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Surveys and analyses (Strand III.2(a)) in the LEONARDO DA VINCI programme

The European Commission, DG XXII, has published a call for proposals for the 15 Member States of the European Union and the participating EFTA countries relating to the Community measures in Strand III.2(a) (Surveys and analyses in the field of vocational training) of the LEONARDO DA VINCI programme.

This open call for proposals regarding "Surveys and analyses", Strand III.2(a), is being issued around the same time as the general LEONARDO DA VINCI call for proposals which deals with Strands I, II, III.1 and III.3(a). Proposals are invited with regard to six issues, which are listed below.

Strand III.2(a) outlines a number of key issues in the field of vocational training. Community support will be granted for surveys and analyses which develop knowledge in these areas. These issues are closely related to the common framework of objectives outlined in Article 3 of the LEONARDO Decision (94/819/EC of 6.12.1994). The outcomes of the surveys and analyses will be used by policy makers and practitioners.

The call concerns the following six issues for 1995:

(a) The improvement of the attractiveness and the parity of esteem of initial vocational training, including the enhancement of the value of "work-related"/vocational knowledge; the development of new types of apprenticeships or "on-and-off-the-job" training arrangements between enterprises and training organizations or universities.

This will entail the following:

- Analysing the links between theoretical and practical knowledge, and examining new arrangements regarding institutional relationships and pathways for individuals between general education, vocational education and enterprises, including transition to work, and the validation of "working-life" knowledge/expertise and key/core competencies;
- Analysing models, mechanisms and methodologies promoting a flexible framework for vocational education and training opportunities, new career prospects, different pathways for continuing training and new ways of undertaking vocational guidance.

(b) The development of access to vocational training for those disadvantaged on the labour market, particular attention being given to those people affected by a number of factors increasing the risk for social and economic exclusion.

This will entail the following:

- Examining ways in which those who are disadvantaged in the labour market can gain access to forms of training which will enable them to take up new employment opportunities or new forms of work;
- Analysing new forms of training arrangements which promote access (e.g. "second chance") and utilize innovative learning strategies and networks, such as those organized at a local (district or city) or regional level.

(c) The development of investment in vocational training, including the accounting of vocational training expenditure and new methods for the evaluation of quality and cost-benefit analysis.

This will entail the following:

- Analysing and comparing arrangements and methods to evaluate the quality of training and determine the "value for money" and benefits resulting from investment in training from a national/regional or enterprise point of view; What are the indicators used? How can business, individual and "educational effectiveness/quality" indicators be reconciled? What are the arrangements in place for accounting-training expenditure from the perspective of viewing training as an investment?;
- Analysing the national arrangements and, as appropriate, the legal or contractual frameworks or voluntary agreements, which encourage enterprises/businesses (in particular SMEs) to invest in human resource development/training as a key strategy in implementing organizational, technological and business innovation, so as to improve competitiveness.

(d) Anticipation of skill and qualification needs, through improving cooperation between labour market bodies and training bodies in setting up general arrangements for anticipating such needs at the appropriate level.

This will entail the following:

- Analysing multilevel approaches (company/multicompanies, sectoral, regional and national) and examining ways to implement and transfer good practice with regard to anticipation, through the promotion of transnational networks which utilize innovative cooperative frameworks (involving all the actors), regarding content, methodology, partnerships, transfer approaches;
- Analysing the links between the anticipation of skills and the acquisition of key/core competencies to meet company and individual needs; examining new worker profiles with regard to new employment opportunities or new forms of work.

(e) The development of vocational qualifications by clarifying the terminology used in the Member States and by promoting the transparency and understanding of vocational qualifications, in particular in cooperation with CEDEFOP, including cooperation on the accreditation of "knowledge already acquired"/"prior learning" and the identification of flexible "future-oriented" qualifications/competencies and personal skills.

This will entail the following:

- Analysing the systems of vocational qualifications or the levels of qualifications, the role of the different partners in the qualification systems, the system of recognition and validation of vocational qualifications, including key/core competencies;
- Examining mechanisms and methods to promote the transparency of traditional and new vocational qualifications at a European level: identification of information needed by public authorities, employers and individuals; comparison of national methods used to describe qualifications; analysis of systems of exchange of information between Member States; analysis of practical tools to promote transparency such as the "portfolio" approach and the development of relevant reference structures.

(f) New forms and methods of training for vocational training personnel, planners and managers, including new training strategies for SMEs.

This will entail the following:

- Examining ways of developing new training professionals, such as planners (those responsible for devising and implementing innovative learning/training programmes and initiatives), training managers, trainers, vocational teachers, training advisers, facilitators, tutors, coaches, etc., so they can respond effectively to modern demands, such as: the promotion of life-long learning, the information society, using local (district or city) or regional learning models, and the development of learning organizations in enterprises and public bodies;
- Analysing ways in which good practice can be implemented and transferred to promote the "professionalization" of vocational training personnel, through harnessing transnational networks of development/research bodies which utilize innovative and comprehensive frameworks with regard to content (taking into account the relationship between technological, social and business aspects), learning methodologies, partnerships, and transfer approaches.

Proposals concerning issues (a), (b) and (c) are to be submitted to the National Coordination Unit for LEONARDO DA VINCI of the relevant Member State or participating EFTA country. A major element of the tasks to be undertaken regarding issues (a), (b) and (c) is the exploitation and consolidation of studies and development work already under way in the Member States and the analysis of major national initiatives (actions or programmes) taken by the Member States. In order to support the quality and innovative capacity of systems and arrangements for vocational training, Member States or EFTA participating countries have the flexibility to put special emphasis on particular points within issues (a), (b) and (c).

Information on national priorities can be obtained from the LEONARDO National Coordination Units of the relevant Member State or participating EFTA country.

Proposals relating to issues (d), (e) and (f) are to be submitted to the European Commission. A major element of the tasks to be undertaken regarding issues (d), (e) and (f) is the exploitation and consolidation of studies and development work already under way at European level and the analysis of the intrinsic European added-value dimension.

An indicative amount of ECU 4,000,000 is available for surveys and analysis dealing with the above six issues. The surveys and analyses will be addressed, in general, on a shared-cost basis. The Community's contribution to shared-cost projects will normally be in the region of 50 to 75% of the total costs.

The "Vademecum", "Guide for Promoters" and "Information Brochure on 'Surveys and Analyses'" describe the conditions of eligibility and the criteria to be applied, as well as the principles governing the granting of Community assistance. These documents outline the information to be supplied by the promoters, so that their proposals can be evaluated. They can be obtained on request in each Community language from the National Coordinating Units for LEONARDO in each participating country or from the Technical Assistance Office established to assist the Commission in the implementation of LEONARDO.

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