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Call: Partnership for Excellence - Centres of Vocational Excellence

Programme
Acronym Erasmus+ - KA2
Description of programme
"Erasmus+ - Key Action 2 – Cooperation among Organisations and Institutions"

This Key Action supports:

  • Partnerships for Cooperation, including Cooperation Partnerships and Small-scale Partnerships;
  • Partnerships for Excellence, including Centres for Vocational Excellence, Teachers Academy and Erasmus
  • Mundus Action;
  • Partnerships for Innovation, including Alliances and Forward-looking projects;
  • Capacity Building projects in the field of youth;
  • Not-for-profit European sport events.

For the participating organisations, projects supported under this Key Action are intended to produce the following outcomes:

  • innovative approaches for addressing their target groups, by providing for example: more attractive education and training programmes, in line with individual needs and expectations; use of participatory approaches and digital methodologies; new or improved processes of recognition and validation of competences; greater effectiveness of activities for the benefit of local communities; new or improved practices to cater for the needs of targets groups with fewer opportunities and to deal with differences in learning outcomes linked to the geographical and socio-economic disparities; new approaches to address social, ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity; new approaches to better support competitiveness and employment in particular at regional and local level; recognition of excellence in language learning or teaching through the European Language Label;
  • a more modern, dynamic, committed and professional environment inside the organisation: ready to integrate good practices and new methods including digital capabilities into daily activities; open to synergies with organisations active in different fields or in other socio-economic sectors; strategic planning of professional development for staff in line with individual needs and organisational objectives;
  • increased capacity and professionalism to work at EU/international level: improved management competences and internationalisation strategies; reinforced cooperation with partners from other countries, other fields of education, training and youth and/or other socio-economic sectors; increased allocation of financial resources (other than EU funds) to organise EU/international projects in the field of education, training and youth; increased quality in the preparation, implementation, monitoring and follow-up of EU/international projects;monitoring and follow-up of EU/international projects;
  • increased knowledge and awareness regarding sport and physical activity:
  • increased awareness of the role of sport in promoting social inclusion, equal opportunities and a healthy lifestyle;

Projects funded under this Key Action are also likely to have a positive impact on the persons directly or indirectly involved in the activities, such as:

  • increased sense of initiative and entrepreneurship;
  • increased competence in foreign languages;
  • increased level of digital competence;
  • greater understanding and responsiveness to all kinds of diversity, e.g. social, ethnic, linguistic, gender and cultural diversity as well as diverse abilities;
  • improved levels of skills for employability and new business creation (including social entrepreneurship);
  • more active participation in society;
  • more positive attitude towards the European project and the EU values;
  • better understanding and recognition of skills and qualifications in Europe and beyond;
  • improved competences, linked to occupational profiles (teaching, training, youth work, sport coaching, etc.);
  • better understanding of practices, policies and systems in education, training, youth and sport across countries;
  • better understanding of interconnections between formal, non-formal education, vocational training, other forms of learning and labour market respectively;
  • increased opportunities for professional development;
  • increased motivation and satisfaction in daily work;
  • increased practice of sport and physical activity.

At systemic level, they are expected to trigger modernisation and reinforce the response of education and training systems and youth policies to the main challenges of today's world: environmental sustainability, digital transformation, employment, economic stability and growth, but also the need to promote social, civic and intercultural competences, intercultural dialogue, democratic values and fundamental rights, social inclusion, mental health and well-being, non-discrimination and active citizenship, critical thinking and media literacy.
Therefore, the impact of this Key Action is intended to be:

