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Cooperation for innovative approach in sustainable forest management training
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Europe's major growth strategies recognize the role that the education has as an essential driver of innovation and development, and a generator of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in the EU, as recognized also by the Europe 2020 Strategy and European policy priorities for vocational and educational training (VET). Education and training contributes also to the social, economic and environmental dimension of sustainable development and sustainable management of forest resources. Constantly changing political and forest related policy context demand continuous training of actors in the forestry and adjacent sectors. There is evident and urgent need for innovative training programme in sustainable forest management (SFM) in Austria, Croatia and Slovenia that will be developed by strategic partnership formed of partner organisations experienced in various aspects of adult and professional training related to various aspects of SFM. Main priorities addressed by this project are increasing labour market relevance of VET and fostering access to quality VET. Project’s objectives are 1) to develop innovative curriculum and training materials for VET and LLL learners in SFM that is multilingual, use ICT and OER (e-learning) for learning and 2) to implement this pilot programme trans-nationally in Austria, Croatia and Slovenia involving project’s target groups. The training programme will contribute to increasing number of adults involved in VET and LLL, increased number of adults with entrepreneurial skills, as well as digital skills in using ICT and OER and specific knowledge related to SFM that is relevant for increasing their employability and opportunity for self-employment or new business creation. Project target groups are forestry professionals, especially those young and unemployed, private forest owners (PFOs) who mostly lack knowledge and practical skills in SFM, forestry entrepreneurs and employees of institutions in charge of protected areas management. Special attention will be put on the analysis of the current status and identification of examples on good practice in professional training in SFM. During the project timeframe professionals working in the partner organisations will be trained in the approach and methodology for training of adults with the emphasis on professional training in SFM through training of trainers (in total 21 trainer or three persons per partner organisation). These trainers will be able to practice their skills during training of VET and LLL learners whereas learners are recruited from project's target groups. The curriculum as well as teaching and training material for the training programme in SFM will be developed by trained employees of partner organisations (trainers) on topics relevant for project's target groups that would contribute to their skills development and knowledge on various aspects of SFM. The innovativeness of this training programme in SFM is the use of ICT, production and use of multilingual OER and applying blended mobility of learners. The quality of the training programme in SFM will be assessed after the implementation of training based on the experience of both trainers and learners. The e-learning platform that is going to be developed during the project's timeframe will be accessible to all who are interested also beyond the project’s timeframe. The importance of open access materials on SFM is also for the wider audience than project's target groups, such as those teaching about natural resources and forests at various levels of formal education system and beyond. Dissemination activities of both project and project results will be undertaken through various means. In all dissemination events relevant stakeholders will be involved as well as in the in the identifying of relevant topics that will meet the needs of target groups and labour market. The project is expected to bring positive and long-lasting effects on target groups, participating organisations and relevant stakeholders directly or indirectly involved in the project activities. The expected impact on the organisational level is: 1) increased training skills for employees of partner organisations (trainers) for training of VET and LLL learners, 2) increased digital competence of trainers from partner organisations in using ICT and e-learning content for teaching and training, 3) increased capacity of partner organisations to work in EU/international environment through cooperation between partners in project preparation, implementation and follow-up, and 4) increased networking opportunities. The desired impact on the local and national level is increased employability, self-employment and new business creation for participants and subsequently reducing unemployment rates especially of young highly educated people. The expected impact on the European level is increased number of people participating in VET and LLL and higher quality of professional training in SFM.
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