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HECOS FOR ETHICS – Higher Education and CompanieS FOsteRing ETHICal Skills
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Aug 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project finds its rationale in the needs of training and education providers, students, production companies, ngos and the European Commission. The need for the ethical training of employees has already formally been acknowledged by the European Commission claiming to integrate CSR in the skills and competences of managers and employees. These are regarded as key elements in terms of individual responsibility development for a lifelong employability and its sustainability, thus the intensification of ethical skills education is a challenge both for the business and the educational sectors. In our globalized world changing our lifestyles and consumption patterns here means also having an impact on the southern hemisphere. For this reason raising awareness is becoming a necessity as well as a part of the mission of the ngos involved in international cooperation. Guiding principles of cooperation projects are not ever growth and development but mutual learning, solidarity and environmental sustainability. Therefore, education on human rights, respect for the environment and social diversity is required for adult audiences as well. The objective of the project is to enhance the quality and relevance of the learning offer in training, via developing new and innovative approaches, supporting the transfer of good practices and fostering the assessment of key-competences, including transversal skills like ethical ones, in order to enhance the role of ethical competences, to raise the awareness of companies on the issues of human rights, respect for the environment, the consumption of land and resources, i.e. values that are part of the ethical skills area of EQF for managers. To achieve this objective the means is to create a network of companies working with innovative training methods of non-formal and informal education for adults in the fields of CSR and international solidarity. By the end of the project these following short and also potentially long-term impacts, objectives will be obtained and developed: - The quality and relevance of the learning and educational offer in training improved. With the development of a new and innovative approach it will be possible to foster the assessment of key-competences, including transversal skills like those of ethics. - The capacities of organizations active in the fields of higher education, training and youth, notably in the areas of strategic development, organizational management, leadership, internationalisation, equity and inclusion will be improved and developed. - The transition of learners (college students and managers) through different levels and types of formal/non-formal education and training will be facilitated through the use of European reference tools for the recognition, validation and transparency of competences and qualifications. The project’s realisation and implementation includes the preparatory research activity about the specific training needs to foster ethical skills in each participating countries, areas, the detailed planning of the training format to be developed for adults, suitable for non-formal and informal learning in outdoor circumstances, in challenging contexts as well as the creation of an assessment methodology and system of the acquired skills, competences. The methodology and the training will be the basis to be included in already existing educational curricula. The piloting activities will prove and measure the feasibility and utility of the project idea through the participation of employees (managers) and students as well. All the activities, courses and training paths developed in the project to enhance CSR competences and available for commercialisation will be collected and presented in an international catalogue, thus its guaranteeing the sustainability and afterlife of the project idea. The strategic project team consisting of 9 members from 6 different countries is a balanced mix of training providers/universities, ngos and chambers of commerce, coming from Eastern and Western Europe, guaranteeing commitment, expertise and competencies for the project aims: good links with local economic companies, good capabilities of implementing quality training activities in the vocational sector and in the education sector, knowledge of problems related to differences between north and south of the world, deep interest in developing transnational training paths dealing with the CSR strategy. For this reason the partnership has great potentials of expansion and cooperative opportunities of neighbouring cross-border countries/regions, as well. It is foreseen to directly involve 18 training providers, about 40 companies, at least 20 people (managers and/or students) in the piloting activity and at least 25000 during dissemination with at least 20 stakeholders (chambers of commerce and employers associations), at least 20 ngos will be involved to implement the catalogues with new venues in which realize courses.
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