FPEmpresa attended a meeting with the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) at the Embassy of Canada in Spain. The event, held on thursday 21th of september, consisted of creating a networking space dedicated to international collaboration with Canada. The event was attended by secondary schools and vocational training centres as well as public and private universities, both spanish and canadian. Among the attendees were the associated centres IES Clara del Rey, IES La Arboleda, IES Isaac Peral, CIFP José Luis Garci and IES Antonio Machado.

In addition, this is the second meeting this year between FPEmpresa and Canadian associations to promote partnerships in relation to international mobility. Carlos de Olagüe Smithson, International and Madrid coordinator of the Association, was in charge of presenting FPEmpresa to the representatives of the Canadian and Spanish educational centres.

International alliances

The international representative of FPEmpresa was the second to speak, explaining the function of the spanish education system; the different training options available to students; and how vocational training works in Spain. Finally, Olagüe explained the structure and projects of the Association.

“This meeting allows us to deepen and improve relations with vocational training institutes in Spain. It is a great opportunity for the schools in Barcelona, which were there at the beginning of the week, and the schools in Madrid to make contact with schools in Canada. In this way, links can be established on student and teacher mobility, scientific collaboration and skills development,” said Carlos de Olagüe.

The event was held with the support of FPEmpresa, the Spanish Service for the Internationalisation of Education (SEPIE) and the Canadian Commercial Delegates Service in Spain. Likewise, here the Association has been able to generate this meeting together with CBIE in order to open the borders between both countries and generate new experiences for higher education students.

FPEmpresa, member and new representative of EfVET Spain, has met with the EfVET Europe Committee on 10th of september in Brussels to propose a new work plan for the year 2023. FPEmpresa was represented by Carlos de Olagüe Smithson, International and Madrid coordinator of the Association.

The EfVET representatives that also has attend at the event were Professor Joaquín James Calleja (Malta); Stefano Tirati (Learningdigital.eu – Italy); Arja Flinkman (South Savo Education Ltd – Finland); Marta Almeida Santos (Ensinus Group – Portugal); Panagiotis G. Anastassopoulos (P- Consulting – Greece); Leif Haar (Denmark); Vibeke Holtum Norgaard (Technical Education Copenhagen – Copenhagen); Silvia Liuti (FORMA. Azione srl – Italy); Gaby Tinnemeier (Germany), Giorgos Giorgakis (Eurosucess Consulting – Cyprus); Paulius Cepas (Kaunas technical vocational education centre – Lithuania); Tibor Dori (Euro-Contact Business School – Hungary); Marloes de Vries (The Netherlands), Jussi Kajander (Luovi Vocational College – Finland), Luis Costa (ANESPO – Portugal) and Jon Harding (Bridgwater College – UK).

This meeting has been very important for all the members of EfVET Spain, including FPEmpresa. From now, Carlos Olagüe will be the new representative of the Spanish EfVET members, taking over from Nacho Camacho. “I will take over the position held until now by Nacho Camacho, from the company Incoma, as representative of EfVET Spain. He has carried out his work as a representative with great professionalism for many years and now it is my turn to take on this new challenge, which I am looking forward to”, says Carlos de Olagüe.

Points to discuss

The main point of the EfVET Council was to prepare the organisation of the next Annual Congress will take place at the end of october in Kuopio (Finland), under the slogan “The Future Skills Revolution for VET and CVET in Europe”.

Other important issues were also discussed, such as analysing the activities carried out during the year 2022 and proposing a new work plan and budget for 2023. “I called a meeting tha last 6th of september with the different members of EfVET Spain to pick up their opinions and take them to the assembly in Brussels. Once there, a new line of work for 2023 was created, including a new strategic plan 2022-2026 that will be presented at the Kuopio Congress. This will be the big moment when we all meet again to exchange views with each other”, concludes the international representative of FPEmpresa.

FPEmpresa VET Schools Association has celebrated the first meeting of the new Board of Directors in Santander. The new members were selected in the General Assembly 2022 of the last month of June. They have been working in their Strategic Plan 2022/2025 and have started to prepare the next Congress. Apart, they have visited the associated center ‘CIFP La Granja de Heras’.

The VIII Congress of the Association will be celebrated in San Sebastián the 26th and 27th of October. An event that will join the associated centers of FPEmpresa and organized with CaixaBank Dualiza, main strategic ally of the Association. Also, this congress will focus on the VET centers of the future and will mark the tenth anniversary of FPEmpresa.

