The “European approach to Microcredentials” discussed in an webinar organised by EARLALL
On May 12, 2022 a webinar organised by EARLALL in collaboration with SwissCore was held online under the title of “European approach to Microcredentials”. The meeting was moderatored by Noelia Cantero, Director at EARLALL.
The interest of EfVET in this webinar relies on the fact that microcredentials are part of the education system in every country and apart from sharing knowledge for a short period of time they also play the role of being the precursor of a VET course.
William O’Keeffe, European Commission (DG EMPL), gave an overview of the topic stating that there is a need to upskill and reskill the workers due to the greening and the digital transition which are going to take place in the near future. In addition, the guiding thread of his speech was to harmonise all the microcredential certifications across Member States so as to have a common framework with similar objectives and goals.
One of the best examples of this concern was explained by Dr. Svatopluk Stolfa, VSB-TUO. In the world of automotive industry workers need to upskill and reskill their knowledge, due to the fact that it is a sector in constant change and nowadays the skills transformation is being more rapidly than ever before due to the development of new technologies. Indeed,15 millions of people work in this sector across the whole EU. Therefore, a common action strategy and plan are needed so as to reinsert all those outdated workers into the labour market.
During the round table some examples helped demonstrate how microcredential systems work in the countries of Ireland, Switzerland, Sweden, and Spain. The case of Ireland was explained by Dr Emma Francis, Project Officer MicroCreds, Irish Universities Association. Ireland is going to become the first European country to establish a coherent National Framework for quality assured and accredited micro-credentials. Indeed, this project called “MicroCreds” involves 7 universities in Ireland.
In the case of Switzerland, introduced by Pascal Paschoud, President of Swissuni and Executive Director for Further Education at EPFL, the key factor is that all the microcredentials are united to each other. This means that a student could make many microcredentials in a period of time and acquire at the same time a Diploma of Advanced Studies.
As for Sweden, however, according to Björn Flintberg, Project Leader at RISE, this project aims to develop a national model for digitised documentation of learning linked to, and compatible with EU work in the field. Last but not least, Neus Caufapé, Principal of Institut Escola del treball de Lleida and Cristina Marfil, Technical Advisor at the Directorate-General for Vocational Education and Training, explained the case of Spain. Here a new law has been introduced with regards to VET curricula establishing that all courses and modules have to be accreditable, accumulative, and recognised.