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Sector Skills Alliances

What are the aims and priorities of a Sector Skills Alliance?

Sector Skills Alliances aim at tackling skills gaps with regard to one or more occupational profiles in a specific sector. They do so by identifying existing or emerging sector-specific labour market needs (demand side), and by enhancing the responsiveness of initial and continuing vocational education and training (VET) systems, at all levels, to the labour market needs (supply side). Drawing on evidence regarding skills needs, Sector Skills Alliances support the design and delivery of transnational vocational training content, as well as teaching and training methodologies for European professional core profiles.

Sector Skills Alliances for strategic sectoral cooperation on skills identify and develop concrete actions to match demand and supply of skills to support the overall sector-specific growth strategy.

The projects will contribute to the improvement of quality and relevance of Europe's Vocational Education and Training systems as outlined in the 2015 ET 2020 Joint Report, and by the Ministers in charge of VET in the 2015 Riga conclusions agreeing on a new set of medium-term deliverables for the period 2015-2020.

This should be achieved through actions aimed at the following objectives:

  • developing strategic approaches to sectorial skills developments through partnerships for sustainable cooperation between key stakeholders in the sector and public authorities;
  • developing transnational level platforms and partnerships, based on innovative cooperation methods, as a first step towards the establishment of "Platforms of vocational excellence" acting as drivers of quality vocational skills in a context of European as well as national, regional/local sector strategies;
  • identification of existing and emerging skills needs for professions in specific sectors, also feeding this intelligence into the European Skills Panorama;
  • strengthening the exchange of knowledge and practice between education and training institutions and the labour market, with particular reference to sectorial actors;
  • promoting relevant sectorial qualifications and support agreement for their recognition;
  • building mutual trust, facilitating cross-border certification and therefore easing professional mobility in a sector, and increasing recognition of qualifications at European level within a sector;
  • adapting VET provision to skills needs, focusing both on job specific skills as well as on key competences;
  • integrating work-based learning in VET provision, whenever possible coupled with an international experience,and exploiting its potential to drive economic development and innovation, increasing the competitiveness of the sectors concerned;
  • planning the progressive roll-out of project deliverables leading to systemic impact in the form of constant adaptation of VET provision to skill needs, based on sustained partnerships between providers and key labour market stakeholders at the appropriate level ("feedback loops"). This planning should identify and involve key national and/or regional stakeholders, while also ensuring the wide dissemination of results.

 

What is a Sector Skills Alliance?

Sector Skills Alliances are transnational projects identifying or drawing on existing and emerging skills needs in a specific economic sector and/or translating these needs into vocational curricula to respond to those needs.

Sector Skills Alliances are intended for vocational education and training (VET), 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.). Applications that focus on the VET at tertiary level (EQF levels 6 to 8) must include a strong work-based learning component1, and also include at least one other VET qualification level between EQF levels 3 to 5 (i.e. not-exclusively tertiary level).

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 Apprenticeships2,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 the development of sectoral approaches through transnational "Platforms of vocational excellence". This Lot supports the development of pilot projects, based on innovative cooperation methods, as a first step towards the establishment of "Platforms of vocational excellence". It will support the development of sectoral approaches for design and delivery of VET content combined with a strategic approach to skills development at local/regional level and in line with local/regional growth and innovation strategies. When designing and delivering common training content, this should follow the approach and actions described for Lot 2.

Lot 2: Sector Skills Alliances for design and delivery of VET will work to design and deliver common training content for vocational programmes for one or several related profession/s in a sector, as well as teaching and training methodologies. A particular focus is to be put on work-based learning, providing learners with the skills required by the labour market. 

Lot 3: Sector Skills Alliances for implementing a new strategic approach (Blueprint) to sectoral cooperation on skills: The Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills3 is one of the ten actions in the New Skills Agenda for Europe (see description on Europa webpage4). In the current call, the Blueprint will be implemented in six sectors that are experiencing severe skills shortages (see eligibility criteria). Alliances under Lot 3 will support the implementation of the Blueprint by developing a sectoral skills strategy. This strategy has to lead to systemic and structural impact on reducing skills shortages, gaps and mismatches, as well as ensuring appropriate quality and levels of skills to support growth, innovation and competitiveness in the sector. The sectoral skills strategy must include a clear set of activities, milestones and well-defined outputs with the goal to match demand and supply of skills to support the overall sector specific growth strategy. The objectives of Lot 2 (responding to identified skills needs through design and delivery of VET) have to be included in the sectoral skills strategy. Lot 3 Alliance must also implement Lot 2 activities. For Lot 3 only 1 proposal per sector can be funded

 

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 the development of sectoral approaches through "Platforms of vocational excellence"

Establishing transnational Platforms of vocational excellence, with a sectoral approach, aimed at:

  • establishing business-education partnerships that may include cooperation on apprenticeships, internships, sharing of equipment, exchanges of staff and teachers between companies and VET centres, and organising other common activities;
  • developing innovation hubs, technology diffusion and/or virtual demonstration centres, with a particular focus on supporting SMEs, by sharing equipment and expertise, conduct research and development of products and services, with the close involvement of the VET learners;
  • providing business incubators for VET learners to develop their entrepreneurship skills, launching their business pro-jects/startups, or preparing to become self-employed;
  • actively participating in activities of regional "knowledge triangles", aimed at being at the forefront of research and technological developments, allowing the rapid update of training curricula and qualifications;
  • developing innovative teaching and training methodologies based on digital technologies (e.g. MOOC's, simulators, augmented reality,  etc.), as well as virtual / blended mobility solutions for learners and staff;
  • promoting the continuing professional development of teachers and trainers, focusing both on pedagogical skills as well as technical skills, as well as their involvement in research projects among the platform members;
  • developing challenge/project based learning that bring together inter-disciplinary expertise through VET learners from different fields of study (e.g. design, marketing, engineering) to solve real work problems/challenges; 
  • providing guidance services;
  • developing mechanisms and promoting validation of non-formal and informal learning;
  • developing internationalisation strategies to foster trans-national mobility of VET learners, teachers, trainers, and VET institution leaders, as well as human resource and training managers  in companies;
  • developing / exploring sustainable financial models that combine public and private funding, as well as income generating activities.

Designing trans-national sector-wide vocational curricula:

  • When designing trans-national sector-wide vocational curricula, the approach and actions described for Lot 2 should be followed.

