Skills: Five new cross-border collaboration projects selected for Erasmus+ funding to develop excellence in vocational training in Europe


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This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

The Commission has proposed today Erasmus+ funding for five new Platforms of Centres of Vocational Excellence, to meet the needs of an innovative, inclusive and sustainable economy. Funded through Erasmus+ for a maximum budget of €4 million each, the platforms will be active in sectors such as green innovation and urban greening, microelectronics, and the furniture and wood sector. They will also support major European priorities such as the digital and green transitions, sustainable growth, and social fairness and inclusion.

Selected from among 55 applications, the five newly-selected Platforms of Vocational Excellence involve 167 partner organisations from 17 Member States and 4 other countries participating in the Erasmus+ programme.

The selected projects will focus on the development of skills ecosystems, increasing their quality and adaptability by developing innovative curricula and teaching methodologies.

Margaritis Schinas, Commission Vice-President for Promoting the European Way of Life, said: “Europe needs a skills revolution, one that is inclusive and does not leave anyone behind. To achieve this we presented recently a new, ambitious, innovative, measureable, and inclusive Skills Agenda. The initiative on Centres of Vocational Excellence will contribute further to the modernisation of the sector to the benefit of both young people as well as adults needing to upskill and reskill. This initiative helps to build innovative business-education partnerships and integrate activities with other education and training sectors.”

Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, said: “Vocational education and training is more important than ever. Providing people with the skills they need and that help them find a quality job is one of our central responses to the recovery, and key for the green and digital transitions. Our initiatives on vocational excellence will continue to be based on innovation, transnational collaboration and social fairness.”

The chosen projects respond to a changing labour market and are aligned with the priorities of the European Skills Agenda and the Commission proposal for a Council recommendation on Vocational Education and Training for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience presented on 1 July.


Centres of Vocational Excellence ensure the supply of high-quality skilled workers and are catalysts for local innovation and business investment. They often act as knowledge and innovation hubs for companies (in particular SMEs), and support the entrepreneurial initiatives, skills and attitudes of their learners, for instance through business incubators. Centres from different countries which share a common interest in specific sectors can work together through international collaborative platforms.

Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) bring together a wide range of local, regional and national partners from different countries, including but not limited to: initial and continuing VET providers, universities of applied sciences and polytechnics, research institutions, companies, chambers, social partners, social enterprises, national and regional authorities and development agencies, public employment services, and social inclusion and reintegration organisations.

Together they co-create “skills ecosystems” that contribute to regional development, innovation, industrial clusters, and social inclusion. CoVEs also establish business-education partnerships for apprenticeships, internships, and work together with partners to anticipate future skills needs. This will help provide high-quality vocational skills to young people, empowering them to land their first job, and enable both young workers and adults to better thrive in the future world of work.  CoVEs will actively contribute to the partnerships for up-skilling and re-skilling of the workforce in the context of the European Pact for Skills.

The 2020 Erasmus+ call to establish Platform of CoVEs was met with a very high interest. 55 project applications, with more than 1.300 partner organisations from all 27 Member States and 25 non-EU countries applying for funding.

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