The European Network of TCLF VET providers comprises 26 partners from 10 EU countries in these locations.
In April 2021, Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers from across Europe met virtually to hold the first workshop of the European Network of TCLF VET providers promoting Excellence to exchange ideas and priorities for joint action. This initiative brings together TCLF VET institutions to further strengthen Textile, Clothing, Leather and Footwear skills provision in order to better and faster respond to these sectors’ needs. Carmen Arias, Secretary-General of the European Footwear Confederation (CEC) described this first workshop as “a great first step towards greater collaboration and connectivity between our European TCLF VET community” and stressed that “promoting excellence in vocational training is critical for our industries’ productivity and innovation”. Following the success of this first gathering, Network members will continue their work in a second workshop in late June 2021.
The positive impact of collaboration
As a first step, S4TCLF project partners conducted a survey of 94 VET providers from 14 European countries. The results show that collaboration within a Network would increase the opportunities to grow as a smart VET provider, the scope of collaboration activities, and the diversity of TCLF actors that VET providers collaborate with. Being part of a Network means creating ties between many different players and allows VET providers to reap the benefits of collaboration, minimize the obstacles they currently encounter and create a propitious substrate to better respond to needs in terms of education, TCLF competitiveness, and regional growth.
The key role of VET to bolster European regions’ economic recovery
Robust and agile VET systems will make regional economic structures more responsive to disruptions and uncertainty, boost TCLF companies’ growth and attract better-qualified young talents. It is particularly the case in the TCLF sectors where geographical concentration is high and many companies operate in regional clusters. Network members will work to make their respective VET systems and institutions better prepared to respond to the latest companies and workers’ needs by implementing targeted collaborative actions and engaging in dialogue with regional authorities to fully integrate their voice into regional development strategies.
Implementing concrete actions to strengthen TCLF VET
At its core, the Network is about developing and implementing concrete actions and share best practices. The Network workshops are meant to identify priorities and strengths, and to devise collaboration schemes. Priorities include adapting TCLF VET provision to the real environment of TCLF companies to reduce skills mismatches, support the continuous learning of teachers, set up projects for youth exchanges and internships, develop shared training tools, and enter into dialogue with public authorities and other relevant stakeholders.
More information can be found on our S4TCLF project website and our S4TCLF Twitter page