Lot 2: Sector Skills Alliance for design and delivery of VET

Designing trans-national sector-wide vocational curricula:

  • when needed, gathering and interpreting evidence of skills needs on the labour market in a given economic sector, drawing on the EU Skills Panorama and, where relevant, the work of European Sector Councils;
  • identifying needs in terms of training provision, drawing on, where available, the occupational profiles of the Classification of the European Skills, Competencies, Qualifications and Occupations (ESCO);
  • on the basis of identified skills needs for specific occupation profiles in a given economic sector, identify and design VET curricula or qualification standards (in line with EQF and informed by ESCO), to respond to those needs;
  • 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 competences5, 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 con-cerned;
  • 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; 
  • where relevant, ensuring that results of the project are available in open data format so that they could feed into the Skills Panorama and ESCO.

 

Delivering vocational curricula:

  • identifying the most appropriate delivery methodologies for the curricula, using innovative approaches to teaching and learning, as well as a strategic and integrated use of ICTs (e.g. blended learning, simulators, augmented reality, etc.), virtual/blended mobility solutions for learners and staff, and open educational resources (e.g. MOOC´s6);
  • identifying ways to implement innovative VET teaching and learning methods to respond to the needs of specific target groups of learners; and through the provision of work-based learning;
  • developing actions to facilitate inter-generational transfer of knowledge within VET;
  • describing the ways in which assessment methodologies and procedures can embed all forms of learning, including work-based learning, and facilitate the validation of skills and competences acquired prior to training; 
  • identifying adequate measures to track learners after completing their training in order to provide "feedback loops"7. These tracking and feedback systems can build on information from companies, learners/employees, as well as public information resources and labour market stakeholders;
  • proposing the appropriate measures for the formal recognition of the new or adapted vocational curricula and qual-ifications in participating countries and in the sector(s) covered;
  • planning the progressive roll-out of project deliverables leading to systemic impact.

Lot 3: Sector Skills Alliances for implementing a new strategic approach (Blueprint) to sectoral cooperation on skills

Sector Skills Alliances under this Lot shall set up sustainable cooperation on skills development between key industry stakeholders in a given sector, education and training providers, and public authorities.

Alliances in this Lot cover the activities of Lot 2. 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. This strategy should be the first key deliverable of the project, identifying concrete actions and indicating clear set of ac-tivities, milestones and well defined outputs, to suggest how to match demand and supply of skills. The strategy should detail how major trends, such as global, societal, and technological developments in the sector, are likely to affect jobs and skills needs. It should describe the expected timeline and give particular attention to the impact of digital and key enabling technologies;
  • to underpin and illustrate the strategy, identifying, documenting and promoting concrete examples of policies and initiatives at national and regional level aiming at addressing skills shortages and mismatches as well as fostering multi-stakeholder partnerships (e.g. between industry, social partners, education and training, public authorities). Such examples should be presented in the form of fiches, containing a clear description of the policy/project, role and responsibilities of the different stakeholders, duration, funding (where available), and results; 
  • 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 fore-sight 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 compe-tence frameworks8; 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 ba-sis of the relevant occupational profiles;
  • fostering the development of concrete solutions in VET provision (including higher VET) as well as business-education-research partnerships;
  • developing concrete solutions to promote mobility of vocational students, jobseekers and trainees across Europe in the sector, capitalising on the use of existing EU tools (e.g. Erasmus+, EURES, Drop'Pin, European Alliance for Ap-prenticeships);
  • developing actions to promote the attractiveness of the sector as a career choice, in particular among the young, while also aiming for a gender balance in the sector; 
  • designing long term action plan for the progressive roll-out of project deliverables after the project has finished. This plan shall be based on sustained partnerships between education and training providers and key industry stakeholders at the appropriate level. It should include the identification of appropriate governance structures, as well as plans for scalability and financial sustainability. It should also ensure the appropriate visibility and wide dis-semination of the work of the Alliance, including at EU and national political level and include details on how the roll-out will be implemented at national and/or regional levels with relevant governmental and sectoral authorities; The action plan shall also indicate how EU funding opportunities (e.g. European Structural Funds, European Fund for Strategic Investment, Erasmus+, COSME, sectoral programmes), as well as national and regional funding can support skills strategies. This should take into account national and regional smart specialisation strategies;
  • delivering all relevant EU and/or country level qualitative evidence and quantitative data according to linked open data format9.

 

What are the essential features of a Sector Skills Alliance?

The key features of Sector Skills Alliances are:

  • Innovation in vocational education and training for specific professions in economic sectors (where available ES-CO10:) and;
  • Impact going beyond the project's lifetime and beyond the organisations involved in the Alliance. It is expected that partnership and activities persist. Changes in VET provision for professional profiles have to be measurable. Results and solutions have to be transferable and accessible to a broader audience. The results of Sector Skills Alliances should become available for use and publication in the EU Skills Panorama. 

 

Sector Skills Alliances have to demonstrate the commitment and added value of all partners. The partners should combine systemic and sector-related information with a solid knowledge of skills needs and training practices in their economic sector. The distribution of tasks and deliveries should show a right match between the partners' expertise and the activities they are in charge of. The partners should be representative in the sector at least at national level, have a European out-reach and expertise or competence in vocational skills anticipation or supply, training, or qualification design.

In Lot 1- Sector Skills Alliances for the development of sectoral approaches through "Platforms of vocational excellence" have to demonstrate a unique combination of transnational sectoral focus to skills development with links to local / regional economic development. The partners will develop sectoral approaches through pilot Platforms of vocational excellence, aimed at establishing world-class reference points for training in specific sectors for both initial training of young people as well as for continuous up- and re-skilling of adults. 

These platforms will consist of transnational partnerships for the development and delivery of joint VET curricula and quali-fications, with a strong focus on practical training in companies, mobility of learners and staff, and entrepreneurship. The partnerships will include VET providers at secondary, post-secondary non-tertiary, as well as tertiary levels, companies, chambers, research centres, organisations involved in innovation ecosystems, and relevant public authorities. The Platforms of Vocational Excellence should be understood in a wide context that adapts to the diversity of VET systems in the various countries.

The VET institutions participating in these platforms will act as catalysts for business investment and support European and regional innovation and smart specialisation strategies by ensuring supply of high quality skilled workers through flexible and timely offer of training for the skills needs of companies.

In Lot 2- Sector Skills Alliances for design and delivery of VET partners will have to interpret existing research evidence on profession-specific skills needs when implementing vocational education and training or designing qualification standards based on a common European professional core profile, drawing, where available on ESCO. Where appropriate, they should base themselves on skills intelligence gathered by "European Sector Skills Councils" and already existing sector skills stud-ies that have been commissioned by the European Commission. The EU Skills Panorama provides a wealth of skills intelli-gence, analyses and studies on professions (occupations) and sectors.

