On the 2nd of March, 2022, the members of the European Network of TCLF VET providers promoting Excellence met virtually again to learn about the different tools and materials available by the partners of the Erasmus+ Skills4Smart TCLF industries 2030 Blueprint (S4TCLF) to promote their growth and modernization. The Network, one of the project outcomes, consists so far of 31 European Vocational and Training (VET) institutions to collaborate towards the modernization and excellence in TCLF VET, in order to better support TCLF industry needs and to attract young people to studies and professional careers in Textile, Clothing, Leather, and Footwear (TCLF). For that purpose, they plan the implementation of ambitious joint actions and exchanges of best practices with the support of the Blueprint project partners.
The focus of the event was to brief the participants on new tools and channels of collaboration for the VET providers, as well as to further explore the framework at the European level under which the Network can move forward. VET systems can contribute to making regional economic structures flourish, boost TCLF companies’ growth, and attract qualified young talents. Different resources were presented such as a resource pack targeted at 14–18-year-old students on the occasion of TCLF career orientation days, which can be adapted and personalized by each school. For VET providers and their students, project partners offered the cutting-edge MOOCs for 8 new occupational profiles and workshops for training teachers on the latest technology. The MOOCsinclude more than 200 video lectures, multiple sets of tests, assessments, and practical exercises available in different languages, under the dedicated section Skills4Smart TCLF Academy, which is accessible to the members of the Network along with personalized assistance. Participants also learned about the European Fashion Campus platform that intends to promote TCLF VET studies and facilitate the collaboration between VET providers. The idea is that the Campus becomes a “virtual square” for TCLF VET, where the demand and offer of skills and information are collected into one single platform for students and companies to find the suitable course.
The final presentation was the EU TCLF Pact for Skills elaborated by the EU TCLF umbrella organizations (Euratex, Cotance and CEC) upon consultation with industry and education representatives, which was endorsed by approximately 120 different categories of public-private stakeholders in December 2021. The objective of the Pact, an initiative launched by the European Commission, is to reinforce and promote lifelong learning of EU workers by calling for joint action to maximize the impact of investments in education. Industry, employers, social partners, chambers of commerce, public authorities, education and training providers, and employment agencies are invited to work together and make a clear commitment to invest in training for all working-age people across the Union in the form of a large-scale skills partnership. Within this framework, the Blueprint partners have started to mobilize their regional public and private industry representatives to identify their priorities and possible commitments to elaborate their regional/national TCLF Pact for Skills. In this regard, VET providers will play a key role in achieving them. Because VET education can be very decentralized at the regional level, in parallel to the EU Network of TCLF VET providers, the next step is to engage public regional authorities to collaborate at the regional level across Europe under an EU Network of regions promoting the modernization of TCLF VET systems thanks to the various sources of EU funding. Only a unified and coordinated approach to upskilling and reskilling that has all players on board will strengthen VET’s pivotal role in economic competitiveness and recovery and will facilitate the formation of well-equipped talents for the TCLF industries.