Essen, Germany (PressExposure) June 20, 2014 -- The Agricultural Alliance for Competence and Skills based Training (ACT) successfully initiated its first focus group meetings in Germany at the premises of project partner DLG Academy on May 14, 2014. The convening group included important figures from the German agricultural sector. Topics of discussion were the current state of affairs regarding agricultural vocational education and training (VET) and its effectiveness in preparing new professionals for the field. In combination with upcoming focus groups in the Netherlands and Greece as well as a completed policy survey, the ACT Consortium will use the results of this meeting to construct an overview of current VET practices and difficulties in European agriculture.
ACT's ultimate goal is to reduce mismatch between new jobs and existing skills in the agricultural sector. The project plans to do this through new VET services with innovative instruments and modularized training based on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET). ACT thereby aims at improving curriculum design and delivery, reinforcing the unification of the labour market of the European Union and European mobility. The end result of the project will be the functional framework "Pathways for Agricultural Competence and skills based Training" (PACT).
PACT will enable and improve collaboration between agricultural VET providers, representatives of the labour market, and VET policy makers. For ease of use and accessibility, PACT will be available through an online service acting as a common entry point for all stakeholders. On one hand, VET providers will be able to use it to describe their training solutions targeting skills gaps and find educational inspiration through adapting and reusing solutions from similar VET providers. On the other hand, agricultural business and membership organisations will be able to use PACT to gain insight into existing training opportunities and indicate further emerging training needs. In this manner, PACT seeks to streamline and promote communication between various core actors in the European agricultural labour market.
The focus groups in Germany, the Netherlands, and Greece will contribute to the development of the initial version of PACT. After further consultation refines the PACT instruments and adapts them as effectively as possible to the needs and desires of stakeholders in European agriculture, ACT will organise training sessions on PACT which will bring together actors from complementary fields, following the idea of an agricultural alliance.
For more information on ACT and to get involved in innovation for VET in European agriculture, please visit the official project website at http://www.act-now.eu.