The Alliance should then translate these into innovative, learning outcome-oriented vocational curricula (applying ECVET) which include periods of work-based learning and which should be underpinned by quality assurance mechanisms (in line with EQAVET). The Alliance partners should demonstrate in the proposal what measures they will take in the countries and in the sector covered for the formal recognition (initial vocational education & training) or the certification (continuing vocational training) of the new or adapted vocational curriculum/a and how they will pursue the procedures after EU fund-ing has ended. Career guidance services together with regional or local authorities should play a "facilitator" role in sup-porting the process of skills matching with the planning of vocational curricula in order to attract initial VET schools, young learners or their parents to specific professions with high labour market demand. Sector Skills Alliances are supposed to carry out the proposed activities in a way that maximises the impact on one, or several related, profession/s in a given sector. 

In Lot 3- Sector Skills Alliances for implementing a new strategic approach (Blueprint) to sectoral cooperation on skills in addition to what is outlined for Lot 2, partners will have to develop a comprehensive and strategic approach encompassing all activities. This strategic approach should be clearly linked to the overall growth strategy of the sector, with a view to support the sector in addressing its most pressing challenges and achieving its medium and long-term goals, including where relevant in terms of growth, innovation, competitiveness and employment. The Alliances will have to take into account and reflect in their work the main policy developments and publications at EU level pertaining to their sector.

 

What is the role of organisations participating in a Sector Skills Alliance?

Applicant/coordinator: a participating organisation that submits the project proposal on behalf of all the partners. The coordinator has the full responsibility to ensure that the project is implemented in accordance with the agreement. Its coordinating covers the following duties:

  • represents and acts on behalf of the Alliance towards the European Commission;
  • bears the financial and legal responsibility for the proper operational, administrative and financial implementation of the entire project;
  • coordinates the Alliance in cooperation with project partners.

 

Full partners: participating organisations which contribute actively to the accomplishment of the Sector Skills Alliance. Each full partner must sign a mandate by which the signatory agrees that the coordinator takes over the above listed duties on behalf of the partnership during the implementation of the project. The same applies for partners from Partner Countries. 

Associated partners (optional): Sector Skills Alliances can involve associated partners who contribute to the activities of the Sector Skills Alliance. They are not subject to contractual requirements because they do not receive funding. However their involvement and role in the project and different work packages have to be clearly described.

Affiliated entities (optional): Organisations which contribute to the achievement of project objectives and activities. Affiliated entities must be identified in the grant application and satisfy the requirements as described in Annex III (Glossary of terms) of this Programme Guide.

 

What are the criteria used to assess a Sector Skills Alliance?

Here below are listed the formal criteria that a Sector Skills Alliance proposal must respect in order to be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant: 

 

Lot 1: Sector Skills Alliances for the development of sectoral approaches through "Platforms of vocational excellence"

Eligibility Criteria for Lot 1

Eligible participating organisations

The following organisations, with its affiliated entities (if any), are eligible to take part in a Lot 1 Alli-ance. They can be public or private organisation established in a Programme Country (see section "Eligible Countries" in Part A of this Guide).

  • public or private VET providers, at any EQF level in particular those with an own training de-partment, those providing apprenticeships, and those providing shared training (collaborative training);
  • EU or national organisations and networks representing industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, social partners, professions and education and training stakeholders, including youth organisations; as well as relevant sectoral organisations;
  • chambers of commerce, of industry or of labour, and other intermediary bodies;
  • networks of VET providers and European or national organisations representing them;
  • European and/or national social partners;
  • labour ministries or associated bodies (agencies or councils);
  • public or private employment services;
  • labour market research institutes, national statistics offices;
  • public or private, small, medium or large enterprises (including social enterprises);
  • economic development agencies and organisations involved in innovation ecosystems;
  • sectoral or professional associations of employers or employees; chambers of skilled crafts;
  • European or national sectoral umbrella organisations;
  • research institutes;
  • sector skills councils;
  • bodies providing career guidance, professional counselling and information services;
  • public authorities responsible for education and training and or labour market issues at local, regional or national level;
  • accreditation, certification, recognition or qualification bodies (bodies with “regulatory function”).

Who can apply?

Any participating organisation established in a Programme Country can be the applicant. This organisation applies on behalf of all participating organisations involved in the project.

Number and profile of participating organisations

The Sector Skills Alliance must cover at least 4 Programme Countries and include at least 8 full partners, out of which at least 3 are companies, industry or sector representatives (e.g. chambers or trade associations), and at least 3 are education and training providers.

Eligible sectors

All sectors11 except the sectors that are eligible under Lot 3.

Duration of project

2 years. The duration has to be chosen at application stage, based on the objective of the project and on the type of activities planned over time.
In exceptional cases, the duration of a Sector Skills Alliance may be extended, upon request by the beneficiary and with the agreement of the Executive Agency, of up to 6 months. In such a case, the total grant will not change.

Where to apply? To the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, located in Brussels.

When to apply?

Applicants have to submit their grant application by 28 February at 12:00 (midday Brussels time) for projects starting on 1 November or 1 December of the same year, or 1 January of the following year.  

How to apply?

Please see Part C of this Guide for details on how to apply.

 

Applicant organisations will be assessed against the relevant exclusion and selection criteria. For more information please consult Part C of this Guide.

 

Award Criteria for Lot 1

The project will be assessed against the following criteria:

Relevance of the project
(maximum 25 points)

  • Link to policy: the proposal contributes to achieving the European objectives to develop innovative cooperation partnerships, as a first step towards the establishment of transnational "Platforms of vocational excellence";
  • VET representation: the Sector Skills Alliance includes partners that adequately represent VET design and delivery;
  • Sector representation: the Sector Skills Alliance includes partners that adequately represent the sector concerned; 
  • Digital skills: extent to which the proposal foresees investigation into the needs of digital skills. Proposals including this aspect will be considered highly relevant;
  • Green skills: extent to which the proposal foresees investigation into skills re-quirements linked to the transition to a circular and greener economy. Proposals including this aspect will be considered highly relevant;
  • Purpose: the proposal is relevant to the objectives of the Action;
  • Consistency: the objectives are based on a sound needs analysis; they are clearly defined, realistic and address issues relevant to the participating organisations and to the Action;
  • Innovation: the proposal considers state-of-the-art methods and techniques, and leads to innovative results and solutions;
  • European added value: the proposal demonstrates clearly the added value generated through its transnationality.

