KA2 – Strategic Partnerships in the field of Vocational Education and Training

Strategic Partnerships are international projects which support the development, transfer and/or implementation of innovative practices and joint initiatives that promote cooperation, mutual learning and exchange of experience at European level. They involve at least three organisations from 3 programme countries.

Depending on the objectives and the composition of the Strategic Partnership, projects may be of two types:

  • Strategic Partnerships supporting innovation;
  • Strategic Partnerships supporting exchange of good practices with primary goal to allow organisations to develop and reinforce networks, increase their capacity to operate at transnational level, share and confront ideas, practices and methods.

To be funded, Strategic Partnerships must address either a) at least one horizontal priority or b) at least one specific priority.

Horizontal priorities:

  • Development of relevant and high-quality skills and competences: supporting individuals in acquiring and developing basic skills and key competences, in order to foster employability and socio-educational and personal development, as well as participation in civic and social life.
  • Social inclusion: priority will be given to actions that help address diversity and promote –in particular through innovative and integrated approaches– ownership of shared values, equality, including gender equality, and nondiscrimination and social inclusion through education, training, youth and sport activities.
  • Open education and innovative practices in a digital era: priority will be given to actions that promote innovative methods and pedagogies, as well as participatory modes of governance, where appropriate.
  • Educators: priority will be given to actions that strengthen the recruitment, selection and induction of the best and most suitable candidates for the teaching profession as well as to actions supporting the promotion of high-quality and innovative teaching in all educational sectors, training and youth work.
  • Transparency and recognition of skills and qualifications: priority will be given to actions that support employability as well as learning and labour mobility and facilitate transitions between different levels and types of education and training, between education/training and the world of work, and between different jobs.
  • Sustainable investment, performance and efficiency: priority will be given to actions supporting the effective implementation of the Investment Plan for Europe, including by promoting funding models attracting private actors and capital (incl. under the Erasmus+ Student Loan Guarantee Facility), as well as supporting the design of evidence based reforms that deliver quality, innovation and relevance in education, training, youth and sport systems and policies.
  • Social and educational value of European cultural heritage, its contribution to job creation, economic growth and social cohesion. In the context of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 , priority will be given to actions contributing to raising awareness of the importance of Europe’s cultural heritage through education, life-long learning, informal and non-formal learning, youth as well as sport, including actions to support skills development, social inclusion, critical thinking and youth engagement.

Detailed information on horizontal priorities (higher education, school education, vocational education and training, adult education, field of youth) is available here.

In the field of vocational education and training (VET), priority will be given to:

  • Developing institutional partnerships supporting the set up and implementation of an internationalisation strategy of VET learners and apprentices, aimed at putting in place the necessary support infrastructure as well as the relevant institutional and/or contractual frameworks to promote quality mobility work placements of VET learners and apprentices in another country. The specific rules and information relating to VET learner mobility activities, as described in Annex I should be applied;
  • Developing partnerships aimed at promoting work-based learning in all its forms, e.g. the development of new training content (including Joint VET qualifications), integrating periods of work-based learning, including opportunities to apply knowledge in practical projects/”real life” workplace situations, and embedding international experience (mobility) whenever possible;
  • In view of increasing the quality of VET provision, the establishment of feedback loops to adapt VET provision based on outcomes, including by setting up or testing graduate tracking arrangements as part of quality assurance systems in line with the recommendation on the European Framework for Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training (EQAVET);
  • Further strengthening key competences in initial and continuing VET (especially literacy, numeracy and digital) including common methodologies for introducing those competences in curricula, as well as for acquiring, delivering and assessing the learning outcomes of those curricula; enhancing access to training and qualifications for all, with a particular attention to the low-skilled, through continuing VET, notably by increasing quality, supply and accessibility of continuing VET, validation of non-formal and informal learning, promoting work-place learning, providing for efficient and integrated guidance services and flexible and permeable learning pathways;
  • Introducing systematic approaches to, and opportunities for, the initial and continuous professional development of VET teachers, trainers and mentors in both school and work-based settings, with a focus on developing effective digital, open and innovative education and pedagogies.


What are the activities supported in a strategic partnership?