Visit to ‘CIFP La Granja de Heras’

The second day of the meeting has taken place in the center ‘CIFP La Granja de Heras’, whose director is Sergio Silva, FPEmpresa’s coordinator in Cantabria. The center offers education cycles of the Agrarian Professional Family and works with more than 50 companies of the sector. Furthermore, it belongs to Agrocantabria.

During the activity, the visitors have covered the CIFP’s facilities, that has 70 hectares with different uses. Likewise, the managers of the institution have talked of some of the programs, like ‘Friesian goat’s recovery’. In addition, the center is leader in floral art and participates with an association created by the student body to promote the employment in the territory.

“Gather the coordinators of other areas in Cantabria boosts the VET of the community and shows our educative reality”, explains Silva regarding to the meeting of the Board of Directors and the visit. “We feel supported celebrating this event in a small community as ours”, adds.

Apart of the CIFP La Granja, there are other five associated centers to FPEmpresa in Cantabria: IES Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, in Guarnizo; IES Lope de Vega, in Santa María de Cayón; IES Alisal, in Santander; IES Valle de Camargo, in Revilla de Camargo, and CIFP Nº1 of Santander.

The Erasmus+ KA202 project, in which the secondary school Puerta Bonita (center associated with the FPEmpresa VET Schools Association) is a participant, has held its fourth mobility in St. Gallen (Switzerland). An initiative carried out from May 16 to 20 under the title “Creative Skills 21. Improving teaching and learning of 21st century skills for the creative industry”. The project arises with the aim of providing the participating teachers with tools to work “competences for the 21st century” with their students.

Throughout the project, the students have worked with a problem associated with the UN 2030 Agenda on which they have developed a communicative solution to raise awareness and have prototyped it. To do this, they have worked in multinational and interdisciplinary groups guided by two teachers.

Creative Skills 21 between Madrid and St. Gallen

In order to create a time frame that would achieve the objectives, the mobilities have been grouped by pairs of countries. The first mobility organized in Madrid has suggested the problem to the students, who have analyzed it and, consequently, have outlined the objective and recipient of the message, as well as a solid idea. However, in the second mobility, the idea has been prototyped and presented to experts in the field.

Gender inequality related to access to education and social exclusion was the topic proposed at the first meeting. With that idea, the groups have been able to work in St. Gallen.

On the other hand, the teachers have received training in the 21st century skills “collaborative work”, “problem solving” and “the blended learning methodology”.

“Creative Skills 21” has worked with a group of 50 people from 7 Vocational Training centers in Rotterdam, Ghent, Newcastle, St. Gallen, northern Italy, Jyvaskyla, Lisbon and Madrid. An initiative that has allowed members to create a great network of contacts while they have known the Spanish capital and the Swiss capital of the San Galo district.

You can learn about the extraordinary products made by the student groups, from applications for mobile devices to external marketing actions, on the website www.cs-21.eu and the Instagram profile @creative_skills21

The secondary school Puerta Bonita, a center associated with the FPEmpresa VET Schools Association, has participated in the Erasmus+ KA226 project entitled Digital Online Creativity Education (DOCE). An initiative that arises from the difficulties in the teaching process that arose during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic and in which new strategies have been designed to deal with online learning. In addition, the DOCE project has been coordinated by the Grafisch Lyceum in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and the secondary school Puerta Bonita has participated together with high schools in the European cities of Jyväskyla (Finland), Newcastle (United Kingdom), Lisbon (Portugal), Ghent ( Belgium), Sankt Gallen (Switzerland) and Verona (Italy).

The Erasmus+ DOCE project has helped teachers to share their own experiences on how they have taught lessons during confinement. A process in which not only theoretical sessions have been organized, but also practical ones telematically. “This exchange of ideas and proposals has allowed all of them to increase their technological and educational updating through the different activities,” said Raúl Martínez, head of studies at the secondary school Puerta Bonita.

This dynamic has contributed to the increase in the collaboration and commitment of the participating institutions through the practice of investigating and exchanging new ways of dealing with digital learning. Likewise, different telematic meetings and one face-to-face meeting have been held in the city of Verona (Italy).

On the other hand, the participating secondary schools and their teachers have established a better contact with the new reality of online learning, creativity and digitization in the field of media and design.

In conclusion, the DOCE project has been an opportunity to transfer knowledge and take advantage of synergies in the development of digital content as prototypes that can be used by other teachers and schools.