Quality of the project design and implementation
(maximum 30 points)

 

  • Coherence: the overall project design ensures consistency between project objectives, methodology, activities and budget proposed. The proposal presents a coherent and comprehensive set of appropriate activities to meet the identified needs and lead to the expected results;
  • Structure: the work programme is clear and intelligible, and covers all phases (preparation, implementation, exploitation, monitoring, evaluation and dissemination);
  • Management: solid management arrangements are foreseen. Timelines, organisation, tasks and responsibilities are well defined and realistic. The proposal allocates appropriate resources to each activity;
  • Budget: the budget provides for appropriate resources necessary for success, it is neither overestimated nor underestimated;
  • Financial and quality control: control measures (continuous quality evaluation, peer reviews, benchmarking activities, etc.) and quality indicators ensure that the project implementation is of high quality and cost-efficient. Challenges/risks of the project are clearly identified and mitigating actions properly addressed. Expert review processes are planned as an integral part of the project. The Alliance work programme includes an independent external quality assessment at mid-term and at the end of the project.

Quality of the project team and the cooperation arrangements

(maximum 25 points)

  • Configuration: the composition of the partnership is in line with the project objectives, bringing together as relevant the expertise and competences required  for implementing planned activities.  The representativeness and expertise of the partners in the sector concerned and at European level is convincingly demonstrated. The partners combine systemic and sector-related information with a solid knowledge of skills needs and training practices in their economic sector. The participation of European social partners and/or national social partners in the countries covered by the Alliance with a clear attribution of a role. The spread and representativeness of relevant partners over the Programme Countries involved in the Alliance should be such that the Alliance has high implementation capacity in the countries covered by the Alliance (e.g. through the participation of a European sector organisation or European social partners). If the proposal also involves bodies with regulatory function in VET it will be considered highly relevant;
  • Commitment: the distribution of responsibilities and tasks is clear, appropriate, and demonstrates the commitment and active contribution of all participating organisations in relation to their specific expertise and capacity;
  • Tasks: the coordinator shows high quality management and coordination of transnational networks and leadership in complex environment. Individual tasks are allocated on the basis of the specific know-how of each partner;
  • Collaboration/Team spirit: an effective mechanism is proposed to ensure a good coordination, decision-making and communication between the participating organisations, participants and any other relevant stakeholder.

Impact and dissemination

(maximum 20 points)

  • Exploitation: the proposal demonstrates how the outcomes of the Alliance will be used by the partners and other stakeholders. It provides means to measure exploitation within project lifetime and after;
  • Dissemination: the proposal provides a clear plan for the dissemination of results, and includes appropriate activities, tools and channels to ensure that the results and benefits will be spread effectively to the stakeholders: policy makers, guidance professionals, enterprises and young learners in compulsory education concerning occupations with high labour market demand or new business creation potential; within and after the project’s lifetime; the proposal indicates which partners will be responsible for dissemination and demonstrates the relevant experience that they have in dissemination activities;
  • Impact: the proposal shows societal and economic relevance and outreach. It includes partners with a significant role in the sector concerned including in education and training. It includes measures as well as targets and indicators to monitor progress and assess the expected impact (short- and long-term); if bodies with regulatory function (in particular on qualifications) are convincingly involved to ensure recognition or certification of the training content the proposal is highly relevant. If a European sectoral umbrella organisation representing either social partners or the sector concerned is a full partner, the proposal is highly relevant. If economic development agencies and organisations involved in local/regional innovation ecosystems are full partners, the proposal is highly relevant;
  • Open access12 : If relevant, the proposal describes how the materials, documents and media produced will be made freely available and promoted through open licences  and does not contain disproportionate limitations; 
  • Sustainability: the proposal explains how the pilot Platforms of Vocational Excellence will be rolled out and further developed. The proposal includes appropriate measures and the identification of financial resources (European, national and private) to ensure that the results and benefits achieved by the Alliance will have a long-term sustainability.

 

To be considered for funding, proposals must score at least 70 points. Furthermore, they must score minimum 13 points for the categories "relevance of the project" and "quality of the project team and cooperation arrangements"; 16 points for the category "quality of the project design and implementation", and 11 points for the category "impact and dissemination".

 

Lot 2: Sector Skills Alliances for design and delivery of VET

Eligibility Criteria for Lot 2

ELIGIBLE PARTICIPATING ORGANISATIONS

The following organisations, with its affiliated entities (if any), are eligible to take part in a Lot 2 Alliance. They can be public or private organisations established in a Programme Coun-try (see section "Eligible Countries" in Part A of this Guide).

  • public or private VET providers, including social enterprises, in particular those with an own training department, those providing apprenticeships, and those providing shared training (collaborative training);
  • EU or national organisations representing industry, small and medium-sized enter-prises, relevant sectoral organisations;
  • networks of VET providers and European or national organisations representing them;
  • Education and training authorities at regional or national level, and Ministries;
  • organisations or networks – at EU or national level – representing social partners, industry, sectoral organisations, professions and education and training stakehold-ers, including youth organisations; 
  • chambers of commerce, of industry, of skilled crafts or of labour, and other inter-mediary bodies;
  • sector skills councils; 
  • economic development agencies, statistical bodies and research institutes;
  • cultural and/or creative bodies;
  • bodies providing career guidance, professional counselling, information services and employment services;
  • accreditation, certification, recognition or qualification bodies (bodies with “regulatory function”).

WHO CAN APPLY?

Any participating organisation established in a Programme Country can be the applicant. This organisation applies on behalf of all participating organisations involved in the project.

NUMBER AND PROFILE OF PARTICIPATING ORGANISATIONS

The Sector Skills Alliance must cover at least 4 Programme Countries and include at least 8 full partners, out of which at least 3 are companies, industry or sector representatives (e.g. chambers or trade associations), and at least 3 are education and training providers.

ELIGIBLE SECTORS

All sectors13 except the six sectors that are eligible under Lot 3.

DURATION OF PROJECT

2 or 3 years. The duration has to be chosen at application stage, based on the objective of the project and on the type of activities planned over time.
In exceptional cases, the duration of a Sector Skills Alliance may be extended, upon request by the beneficiary and with the agreement of the Executive Agency, of up to 6 months. In such a case, the total grant will not change.

WHERE TO APPLY? To the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, located in Brussels.

WHEN TO APPLY?

