On 17th-18th June 2017, the Chamber of Installation Specialists held its annual convention in Pamporovo, Bulgaria. At these annual conventions, all members of the CISB from all over the country discuss current issues, present new developments and exchange ideas. This year, the Annual Convention was attended by representatives of over 50 companies working in the field of installations, most of which are also interested in renewable energy sources and geothermal and solar installations, in particular.
The afternoon session of 17th June at this year’s Annual Convention was dedicated to “Geothermal and solar skills – Vocational education and training (GSS-VET)”, an Erasmus+ funded project, carried out by 16 professional partners from 4 different EU countries: Bulgaria, Germany, Greece and Spain. GSS-VET aims to tackle the existing gaps in continuous training of geothermal and solar systems installers, plumbers and electricians, by creating and implementing a demand-driven VET training.
First, the Managing Director of CISB, Mrs. Adelina Stanimirova, made a presentation about the Project.
The European Commission has adopted a new “Skills Agenda for Europe”. The agenda aims to ensure that people develop all necessary skills for today’s and tomorrow’s labor market. Today’s Agenda calls on Member States and stakeholders to improve the quality of skills and its relevance with the labor market, as 40% of European employers report their difficulty in finding proper skilled employees so as to grow and innovate. Furthermore, only a few people have the entrepreneurial mindset and competences to start their own business and keep adapting to the market’s evolving requirements.
In this Agenda, the Commission proposes 10 actions to be taken forward, 3 of which fall within the scope of the GSS-VET:
- Making Vocational Education and Training (VET) a first choice by enhancing opportunities for VET learners to undertake a work based learning experience and promoting greater visibility of good labor market outcomes of VET;
- A review of the European Qualifications Framework for a better understanding of qualifications and to make better use of all available skills in the European labor market;
- A review of the Recommendation on Key Competences to help more people acquire the core set of skills necessary to work and live in the 21st century with a special focus on promoting entrepreneurial and innovation- oriented mind-sets etc.
The GSS-VET objectives are to:
- Design 2 EU core curricula (European Qualification levels 4-5) for geothermal and for solar energy system installers, divided in sets of learning outcomes i.e. two corresponding VET programs;
- Implement, deliver and evaluate the above-described training;
- Certify, after developing a technical scheme according to ECVET recommendations and ISO 17024 norm, participants developed skills.
As a training outcome, an E-learning Platform is to be designed and launched, containing all training materials, in English, Bulgarian, German, Greek and Spanish.
The project plans to:
- Directly involve 40 trainers and 200 workers during the project’s lifetime;
- Involve 2,500 adults in the created training curricula and the innovative methodology, as well as to prepare 1,000 trainers in targeted trainings thanks to the involvement of VET providers, sectorial organizations (including an EU umbrella), regional authorities and other associated partners;
- Create a roadmap for the official recognition of the training by 2025;
- Develop a network of VET providers implementing the GSS – VET training in 8 EU countries.
The project aspires to:
- Enhance creativity and innovation including entrepreneurship at all level of VET;
- Promote work-based learning including traineeships, apprenticeships and dual learning models to help transition from learning to work;
- Stimulate partnership between public and private institutions;
- Reach the objective of 15% of adults to participate in lifelong learning;
- Make lifelong learning and mobility a reality.
The project has already published:
- List of core green skills required for plumbers and electricians in the 4 partner countries;
- Mapping of existing training programmes in geothermal & solar installations in the partners countries;
- Selection of best practices of teaching methods to be implemented in the project;
Visit http://www.gss-vet.eu/ for further information on GSS- VET.
Next, Mrs. Daria Popalova, explained the role of CISB in the project, its tasks and obligations. The participants were acquainted with the Internet-based survey into the skills and competences in need of improvement of installers of solar and geothermal installations. The identified core competences were discussed. The issue triggered a debate in which both specialists and scientists took part.
The participants also discussed their possible involvement in the Project – both as workers, trainers, and as validators, once they got acquainted with the newly developed curricula.
What is important is the fact that the Project is expected to meet urgent needs of the concerned businesses, and therefore, companies are willing to participate in or contribute to the successful implementation of the Project.