented their organisations, discussed about project management issues such as administrative procedures, risk management, project communication issues, project activity plan, etc. and launched the official start of the project.

The next transnational project meeting is planned in Austria, Linz on 14-15, October. Until October, each project partners have committed to make interviews with 20 companies with the aim of finding out the reasons why companies are intended or not to host students for TWBL. This will be needed to develop the intellectual products of the project.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Project “Just Be Humans! Say No To Any Forms of Discrimination And Violence” ended

Last May, the final meeting of the partnership “Just Be Humans! – Say No To Any Forms of Discrimination And Violence”, supported by the Erasmus+ program, was held. For 3 years, teachers and students from INSIGNARE’s EPO – Ourém Vocational School and EHF – Fátima Hospitality School travelled for a week of educational and cultural activities in Turkey, Portugal, Poland and Italy; the last meeting was supposed to take place in Hungary, but the pandemic forced it to be held via Google Meet.

Thus, during this week the students worked online, with their colleagues from those countries, on their views on Human Rights, namely the framework documents in the European Union and the United Nations, as well as reflecting Equality / Inequality (Gender, Racial, Sexual Orientation, Religious Orientation, Access to Work, …) in everyday life. In addition to practical examples they researched, they critically reflected on reality and on how they can help to change behaviour.

The impacts felt by the students focused in the improvement of knowledge and attitudes about the causes and effects of violence and discrimination, having opened their horizons for greater tolerance, respect and experience in a multicultural society, something essential for an intervention, from early ages, at the roots of the problems of social extremism.

Their language and social skills were also improved, as during these weeks they had to express themselves permanently in English, as well as group work with colleagues from other countries, leading to public presentations of the results.

Any information concerning the project can asked to its coordinator, Mrs. Katalin Bischof (katalin.bischof@gmail.com).

Partnership between European Schools of Hospitality and Tourism was completed

In May, the partnership between Hotel and Tourism schools in Italy, Poland, Portugal (EHF) and the Czech Republic, supported by the Erasmus+ program, came to an end. Named “Good Food, Better Health”, it was particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, to the point where two of the four planned meetings were held in person, in Portugal and Poland. As the others took place on remote communication platforms, the collaborative work between the young people from the four schools went off without a hitch.

It was due to this collaboration that several lexicons were created, containing lists of technical terms in the field of Cuisine and Gastronomy, in these four languages ​​and in English, which will be made available to students who will participate in international internships in these countries.

They also learned how to use the “Rainbow of food” in the preparation of healthy and balanced meals, and how to use it to replace ingredients.

They researched and created a list of traditional products, protected at European level (PGI, PDO, GI and TSG), debating their certification process and their advantages, deepening their knowledge on these themes, not just on products from their country, but also from the partners’, and also about recipes for traditional dishes where they can be used.

They shared methods and techniques for using food leftovers to design new dishes, something very relevant for the Environment and for the efficiency of contemporary restaurants. This aspect was also highly appreciated by the participating teachers.

Any information concerning the project can asked to its coordinator, Mrs. Giuseppina Botta (giuseppinabotta@gmail.com).