Applicants have to submit their grant application by 28 February at 12:00 (midday Brussels time) for projects starting on 1 November or 1 December of the same year, or 1 January of the following year.  

HOW TO APPLY?

Please see Part C of this Guide for details on how to apply.

 

Applicant organisations will be assessed against the relevant exclusion and selection criteria. For more information please consult Part C of this Guide.

 

Award Criteria for Lot 2

Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

RELEVANCE OF THE PROJECT
(MAXIMUM 25 POINTS)

  • Link to EU policy and initiatives: the proposal takes into account and contributes to achieving the European objectives in the field of VET; the proposal takes into account and contributes to giving visibility to existing EU tools and initiatives for skills development; draws on the work of a European Sector Skills Council where relevant;
  • VET representation: the Sector Skills Alliance includes partners that adequately represent VET design and delivery;
  • Sector representation: the Sector Skills Alliance includes partners that adequately represent the sector concerned; 
  • Digital skills: extent to which the proposal integrates digital skills in the training content for one, or several related, professional profiles. Proposals including this aspect will be consid-ered highly relevant;
  • Green skills: extent to which the proposal integrates skills linked to the transition to a circular and greener economy in the training content for one, or several related, professional profiles. Proposals including this aspect will be considered highly relevant;
  • Purpose: the proposal is relevant to the objectives of the Action (see section "What are the aims of a Sector Skills Alliance");
  • Consistency: the objectives are based on a sound needs analysis; they are clearly defined, realistic and address issues relevant to the participating organisations and to the Action;
  • Innovation: the proposal considers state-of-the-art methods and techniques, and leads to innovative results and solutions;
  • European added value: the proposal demonstrates clearly the added value generated through its trans-nationality.

QUALITY OF THE PROJECT DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION
(MAXIMUM 30 POINTS)

 

  • Coherence: the overall project design ensures consistency between project objectives, meth-odology, activities and budget proposed. The proposal presents a coherent and comprehensive set of appropriate activities to meet the identified needs and lead to the expected results;
  • Structure: the work programme is clear and intelligible, and covers all phases (preparation, implementation, exploitation, monitoring, evaluation and dissemination);
  • Methodology: the proposal is compliant and makes use of EU instruments and tools related to skills and occupations such as the EQF14, ECVET15, EQAVET16, Europass17, EURES18, Drop 'Pin19, ESCO20, etc.. Whenever possible, the proposal takes into consideration and capitaliz-es on previous relevant activities (e.g. Programme Countries initiatives, Knowledge Innovation Communities-KIC of the EIT21, previous and on-going Sector Skills Alliances22. It uses the learning outcomes approach, ECVET (units of learning outcomes) and quality assurance princi-ples in line with EQAVET;
  • Management: solid management arrangements are foreseen. Timelines, organisation, tasks and responsibilities are well defined and realistic. The proposal allocates appropriate re-sources to each activity;
  • Budget: the budget provides for appropriate resources necessary for success, it is neither overestimated nor underestimated;
  • The quality of arrangements for the recognition and validation of participants' learning out-comes, in line with European transparency and recognition tools and principles;
  • Financial and quality control: control measures (continuous quality evaluation, peer reviews, benchmarking activities, etc.) and quality indicators ensure that the project implementation is of high quality and cost-efficient. Challenges/risks of the project are clearly identified and mit-igating actions properly addressed. Expert review processes are planned as an integral part of the project. The Alliance work programme includes an independent external quality assess-ment at mid-term and at the end of the project.

QUALITY OF THE PROJECT TEAM AND THE COOPERATION ARRANGEMENTS

(MAXIMUM 25 POINTS)

  • Configuration: the composition of the partnership is in line with the project objectives, bring-ing together as relevant the expertise and competences required in curriculum design, qualifi-cation standards design, training delivery methodology and training policy. The representa-tiveness and expertise of the partners in the sector concerned and at European level is con-vincingly demonstrated. The partners combine systemic and sector-related information with a solid knowledge of skills needs and training practices in their economic sector. The participa-tion of European social partners and/or national social partners in the countries covered by the Alliance with a clear attribution of a role to develop the curriculum/a and ensure work-based learning is highly relevant. The spread and representativeness of relevant partners over the Programme Countries involved in the Alliance should be such that the Alliance has high im-plementation capacity in the countries covered by the Alliance (e.g. through the participation of a European sector organisation or European social partners) If the proposal also involves bodies with regulatory function in VET it will be considered highly relevant;
  • Commitment: the distribution of responsibilities and tasks is clear, appropriate, and demon-strates the commitment and active contribution of all participating organisations in relation to their specific expertise and capacity;
  • Tasks: the coordinator shows high quality management and coordination of transnational networks and leadership in complex environment. Individual tasks are allocated on the basis of the specific know-how of each partner;
  • Collaboration/Team spirit: an effective mechanism is proposed to ensure a good coordination, decision-making and communication between the participating organisations, participants and any other relevant stakeholder.

IMPACT AND DISSEMINATION

(MAXIMUM 20 POINTS)

  • Exploitation: the proposal demonstrates how the outcomes of the Alliance will be used by the partners and other stakeholders. It provides means to measure exploitation within the project lifetime and after;
  • Dissemination: the proposal provides a clear plan for the dissemination of results, and in-cludes appropriate activities and their timing, tools and channels to ensure that the results and benefits will be spread effectively to the stakeholders, policy makers, guidance profes-sionals, enterprises and young learners in compulsory education concerning occupations with high labour market demand or new business creation potential; within and after the project’s lifetime; the proposal indicates which partners will be responsible for dissemination and demonstrates the relevant experience that they have in dissemination activities;
  • Impact: the proposal shows societal and economic relevance and outreach. It includes partners with a significant role in the sector concerned including in education and training. It includes measures as well as targets and indicators to monitor progress and assess the expected im-pact (short- and long-term); if bodies with regulatory function (in particular on qualifications) are convincingly involved to ensure recognition or certification of the training content the pro-posal is highly relevant. If a European sectoral umbrella organisation representing either social partners or the sector concerned is a full partner, the proposal is highly relevant;
  • Open access23: If relevant, the proposal describes how the materials, documents and media produced will be made freely available and promoted through open licences24 and does not contain disproportionate limitations; 
  • Sustainability: the proposal explains how the action plan for the roll-out at national and re-gional levels will be developed. The proposal includes appropriate measures and the identifi-cation of financial resources (European, national and private) to ensure that the results and benefits achieved by the Alliance will have a long-term sustainability.