  • increased quality of education and training, youth work and sport practices in Europe and beyond: combining higher levels of excellence and attractiveness with increased opportunities for all;
  • education, training and youth systems that are better aligned to the needs of and opportunities offered by the labour market, and closer links to business and the community;
  • improved provision and assessment of basic and transversal skills, particularly: entrepreneurship, social, civic, intercultural and language competences, critical thinking, digital skills and media literacy;
  • increased synergies and links and improved transition between the different sectors of education, training and youth at national level, with improved use of European reference tools for recognition, validation and transparency of competences and qualifications;
  • increased use of learning outcomes when describing and defining qualifications, parts of qualifications and curricula, in support to teaching and learning and in assessment;
  • increased awareness and openness to social diversity and increased inclusiveness and accessibility of education systems and possibilities
  • new and increased inter-regional and transnational cooperation of public authorities in the fields of education, training and youth;
  • more strategic and integrated use of ICTs and open educational resources (OER) in education, training and youth systems;
  • increased motivation for language learning through innovative teaching methods or better links to practical use of language skills required by the labour market;
  • reinforced interaction between practice, research and policy.
  • increased level of participation in sport and physical activity as a tool for health and well being
  • increased knowledge on how to tackle cross-border threats to the integrity of sport, such as doping, match fixing and violence, as well as all kinds of intolerance and discrimination better support of good governance in sport and dual careers of athletes;
  • increased recognition of voluntary activities in sport;
  • increased mobility of volunteers, coaches, managers and staff of non-profit sport organisations;
  • increased social inclusion and equal opportunities in sport.
Link Link to Programme
Call
Partnership for Excellence - Centres of Vocational Excellence
Description of call
"Partnership for Excellence - Centres of Vocational Excellence"

The initiative on Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) supports a bottom-up approach to Vocational Excellence involving a wide range of local stakeholders. It enables VET institutions to rapidly adapt skills provision to evolving economic and social needs, including the digital and green transitions. CoVEs operate in a given local context, being the linchpin of skills ecosystems for innovation, regional development, and social inclusion, while working with CoVEs in other countries through international collaborative networks.

They provide opportunities for initial training of young people as well as the continuing up-skilling and re-skilling of adults, through flexible and timely offer of training that meets the needs of a dynamic labour market, in the context of the green and digital transitions. They act as catalysts for local business innovation, by working closely with companies and in particular SMEs.

Vocational Excellence ensures high quality skills and competences that lead to quality employment and career-long opportunities, which meet the needs of an innovative, inclusive and sustainable economy.

The concept of Vocational Excellence proposed here is characterised by a holistic learner centred approach in which VET:

  • Is an integrated part of skills ecosystems, contributing to regional development, innovation, smart specialisation and clusters strategies, as well as to specific value chains and industrial ecosystems
  • Is part of knowledge triangles, working closely with other education and training sectors, the scientific community, the creative sector, and business
  • Enables learners to acquire both vocational (job specific) as well as key competences through high-quality provision that is underpinned by quality assurance
  • Builds innovative forms of partnerships with the world of work, and is supported by the continuous professional development of teaching and training staff, innovative pedagogies, learner and staff mobility and VET internationalisation strategies

Objectives of the Action

This action supports the gradual establishment and development of international collaborative networks of Centres of Vocational Excellence, contributing to creating skills ecosystems for innovation, regional development, and social inclusion. Centres of Vocational Excellence will operate at two levels:

1. At national level involving a wide range of local stakeholders creating skills ecosystems for local innovation, regional development, and social inclusion, while working with CoVEs in other countries through international collaborative networks.

2. At international level bringing together CoVEs that share a common interest in:

  • specific sectors or industrial ecosystems ,
  • innovative approaches to tackle societal challenges (e.g. climate change, digitalisation, artificial intelligence, sustainable development goals, integration of migrants, upskilling people with low qualification levels, etc.), or
  • innovative approaches to increase the outreach, quality and effectiveness of existing CoVEs.

The networks will bring together existing CoVEs in different countries, or develop the Vocational Excellence model by linking partners from various countries, that intend to develop Vocational Excellence in their local context through international cooperation. They could contribute e.g. to the delivery phase of the New European Bauhaus initiative by collaborating with the communities involved in the local transformations fostered by the initiative.

The networks aim for "upward convergence" of VET excellence. They will be open for the involvement of countries with well-developed vocational excellence systems, as well as those in the process of developing similar approaches, aimed at exploring the full potential of VET institutions to play a proactive role in support of growth and innovation.

CoVEs are intended for organisations providing vocational education and training, at any EQF levels from 3 to 8, including the upper-secondary level, the post-secondary non-tertiary level as well as the tertiary level (e.g. Universities of applied sciences, Polytechnic institutes, etc.).

