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SHare, Improve, develop: today’s excelleNce for tomorrow’s HVET
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The European Union needs competences, innovation, balanced and integrated territory development in order to boost its growth. Indeed, innovation is not only a linear process, a result of R&D activities. On the opposite, more and more innovation sprouts in broad, multi-sectoral socio-economic contexts, strongly application-oriented, and through complex processes, integrating top-down (based on economic development policies) and bottom-up (user- and market-driven) approaches. Higher Vocational Education and Training (HVET), specially for qualifications around EQF level 5, has a relevant role, and a tremendous potential to that aim. In fact, its curricula: - link to high-tech production sectors; - without being academic, fulfil the market demand of technicians with new and high-tech competences, able to foster innovation and master and manage advanced organisational and productive processes; - lay between upper secondary school and university, right at the hub among education, academy and business; - are governed, designed and managed jointly by public authorities, schools, training bodies, enterprises; - are highly interesting to students, as they offer tempting perspectives on several fronts: steady employment, career advancement, continuous training. Aware of such challenges and potential, SHINE targets actors governing and managing HVET programmes, as well as to students, aiming at bridging the gap among individual local economic contexts and goals set by corresponding regional Smart Specialization Strategies, by acknowledging the role and innovative potential of high-level technical professional profiles. SHINE locates in the expertise of actors like ITSs in Italy, Fachochschulen in Germany, and others, the best tools to contribute to the development of local production contexts. The project follows a cycle foreseeing: - survey and evidence of excellence in HVET in partner territories, as to crosslinking HVET and business, management practices, governance; - peer review of excellence and identification of innovations/spillovers for improvement, especially regarding smart specialization and local development strategies, proactive approach to training and skills supply design, business involvement, ability to deliver innovation services; - definition of an innovative model for design and governance of HVET programmes, in order to encompass the above issues at stake; - piloting the model in practice, by local action plans; - assessment of results and subsequent identification of policy mechanisms to improve the use of EU tools (e.g. ESCO, ECVET) by HVET; - definition of possible improvement processes and related indicators for high level (national/EU) policies; - review of the model, by involving the “Triple Helix” stakeholders (training/innovation, business, institutions); - validation and fine tuning. In compliance with what mentioned above, the methodology adopted by the consortium includes a constant switch among bottom-up (collection of information, stakeholders involvement, piloting) and top-down (model definition, process definition) phases, always flanked by monitoring of progress made. Main expected results are: - improvement of training offer by partners, with subsequent increase in the employment chances for students and in competitiveness for local companies; - improvement in competences of company trainers involved in programme delivery, thanks to sharing and discussion with other EU excellent partners; - set-up of a permanent, relevant EU network, gathering public and private excellent HVET actors; - capacity building of decision makers governing HVET, and subsequent acknowledgement of tools for reviewing innovation policies, with special regard to professional technical issues, as innovation driver inside business; - definition and piloting of a governance system, based on the integration of HVET policy makers and the labour market. SHINE is performed by a strong consortium of 8 partners in 6 EU countries: Italy, Germany, Sweden, Romania, Croatia and the Netherlands, representing a competent and skilled mix of public and private organisations, profit and non profit, decision makers and technical, with education and training organisations, employers associations, public institutions, European networks, in the spirit of providing for a true “strategic” partnership.
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