 

To be considered for funding, proposals must score at least 70 points. Furthermore, they must score minimum 13 points for the categories "relevance of the project" and "quality of the project team and cooperation arrangements"; 16 points for the category "quality of the project design and implementation", and 11 points for the category "impact and dissemination".

 

Lot 3: Sector Skills Alliances for implementing a new strategic approach (Blueprint) to sectoral cooperation on skills

Eligibility Criteria for Lot 3

ELIGIBLE PARTICIPATING ORGANISATIONS

The following organisations, with its affiliated entities (if any), are eligible to take part in a Lot 3- Alliance. They can be public or private organisations established in a Programme Coun-try (see section "Eligible Countries" in Part A of this Guide).

  • public or private enterprises active in the selected sectors especially those with an own training department, those providing apprenticeships, and those providing shared train-ing (collaborative training);
  • EU or national organisations representing industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, relevant sectoral organisations;
  • public or private education or training providers, including training centres and higher education institutions;
  • networks of education or training providers and European or national organisations rep-resenting them;
  • authorities responsible for education and training or employment, at regional or national level, and related Ministries;
  • organisations or networks – at EU or national level – representing social partners, indus-try, sectoral organisations, professions and education and training stakeholders, including youth organisations; 
  • chambers of commerce, of industry, of labour and other relevant sectoral intermediary bodies;
  • sector skills councils; 
  • economic development agencies, statistical bodies and research institutes;
  • bodies providing career guidance, professional counselling, information services and employment services;
  • accreditation, certification, recognition or qualification bodies (bodies with “regulatory function”);
  • bodies representing relevant authorities at regional and national level.

WHO CAN APPLY?

Any participating organisation established in a Programme Country can be the applicant. This organisation applies on behalf of all participating organisations involved in the project.

NUMBER AND PROFILE OF PARTICIPATING ORGANISATIONS

The Sector Skills Alliance must cover at least 8 Programme Countries and include at least 12 full partners, out of which at least 5 are companies, industry or sector representatives (e.g. chambers, trade unions or trade associations), and at least 5 are education and training providers.

ELIGIBLE SECTORS

  1. Batteries for electro-mobility
  2. Bio-economy, new technologies & innovation in agriculture
  3. Defence technologies
  4. Digitalisation of the energy value chain
  5. Energy-intensive industries/industrial symbiosis
  6. Microelectronic manufacturing & design

DURATION OF PROJECT

4 years.
In exceptional cases, the duration of a Sector Skills Alliance may be extended, upon request by the beneficiary and with the agreement of the Executive Agency, of up to 6 months. In such a case, the total grant will not change.

WHERE TO APPLY? To the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, located in Brussels.

WHEN TO APPLY?

Applicants have to submit their grant application by 28 February at 12:00 (midday Brussels time) for projects starting on 1 November or 1 December of the same year, or 1 January of the following year.  

HOW TO APPLY?

Please see Part C of this Guide for details on how to apply.

 

Additional information that must be taken into account per sector in lot 3 projects

Regarding LOT 3 - Sector Skills Alliances for implementing a new strategic approach (Blueprint) to sectoral cooperation on skills, the following information must be taken into account for each of the sectors:

Batteries for electro-mobility

The Alliance must include at least the first 2 areas:

  1. Skills required for mass production of battery cells and batteries (for e-mobility, energy storage and other industrial applications) including skills for the manufacturing of battery cell materials, battery cells and battery packs/systems;
  2. Current and expected future generation of battery technologies (e.g. current and advanced Lithium-ion and future Lithium-ion solid state); 
  3. Technologies relating to second use of e-mobility batteries (such as use in energy storage), and recycling.

To ensure complementarity and synergies, activities must be compatible with existing initiatives and evidence for the sector, including the actions and orientations provided by:

  • Blueprint on Sectoral Cooperation on Skills for Automotive25
  • Commission Communication: “Delivering on low-emission mobility” COM(2017) 67526
  • Commission Communication: “Europe On The Move” COM(2018) 29327  and its Annex II
  • Strategic Action Plan on Batteriesthe28
  • Final Report of the High Level Group on the Competitiveness and Sustainable Growth of the Automotive Industry in the EU – 'GEAR 2030'29
  • The Strategic Energy Technology Plan ('SET Plan) 30

Bio-economy, new technologies & innovation in agriculture

The Alliance must include two of the following areas: 

  1. Agricultural sustainability, management of natural resources and climate action;
  2. Digital technologies, digitalization, big data and artificial intelligence;
  3. Bio-economy, circular economy and bio-based products.

To ensure complementarity and synergies, activities must be compatible with existing evidence for the sector, including the actions and orientations provided by:

  • The Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR)31, particularly the work on Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS)
  • Common Agricultural Policy legislation32
  • Digital Single Market Strategy33
  • Strategic approach to EU agricultural research & innovation34 
  • EU Bio-Economy Strategy35
  • EU Circular Economy Action Plan36
  • EU Forest Strategy37
  • EU climate action38 
  • Relevant Horizon 202039, Bio-Based Joint Undertaking40 and LIFE  projects41
Defence technologies​

The Alliance must include at least 2 of the following areas: 

  • Complex weapon systems;
  • Ballistics;
  • Robotics, autonomous systems, artificial intelligence;
  • C4ISTAR (command, control, communications, computers, information/intelligence, surveillance, etc.).

To ensure complementarity and synergies, activities must be compatible with existing initiatives and evidence for the sector, including the actions and orientations provided by: 

  • Vision on defence-related skills for today and tomorrow: skills data analysis identifying the gaps (release foreseen in October 2018) 42
  • European Defence Skills Partnership43
  • European Defence Fund – Proposal for a Regulation COM(2018) 47644
  • Launching the European Defence Fund – COM(2017) 29545
  • European Defence Action Plan – COM(2016) 95046 
  • Study on skills and competence in Defence (2015)47
  • Towards a More Competitive and Efficient Defence & Security Sector – COM(2013) 38748
  • Implementation Roadmap for COM(2013) 38749
  • European Council Conclusions of December 201350
Digitalisation of the energy value chain

The Alliance must include at least 2 of the following areas: 

  • Digitalisation of energy transmission and distribution networks including smart grids and smart metering systems;
  • Information and communication systems (ICT systems) for the energy sector including data management and cyber-security;
  • New energy services including demand response and other energy data related services;
  • Transition and digitalisation of energy supply and generation.    