FPEmpresa VET Schools Association and Group Esprinet have delivered the VET Knowledge’s Transfer Awards in an event that has taken place in IES Francisco Tomás y Valiente, associated center to FPEmpresa. A meeting celebrated the Wednesday, 29th June, where the high schools IES Pedro de Tolosa, IES Alonso de Madrigal and IES Centro de Capacitación Agraria have picked up their prizes.

“I want to congratulate to all of you for the quality of the ideas presented, the knowledge to encourage the role of the women and for reflect the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)”, has explained Silvia Sánchez, Marketing and Communication of the Group Esprinet.

Tomás Alonso, vicepresident treasurer of FPEmpresa, has joined in the event and has shown gratitude to the technological for recognize VET in this great project.

The winners to promote the participation in the contest

The winning associated centers of the VET Knowledge’s Transfer Awards have appreciated the contest. Between them, José María Pérez, IES Alonso de Madrigal’s teacher, has presented that “to create the group, I have selected students from different VET groups”. This has been due to the need of women in studies as Information Technology or Communications, reason why Pérez wants that his participation in the contest encourage more women the next years.

By their hand, Verónica Crespo and Mar López, teachers of IES Pedro de Tolosa and IES Centro de Capacitación Agraria, have focused on the teamwork done, just like the confidence generated after the Awards.

Finally, the participants have visited IES Francisco Tomás y Valiente, where they have known some projects of the students and the facilities the center has like their Garage Lab.

FPEmpresa and Group Esprinet signed an agreement the last month of February to promote the VET female talent. A collaboration that has developed actions to have an impact on educative system as the session of Marketing and the VET Knowledge’s Transfer Awards, where more than a 50% of the participants had been women.

FPEmpresa VET Schools Association has received the third prize in the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ category of the Awards of Excellence 2022 for the European projects SCoopConSS. A recognition delivered by the World Federation of Colleges and Polythecnics (WFCP) in the closing of the world congress 2022 in Donostia-San Sebastián. The people in charge to gather up the prize have been the president of the Association, Luis García, and the vice president treasurer, Tomás Alonso.

Colleges and Institutes of Canada (CICan) has finished in first place of the category. The second has been for Centro de Formación Somorrostro, associated center of FPEmpresa, followed for the Association with the bronze medal. Finally, the organization has recognized to Harare Polythecnic with an honorable mention.

The different categories of the Awards of Excellence 2022 have been: Applied Research and Innovation’; ‘Construction’; ‘Sustainable Development Goals’; ‘Cyber and Data Security’; ‘Teacher Professional Development’; ‘Global Citizenship’; ‘Leadershhip in Diversity and Inclusion’; ‘Indigenous Education’; ‘Lifetime Achievement’; ‘Strategic Leadership’; ‘Outstanding Educator’; and ‘Outstanding Student Achievement’.

SCoopConSS

ScoopConSS project (Social Cooperative Contest for Secondary Schools) is a European initiative where FPEmpresa and other six organizations work together: Camera Commercio Italiana per la Spagna; aCapo Società Cooperativa Sociale Integrata; EGInA Srl.; AKETH-DCT (Developmental Centre of Thessaly); Portuguese Association of Startups (APSU); and Centre of Technical Culture Rijeka.

An initiative that has taken to the associated center, EFA La Malvesía, to participate in an international contest celebrated in the National Festival of Civil Economy of Florence. In addition, SCoopConSS is financed by the European Union in the framework of the Horizon2020 funds.

Furthermore, SCoopConSS objective has been to build a Practice Community for European secondary teachers interested to boost their experience by different method business. For that, the initiative has taken advantage of the cooperative principles of self-help, responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity.

FPEmpresa Vet Schools Association has participated in the fourth Peer Learning Activity (PLA) of the European project PRALINE (Promoting Adult Learning in Networks) that has taken place in Dublin the 10th and 11th of May. During the meetings, Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) has explained to the European members how the Further Education and Training (FET) of Ireland is.

Presentations that have focused on the Language Learning for Migrants Learners; theme over the different speakers have presented solutions through Good Practices. In that way, the speakers have exposed a general perspective over the situation of the country. Apart, the actual Ukrainian crisis has been underlined, because Ireland receives a great number of Ukrainian migrants to the English speaker country.

The PLA has shared with the assistants the presentations of the following people: Lorraine Downey, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Development Officer at City of Dublin Education and Training Board; Michael Donohoe, Lead Researcher Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB); Fergus Craddock, FET Strategy and Policy Development Officer at ETBI; and Roisin Doherty, Director FET Active Inclusion -SOLAS.

