New Skills for VET Teachers (NSVETT)
The skills set and role of VET teachers is being outpaced by developments of working life. Jobs and occupations are changing, and VET institutes need to embrace transformational change and be more flexible in their response to industry need. The pace of innovation and changing skills requirements across all sectors of work life is increasing, and the expectations of learners is changing rapidly. However, many educational institution staff still hold traditional attitudes to their role as a teacher. Therefore, innovative upskilling solutions are needed to support professional vocational teachers to prepare them for the future.
Salpaus Further Education Regional Consortium, Finland
Hameen Ammattikorkeakoulu Oy, Finland
Albeda College, The Netherlands
Flasgow Kelvin College, UK
The project partners will share views, challenges and good practices on how to provide new skills for our teachers as well as those across Europe. The project will take the form of 3 workshops, each addressing a specific issue connected with future skills of teaching. Planned topics for the workshops include lifelong learning; interaction between companies and education institutes; dealing with changes in work life and how to respond in a flexible way; and adapting to student diversity. The output will be a collection of articles, digital tools and a knowledge base housed on a digital tool kit.
The result of the project will be that the participants:
- gain new ideas to ensure and improve teacher professional learning
- will have found ways to ensure that the skills of teachers meet the needs of working life now and in the future
- will have identified innovative ways to improve teacher professional learning
- will have shared knowledge of the education challenges and phenomena across Europe
Digital Skills for the AI Revolution (DS4AIR)
The global workforce is today facing a critical period of jobs and skills instability. With a large portion of today’s jobs set to disappear or become displaced by Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and automation, the world today requires a human workforce which possess proficient digital skills.
The DS4AIR project supports innovation through the design, development and evaluation of an online training course on Digital Skills in view of the AI Revolution. This is aimed at improving and extending the reskilling of vulnerable adults in the workforce who possess a lower level of knowledge and digital competences. Consequently, this will future-proof their careers vis-à-vis the anticipated shift and demands in digital skills.
The project’s objectives are
- to establish the current state of affairs in the business industry in terms of AI readiness
- to identify the gaps between the required new digital skills and competences and the demands of the labour market, in view of the AI Revolution
- to create a learner persona defining the course’s target audience
- to design and develop an online self-paced training course on digital skills for the AI Revolution
- to reskill vulnerable adults whose jobs are threatened by the new technologies, hence ensuring their survival and prosperity in the job market
- to analyse the quality and impact of the course through a summative evaluation of the content and instructional design, vis-à-vis the expected learning outcomes
- to write a short recommendations document on digital skills for corporate training in the AI Revolution
B&P Emerging Technologies Consultancy Lab Ltd (B&P EmTeC Lab), Malta
Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, Malta
Cámara de Comercio de Valencia, Spain
South Eastern Regional College, UK
SmartLearning (within the Copenhagen Business Academy), Denmark
The project objectives are:
- compilation of a literature review and recommendations document
- needs analysis to identify the skills gap
- design and development of the online training course
- evaluation of the online training course through a pilot programme with a group of vulnerable adults, whose jobs are threatened by the new technologies
It is envisaged that the results will yield a high-quality digital learning environment, based on the needs and requirements of vulnerable adults in today’s workforce. It is also expected that the digital competence of participating adults will be enhanced, thus improving their careers’ prospects. Participating businesses will be equipped in terms of skilled labour to embrace the disruption brought about by emerging technologies and better placed to understand, assess and act upon the reskilling requirements posed by the foreseeable skills mismatch brought about by the Artificial Intelligence Revolution.
In terms of the potential longer-term benefits, the online training course will become a valuable open education resource for re/upskilling for business and interested individuals around the world. Furthermore, the resulting recommendations document on digital skills for corporate training in the AI Revolution will complement the Pan-European policy efforts in the popularisation of digital competences, by providing evidence-based practice for future guidelines.
Smart Manufacturing (Smart-Man)
This project will establish a Trans-National Smart Manufacturing Education Hub (Smart-Man) focusing on advancing Industry 4.0 educational activities at all institutions involved in the programme. This will be achieved through the design of industry-attuned and accredited new curricula and adaptation of existing curricula for undergraduate, postgraduate, and continuous professional development (CPD) training programmes, and the development of bespoke CPD leadership programmes to support Industry 4.0 champions within companies.
Queen’s University Belfast, UK
South East Regional College, UK
University of Limerick, Ireland
National Technical University of Athens, Greece
The project objectives are:
- Development of a new international curriculum model in mechatronics for manufacturing
- New degree pathways for fresh industry entrants that are fit for the highly skilled workforce of the future with direct input from global manufacturing knowledge
- Design of new training pathways for the current low skilled manufacturing workforce in each Programme Country which will include a mix of apprenticeship training programmes and new undergraduate and graduate degree programmes to upskill the existing workforce
- Development of a lifelong training pathway for the existing workforce in the manufacturing industry that is responsive to continuous technological advancements
- Embedding of mobility in the curriculum through placements, exchanges, summer schools, and joint project supervision
- Introduction of a joint programme between the partner institutions and beyond, which will allow access to knowledge and deliver skills from diverse fields in Engineering, Computer Science, Data Science and Mathematics, as need to address the challenges of factories of the future
- Embedding of sustainability as an integral part of the curricula with key principles derived from the UN Sustainable Development Goals to train the workforce of the future to have a mindset orientated towards environmental and social sustainability
By participating in the training programmes, students will gain the necessary work skills that prepare them for a successful career in Manufacturing within the Industry 4.0 framework. Absorbing different technologies and scientific fields in a curriculum is a critical challenge for the potential workforce, which can be tackled only by actions initiated and nurtured by international frameworks. The expected impact on the academics involved is expected to be equally valuable and important, as the development of a joint programme including courses such as ‘Manufacturing Cyber-Physical Systems’ and ‘Industrial Internet of Things’ will create opportunities for:
- developing methods for teaching new, timely skills much needed in Industry 4.0 workforce and related researchers
- creating new research paths and enriching existing collaborations between academics from the four participating institutes
Longer term benefits will arise as industry embraces digitalisation technologies to meet the demands of consumers with regard to mass customisation, quality and cost, while at the same time delivering economically, environmentally and socially sustainable manufacturing into the future. Therefore, industry needs to have recourse to a versatile and digitally skilled work force. The skills gap in this regard is a major barrier for many companies and is a recognised constraint on economic growth and competitiveness of the manufacturing sectors in the partner institution countries, and across Europe more generally. The Smart-Man project will tackle this problem head-on by aiming to deliver a continuous supply of high-quality graduates for the factories of the future.