To ensure complementarity and synergies, activities must be compatible with existing initiatives and evidence for the sector, including the actions and orientations provided by:

  • Clean Energy for All Europeans Package51
  • The Energy Union Framework Strategy52
  • The Third Energy Package53
  • Electricity network codes and guidelines54
Energy-intensive industries/industrial symbiosis

The Alliance must include at least 2 of the following areas: 

  • Industrial symbiosis technologies;
  • Energy efficiency technologies;
  • Energy auditing and energy management.

To ensure complementarity and synergies, activities must be compatible with existing initiatives and evidence for the sector, including the actions and orientations provided by:

  • The 2018 Circular Economy package including the EU Strategy for Plastics55
  • The 2017 Communication on “A renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy”56
  • The 2011 Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe57
  • The Non-paper on the Competitiveness of the EU Energy Intensive58
  • Project for policy Report (2018) “Pathways to sustainable industries: Energy efficiency and CO2 utilisation”59
  • Action 6 from the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan60
  • Energy Efficiency Directive61
  • Waste Directive62
  • BREFs63
  • Projects financed by ERASMUS+: Recycle Art, ENACTPLUS64, SEEREUSE65
  • Horizon 2020 Projects such as MAESTRI, SCALER, SHAREBOX, SYMBIOPTIMA, EPOS66
Microelectronic manufacturing & design

The Alliance must include at least 2 of the following areas: 

  • Electronic components design for digital, analog or mixed-signal circuits, such as: information processing and storage, RF and microwaves, sensors (imaging, photonics, etc.) and actuators (MEMS etc); 
  • Electronic systems design, such as: system-on-chip, system–in-package, hardware/software co-design;
  • Basics of electronics manufacturing, such as: introduction to advanced materials, processing equipment, production process, testing, packaging, predictive/preventive services.

To ensure complementarity and synergies, activities must be compatible with existing initiatives and evidence for the sector, as well as orientations included in the following documents:

  • Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition – EC DG Cnect67
  • Implementation Plan of the European Industrial Strategic Roadmap – 2014 Electronics Leaders Group68
  • Skills for Key Enabling Technologies in Europe - Study – 2016, EC-DG Grow69 
  • Key Enabling Technologies - Final report – 2016, High Level Expert Group on KETs70, and Re-Finding Industry – 2018, High-Level Strategy Group on Industrial Technologies71 
  • A renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy – 201772
  • Digitising European Industry – 201673

Applicant organisations will be assessed against the relevant exclusion and selection criteria. For more information please consult Part C of this Guide.

 

Award Criteria for Lot 3

Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

RELEVANCE OF THE PROJECT
(MAXIMUM 25 POINTS)

  • Link to EU policy and initiatives: the proposal takes into account and contributes to achieving the European objectives in the field of VET; takes into account and contributes to give visibility to existing EU tools and initiatives for skills development; draws on the work of a European Sector Skills Council where relevant;
  • Education representation: the Alliance includes partners that adequately represent education providers;
  • Sector representation: the Alliance includes partners that adequately represent the sector concerned;
  • Digital and key-enabling technologies (KETs) skills: extent to which the proposal integrates these skills in the training content for one, or several related, professional profiles. Proposals including this aspect will be considered highly relevant;
  • Green and Blue skills: extent to which the proposal integrates skills linked to the transition to a circular and greener economy, both in terms of skills needs and in terms of training content for one, or several related, professional profiles. Proposals including this aspect will be considered highly relevant;
  • Purpose: the proposal is relevant to the objectives of the action, themes and activities described in section 2. The proposal contributes to building transnational networks and cooperation tools between relevant stakeholders to adapt education to emerging needs of the sector's industry;
  • Consistency: the objectives are based on a sound needs analysis; they are clearly defined, realistic and address issues relevant to the participating organisations and to the action;
  • Innovation: the proposal considers state-of-the-art methods and techniques, and leads to innovative results and solutions;
  • European added value: the proposal demonstrates clearly the added value generated through its trans-nationality.

QUALITY OF THE PROJECT DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION
(MAXIMUM 30 POINTS)

 

  • Coherence: the overall project design ensures consistency between project objectives, meth-odology, activities and budget proposed. The proposal presents a coherent and comprehensive set of appropriate activities to meet the identified needs and lead to the expected results;
  • Structure: the work programme is clear and intelligible, and covers all phases (preparation, implementation, exploitation, monitoring, evaluation and dissemination);
  • Methodology: the proposal is compliant and makes use of EU instruments and tools related to skills and occupations such as the EQF74, ECVET75, EQAVET76, Europass77, EURES78, Drop 'Pin79, ESCO80, etc.. Whenever possible, the proposal takes into consideration and capitaliz-es on previous relevant activities (e.g. Programme Countries initiatives, Knowledge Innovation Communities-KIC of the EIT81, previous and on-going Sector Skills Alliances82. It uses the learning outcomes approach, ECVET (units of learning outcomes) and quality assurance princi-ples in line with EQAVET;
  • Management: solid management arrangements are foreseen. Timelines, organisation, tasks and responsibilities are well defined and realistic. The proposal allocates appropriate re-sources to each activity;
  • Budget: the budget provides for appropriate resources necessary for success, it is neither overestimated nor underestimated;
  • The quality of arrangements for the recognition and validation of participants' learning out-comes, in line with European transparency and recognition tools and principles;
  • Financial and quality control: control measures (continuous quality evaluation, peer reviews, benchmarking activities, etc.) and quality indicators ensure that the project implementation is of high quality and cost-efficient. Challenges/risks of the project are clearly identified and mit-igating actions properly addressed. Expert review processes are planned as an integral part of the project. The Alliance work programme includes an independent external quality assess-ment at mid-term and at the end of the project.

QUALITY OF THE PROJECT TEAM AND THE COOPERATION ARRANGEMENTS

(MAXIMUM 25 POINTS)

  • Configuration: the composition of the Alliance is in line with the project objectives, bringing together as relevant the expertise and competences required in skills identification and anticipation, skills supply, curriculum design, qualification standards design, training delivery methodology  and training policy. The partners combine systemic and sector-related information with a solid knowledge of skills needs and training practices in their economic sector. The Alliance ensures adequate representativeness of the whole sector: the representativeness and expertise of the partners in the sector concerned and at European level is convincingly demonstrated. The participation of European social partners and/or national social partners in the countries covered by the Alliance is highly relevant. The geographical spread and representativeness of relevant partners over the Programme Countries involved in the Alliance should be such that the Alliance has high implementation capacity in the countries covered (e.g. through the participation of a European sector organisation and/or European social partners). If the proposal also involves bodies with regulatory function in Education and training it will be considered highly relevant;
  • Commitment: the distribution of responsibilities and tasks is clear, appropriate, and demonstrates the commitment and active contribution of all participating organisations in relation to their specific expertise and capacity;
  • Tasks: the coordinator shows high quality management and coordination of transnational networks and leadership in complex environment. Individual tasks are allocated on the basis of the specific know-how of each partner;
  • Collaboration/Team spirit: an effective mechanism is proposed to ensure a good coordination, decision-making and communication between the participating organisations, participants and any other relevant stakeholder.

