Sector Skills Alliances aim at tackling skills gaps, by identifying sector specific labour market needs and demand for new skills with regard to one or more occupational profiles (demand side), or by enhancing the responsiveness of initial and continuing VET systems, at any level (supply side), to sector–specific labour market needs.
Sector Skills Alliances are required to apply EU wide instruments and tools such as the EQF, ECVET, EQAVET, as well as the Council Recommendation on a European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships , whenever relevant.
A particular focus will be on digital skills as they are increasingly important on all job profiles across the entire labour market. Also, the transition to a circular and greener economy needs to be underpinned by changes to qualifications and national education and training curricula to meet emerging professional needs for green skills and sustainable development.
Projects can achieve these aims by applying to one or several of the following Lots (an organisation can be involved as applicant in several proposals and Lots as long as the proposals address different sectors):
Lot 1 – Sector Skills Alliances for design and delivery of VET: This Lot aims at responding to identified skills gaps and needs by developing common trans-national training content for European occupational core profiles as well as teaching and training methodologies, with a focus on work-based learning.
Lot 2 – Sector Skills Alliances for implementing a new strategic approach (Blueprint) to sectoral cooperation on skills: In the current call, the Blueprint will be implemented in six sectors that are experiencing severe skills.
Public or private organisations from either Programme or Partner countries can participate in these projects. Those organisations include: social partners, Ministries, research institute, sector skills councils, bodies providing career guidance, professional counselling and information services, public or private VET providers, public or private, small, medium or large enterprises etc.
Which activities are supported under this Action?
Each Sector Skills Alliance shall implement a coherent, comprehensive and variable set of interconnected activities which are flexible and adaptable to different current and future labour markets’ needs, such as:
Lot 1: Sector Skills Alliance for design and delivery of VET
- on the basis of identified skills needs for specific occupation profiles in a given economic sector, identify and design VET curricula and, where appropriate, qualification standards (in line with EQF and informed by ESCO), to respond to those needs;
- when needed, gathering and interpreting evidence of skills needs on the labour market in a given economic sector, drawing on the EU Skills Panorama;
- translating skill needs into innovative, learning outcome-oriented modular VET programmes and/or qualifications (applying ECVET for designing qualifications composed of units of learning outcomes), to allow for transparency and comparability, taking also into account needs of validation of prior learning (e.g. non-formal or informal);
- applying quality management to the new training content either by applying the quality assurance principles of EQAVET or by using already existing quality assurance systems which, however, should be in line with EQAVET;
- integrating periods of work-based learning into the new training content, including opportunities to apply knowledge in practical “real life” workplace situations, and embedding trans‑national learning experience whenever possible;
- designing VET provision focusing both on job specific skills as well as on key competences, soft skills, and STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), while providing effective opportunities to acquire or develop those competences, particularly in work-related training contexts;
- promoting relevant VET sectoral qualifications (including trans-national joint programmes awarded by more than one VET provider), and support agreement for their recognition by implementing ECVET principles, and referencing qualifications to NQFs and the EQF as well as other relevant European tools and instruments in the sector concerned;
- increasing recognition of qualifications at European and national level within a sector, by promoting and agreeing on sectoral qualifications, facilitating cross-border certification, and building mutual trust, contributing to increased learner and professional mobility in the sector;
- identifying, documenting and promoting successful skills or qualifications related projects and good practices, as well as those fostering multi-stakeholder partnerships, including from other sectors or from outside Europe and make detailed proposals to replicate or scale them up, where relevant.
Lot 2: Sector Skills Alliances for implementing a new strategic approach (Blueprint) to sectoral cooperation on skills
Alliances in this Lot cover the activities of Lot 1. Moreover, they have to cover the following activities:
- developing a sectoral skills strategy to support the objectives of the established growth strategy for the sector;
- developing a common methodology for assessing the current situation and anticipating future needs as well as monitoring (on a yearly basis) progress and the evolution of the demand and supply of skills based on credible foresight scenarios;
- identifying occupational profiles that need to be revised or created and their corresponding skill needs as well as the required proficiency level, drawing on, where available, the occupational profiles in ESCO and existing competence frameworks; where relevant, the development of sectoral competence frameworks may be considered;
- identifying, describing and indicating priorities for the review or the establishment of new qualifications on the basis of the relevant occupational profiles.
Number of participating organisations
Application for the project that can last two, three or four years is submitted by an institution from a programme country on behalf of the consortium, to the Executive Agency in Brussels (EACEA). The Consortium varies depending on the type of project being applied (Lot 1 or Lot 2). Depending on the type of project, partners from at least 4, 8 or 12 Programme countries must be included. Any participating organization established in a Programme country can be the applicant. This organisation applies on behalf of all participating organisations involved in the project.
More details about Sector Skills Alliances can be found on the EACEA webpage.