However, applications cannot include only activities that target learners at tertiary level; applications that focus on VET at tertiary level (EQF levels 6 to 8) must include at least one other VET qualification level between EQF levels 3 to 5, as well as a strong work-based learning component.

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Children & Youth, Education & Training, Equal Rights, Human Rights, People with Disabilities, Social Inclusion, Employment & Labour Market, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Rural & Peripheral Development, Urban development, Regional Development & Regional Planning, Administration & Governance, Competitiveness, SME
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Iceland / Ísland
Liechtenstein
North Macedonia / Северна Македонија
Norway / Norge
Serbia / Сpбија
Turkey / Türkiye
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Iceland / Ísland
Liechtenstein
North Macedonia / Северна Македонија
Norway / Norge
Serbia / Сpбија
Turkey / Türkiye
Eligible applicants NGO / NPO, Education and Training Centres, University, Research Institution, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Public Services, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority
Applicant details

Any participating organisation legally established in an EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme can be the applicant. This organisation applies on behalf of all participating organisations involved in the project.

Any public or private organisation active in the field of vocational education and training, or in the world of work and legally established in an EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme or in any third country not associated to the Programme (see section "Eligible Countries" in Part A of this Guide) can be involved as full partner, affiliated entity or associated partner. For example, such organisations can be (non-exhaustive list):

  • VET providers
  • Companies, industry or sector representative organisations
  • National/regional qualification authorities
  • Research institutes
  • Innovation agencies
  • Regional development authorities
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

The partnership must include at least 8 full partners from a minimum of 4 EU Member States or third countries associated to the Programme (including at least 2 EU Member States).

Each EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme must include:

  1. at least 1 enterprise, industry or sector representative organisation, and
  2. at least 1 vocational education and training provider (at secondary and/or tertiary level).

Further composition of the partnership should reflect the specific nature of the proposal.

Organisations from third countries not associated to the Programme can also participate as full partners, affiliated entities or associated partners (not as applicants), to the extent it is demonstrated that their participation brings an essential added value to the project.

Project duration max 48 months
Type of Funding Grants
Financial details This action follows a lump sum funding model. The amount of the single lump sum contribution will be determined for each grant based on the estimated budget of the action proposed by the applicant. The granting authority will fix the lump sum of each grant based on the proposal, evaluation result, funding rates and the maximum grant amount set in the call. The maximum EU grant per project is 4 million euros
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.
Contact Details

European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) - https://www.eacea.ec.europa.eu/index_en

Since 2006, the European Education and Culture Executive Agency has been a catalyst for projects in education, training, youth, sport, audiovisual, culture, citizenship and humanitarian aid. On behalf of the European Commission, EACEA strives to foster innovation in these areas, always in a spirit of cross-border cooperation and mutual respect.

EACEA are project managers, facilitators of knowledge exchange, and supporters of European projects that connect people and cultures.

National Agencies

To bring Erasmus+ as close as possible to the participants and make sure it works well across different countries, the EU works with National Agencies to manage the programme.

The National Agencies are based in Programme Countries and their role involves

  • providing information on Erasmus+
  • selecting projects to be funded
  • monitoring and evaluating Erasmus+
  • supporting applicants and participants
  • working with other National Agencies and the EU
  • promoting Erasmus+
  • sharing success stories and best practices

The list of National Agencies can be found here. Countries not in the list of Programme countries may alternately have a National Erasmus+ Office.

National Erasmus+ Offices

National Erasmus+ Offices (NEOs) assist the European Commission and local authorities in the implementation of Erasmus+ in certain Partner Countries.

These countries are located in the Western Balkans, the Eastern and Southern Mediterranean and Central Asia. Russia also has a National Office.

Providing information on Erasmus+, monitoring and evaluating funded projects, assisting applicants and participants, supporting policy dialogue and maintaining contact with local authorities and EU Delegations are among the responsibilities of the NEOs.

The list of National Erasmus+ Offices is available on the website of the Education, Culture, and Audiovisual Executive Agency.

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