IMPACT AND DISSEMINATION

(MAXIMUM 20 POINTS)

  • Exploitation: the proposal demonstrates how the outcomes of the Alliance will be rolled out in the participating countries;
  • Dissemination: the proposal provides a clear plan for the dissemination of results, and includes appropriate activities and their timing, tools and channels to ensure that the results and benefits will be spread effectively to the stakeholders, policy makers, guidance professionals, enterprises and young learners in compulsory education concerning occupations with high labour market demand or new business creation potential within and after the project’s lifetime; the proposal details how concrete examples of best practice will be identified, documented and disseminated;  the proposal indicates which partners will be responsible for dissemination and demonstrates the relevant experience that they have in dissemination activities;
  • Impact: the proposal shows societal and economic relevance and outreach. It includes partners with a significant role in the sector concerned including in education and training. It includes measures as well as targets and indicators to monitor progress and assess the expected impact (short- and long-term). It includes bodies with regulatory functions (in particular on Qualifications) that are actively involved to ensure the recognition or certification of the training content of the proposal. If a European sectoral umbrella organisation representing either social partners or the sector concerned is a full partner, the proposal is considered highly relevant; 
  • Open access: if relevant, the proposal describes how the materials, documents and media produced will be made freely available and promoted through open licences and in linked open data format, and does not contain disproportionate limitations;
  • Sustainability: the proposal explains how the action plan for the roll-out at national and regional levels will be developed.  The proposal includes appropriate measures and the identification of financial resources (European, national and private) to ensure that the results and benefits achieved by the Alliance will have a long-term sustainability beyond the project lifetime.

 

For Lot 3 only 1 proposal per pilot sector can be funded. To be considered for funding, proposals must score at least 70 points. Furthermore, they must score minimum 13 points for the categories "relevance of the project" and "quality of the project team and cooperation arrangements"; 16 points for the category "quality of the project design and implementation", and 11 points for the category "impact and dissemination".

 

What else should you know about this action?

Quality assurance is vital in order to ensure that Alliances successfully deliver their results and achieve an impact going far beyond the partner organisations themselves. Alliances are expected to achieve results which are widely transferable within the economic sector concerned. Therefore, Alliances need to provide a sound quality management plan. 

Alliances should also implement expert review processes as an integral part of the project. The Alliance work programme should therefore include an independent external quality assessment at mid-term and at the end of the project, to be submitted together with the project progress and final report respectively. In its progress report, the participating organisations will have to demonstrate the follow-up actions resulting from the recommendation of the mid-term quality assessment.

All Alliances are required to undertake targeted dissemination activities, notably through organisations/bodies providing professional guidance/orientation. They will have to provide a comprehensive dissemination plan including:

  • an active dissemination strategy to reach out to stakeholders, policy makers, guidance professionals, enterprises and young learners in compulsory education concerning occupations with high labour market demand or new business creation potential;
  • mainstreaming the results throughout the sector;
  • making the results of the Alliance available through open licences.

The dissemination plan should clearly explain how the planned project results will be disseminated, including definition of the targets, the objectives, the means to be used and the relevant timing. Applications should also indicate which partner will be responsible for dissemination and demonstrate the relevant experience that they have in dissemination activities. Selected projects will have to produce a short publishable summary of the project activities at the end of the project to be published in the Programme dissemination tool. 

Sector Skills Alliances are a recent and ambitious action; they are subject to a particular monitoring which requires active participation from all participants and stakeholders. Sector Skills Alliances have to foresee their participation in meetings and events organised by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency and the European Commission. A budget for up to 3 meetings per year has to be planned.

 

What are the funding rules?

The budget of the project must be drafted according to the following funding rules (in euro):

Lot 1 - Sector Skills Alliances for the development of sectoral approaches through “Platforms of vocational excellence”:

  • Indicative total budget: 4 000 000 €
  • Maximum EU contribution awarded for a project (2 years): 1 000 000 €

Lot 2 – Sector Skills Alliance for design and delivery of VET:

  • Indicative total budget: 3 500 000 €
  • Maximum EU contribution awarded for a project (2 years):    700 000 €
  • Maximum EU contribution awarded for a project (3 years): 1 000 000 €

Lot 3 – Sector Skills Alliance for implementing a new strategic approach (Blueprint) to sectoral cooperation on skills:

  • Indicative total budget: 24 000 000 €
  • Maximum EU contribution awarded for a project (4 years): 4 000 000 € 

​For Lot 3, only 1 proposal per pilot sector can be selected

Eligible costs

Financing mechanism

Amount

Rule of allocation

Implementation support

Contribution to any activity directly linked to the implementation of the project including: project management, project meetings, intellectual outputs (such as curricula, pedagogical materials, open educational resources (OER), IT tools, analyses, studies, etc.), dissemination, participation in events, conferences, travel, etc.


The number of days and the profile of staff involved by country is the basis for the calculation of the EU contribution.

Contribution to unit costs

B3.1 per manager involved per day of work on the project

Conditional: applicants will have to justify the type and volume of resources needed in relation to the implementation of the proposed activities and outputs.

The outputs should be substantial in quality and quantity to qualify for this type of grant support.

B3.2 per researcher/ teacher/trainer involved per day of work on the project

B3.3 per technician involved per day of work on the project

B3.4 per administrative staff involved per day of work on the project

 

Table A - Project implementation (amounts in euro per day) Programme Countries

The amounts depend on: a) profile of staff engaged in the project and b) the country of the participating organisation whose staff is engaged.

 

Manager

Teacher/Trainer/Researcher/

Youth worker

Technician

Administrative staff

 

B3.1

B3.2

B3.3

B3.4

Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Liechtenstein, Norway

353

289

228

189

 

Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Finland, United Kingdom, Iceland

 

336

257

194

157

 

Czech Republic, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia

 

197

164

122

93

 

Bulgaria, Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey

 

106

88

66

47