Over the lifetime of a project, and depending on the type of Strategic Partnership, projects may typically realise a broad range of activities, for example:

  • activities that strengthen the cooperation and networking between organisations;
  • testing and/or implementation of innovative practices in the field of education
  • activities that facilitate the recognition and validation of knowledge, skills and competences acquired through formal, non-formal and informal learning;
  • activities of cooperation between regional authorities to promote the development of education
  • activities to support learners with disabilities/special needs to complete education cycles and facilitate their transition into the labour market, including by combating segregation and discrimination in education for marginalised communities;
  • activities to better prepare and deploy the education and training of professionals for equity, diversity and inclusion challenges in the learning environment;
  • activities to promote the integration of refugees, asylum seekers and newly arrived migrants and raise awareness about the refugee crisis in Europe;
  • transnational initiatives fostering entrepreneurial mind-sets and skills.

Strategic Partnerships may also organise transnational learning, teaching and training activities of individuals, in so far as they bring added value in the achievement of the project’s objectives.


Who can participate in a Strategic Partnership?

The participating organisations can be secondary vocational schools, either public or private (private schools must be accredited by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia), and any other organisations active in the field of education, training and youth: institute/educational centre; a non-profit organisation, association, NGO; a public or private, a small, medium or large enterprise (including social enterprises); a public body at local, regional or national level; a social partner or other representative of working life, including chambers of commerce, industry, craft/professional associations and trade unions; a cultural organisation, library, museum; etc.


How to apply?

To submit an Erasmus+ project, applicants must follow the four steps described below:

  • Each organisation involved in the application must register in the Participant Portal and receive a Participant Identification Code (PIC). Organisations/groups that have already obtained a PIC through their participation in other EU programmes do not need to register again. The PIC obtained from this previous registration is valid also for applying under Erasmus;
  • check the compliance with the Programme criteria for the relevant Action/field;
  • check the financial conditions;
  • fill in and submit the application form.

To register in the Participant Portal, the person representing an organisation (or an informal group of young people) must carry out the following steps:

  •  Create an EU login account (unless the person representing the organisation/group already has an account). For more information consult ECAS user manual;
  • Access the Participant Portal and register on behalf of the organisation/group. The organisation/group need to register only once in the Participant Portal. Once the registration is completed, the organisation/group will obtain a Participant Identification Code (PIC). The PIC, which is a unique identifier and is necessary for the submission of applications, enables the organisation/group to fill-in the Erasmus+ electronic application forms in a simpler manner (i.e. by inserting the PIC number in the form, all the information provided by the organisation/group at registration stage will be automatically displayed in the form).

At the time of the registration, organisations must also upload the following documents in the Participant Portal: the Legal Entity form and the Financial Identification form. Each form must not exceed 6Mb. It is advisable that each document is scanned original in pdf format.

Step-by-step guide to submitting project application is available here.


How to find partners?

You can use some of the following resources:

The School Education Gateway is Europe’s online platform for school education, currently available in 23 EU languages, intended to provide everything that teachers need in terms of information, learning and professional development, peer support and networking, collaborative project and mobility opportunities, policy insights etc. The SEG offers a wide range of content, such as good practices from European projects; monthly blog contributions and video interviews of European school education experts; online courses for teachers to help tackle topical classroom challenges; resources such as teaching materials, tutorials and the European Toolkit for Schools; information on school education policies; topical news and events; etc. It offers special tools to support teachers and school staff in finding training and mobility opportunities for professional development (on-site courses, job shadowing, teaching assignments etc), which can be funded under Erasmus+ Key Action 1.

eTwinning is a community of teachers from pre-primary to upper secondary schools, hosted on a secure platform accessible only to teachers vetted by national authorities. eTwinning promotes school collaboration and school networking in Europe through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). It provides advice, ideas and tools to make it easy for schools to set up partnerships and start collaborative projects in any subject area.


What are the funding rules?

The budget of the project must be drafted according to the following funding rules:

  • Project management and implementation – planning, finances, coordination and communication between partners, small scale learning/teaching/training materials, information, promotion and dissemination (e.g. brochures, leaflets, web information, etc.)
  • Transnational project meetings;
  • Travel, individual support;
  • Special needs support;
  • Linguistic support;
  • Intellectual outputs;
  • Multiplier events;
  • Exceptional costs (subcontracting or purchase of goods and services).

More information on Strategic Partnership projects in the field of school education is available here and in the Erasmus+ programme guide.


For additional information please contact Group for schools, pre-schools and adult education at Foundation Tempus:

Foundation Tempus

Group for schools, pre-schools and adult education

Ruze Jovanovic 27a, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia

Tel/fax: +381 11 3342 430



Useful links:

School Education Gateway


Link for obtaining EU account

EU account guide 

Link for obtaining PIC number 

Legal entity identification form

Legal entity financial identification form

E-form technical guide

Erasmus+ programme guide 

A practical guide for school leaders

European Commission 

Last modified: February 5, 2018