Fourth PLA contents

After fourth PLA of PRALINE, one of them online, the members of the project have responded to questions about the learned practices in the last meetings. Like this, the group has settled on what points must be strengthen in the EU’s educative policies. Furthermore, this practice actions have allowed to the members have a more global vision of PRALINE, just like work the team dynamics.

In addition, should be highlighted the fifth and the last Good Practice of the Ireland PLA that has made a Design Thinking Workshop by groups. Then, the different organizations have debated which are their direct and non-direct stakeholders. All this with the purpose to identify challenges, potential solutions, and the VET state-of-art.

Finally, the European members have announced the date of the 5th PLA that will take place in Estonia the next month of October. It will be organized by Estonian Association For Advancement Of Vocational Education.

PRALINE is an Erasmus+ funded project with the aim to boost the international networks of adult education that are in progress through good practices summary.

The last Tuesday, 28th of March, FPEmpresa VET Schools Association gathered in Madrid with a Brazilian VET Schools delegation formed by Instituto Federal de Alagoas (IFAL) and Instituto Federal de Pernambuco (IFPE) belonging to Conselho Nacional das Instituições da Rede Federal de Educação Profissional, Científica e Tecnológica (Conif) to explain the function of the Association. This meeting is the first real mobility since FPEmpresa and Embajada de España en Brasil encourage the international cooperation between centers. What’s more is delimit on the aim of the Association for internationalize the VET. In this way, the Brazilian centers have visited the high schools IES Capacitación Agraria and IES Hotel Escuela, two VET centers associates to FPEmpresa.

The encounter, that has initiated in the center IES Capacitación Agraria, has allowed to the Brazilian delegation presents itself and publish the reality over how is organized the VET in Brazil. Also, the meeting has permitted to the visitors get close to the professional agrarian and environment families. Furthermore, they have known the most innovative projects that has the center as the vertical garden and the compost system. Finally, the session has concluded with a guided tour of the facilities of IES Hotel Escuela, where it has the hotel, the restaurant, the kitchen, and the travel agency.

Carol Bello, responsible of the international relations of IFPE, has rated as “very pleasant” the experience to know the function of the Vocational Education and Training in Spain. “After the visit, we have some ideas about new collaborations in the future. In addition, the way of work in the centers is impressive and we have found models that could be applied in Brazil”, add.

On the other hand, the visits, that has taken place in Madrid, open a new way to FPEmpresa and Conif. Both organizations want to boost this type of encounters that provide a knowledge’s exchange between the VET of different countries. In this way, they have involved to leverage the virtual tools that save the distance.

The actual meeting has taken place after the virtual reunion of the last 17th of March, where FPEmpresa was presented virtually to the centers that form Conif. Apart, FPEmpresa explained in detail how works the VET in Spain. Additionally, all the actions answer to the objective of the Association of helping to the associated centers in its internationalization. FPEmpresa facilitates that the members approach to the VET of those countries that are beyond the European Union as Brazil, too.

Since 2021, the Association and the Embassy of Spain in Brazil intervene in different activities to give the opportunity of cooperating between Spanish and Brazilian centers in different educative projects. Among them are the eTwinning projects that connect the centers of both countries in a virtual way.

FPEmpresa Vet Schools Association has participated in the third PLA (Peer Learning Activity) of the European project PRALINE (Promoting Adult Learning in Networks) that has taken place in Lisbon. On this occasion, the Associaçäo Nacional de Escolas Profissionais de Portugal (ANESPO) has organized the meeting in the School of Commerce of Lisbon (SCL). PRALINE is an Erasmus+ funded project with the aim to boost the transnational networks of adult education through good practices summary.

After the second PLA celebrated in Valencia and directed by FPEmpresa the last month of October 2021, Portugal has received the European partners of PRALINE by the 14th and 15th of March. The members have had the opportunity to know better the Vocational Education and Training of the Lusitanian country. In this context, the executive director of ANESPO, Luis Costa, have explain that “the PLA in Lisbon has accomplished with his objectives. Apart, it has allowed to the associations know the function of the education inside the Portuguese classrooms”.

Costa has rated the encounter as “very important to ANESPO. It has been a great exchange of experiences about how the VET is been working in different places. The reality is not the same in all the European countries. Each nation treats the VET according to her precedents. For example, we had one of the worst educational systems in Portugal for many years. It was for financed issues”.

This third meeting has had the participation of some figures that have shared good practices of the Portugal’s VET with the PRALINE’s partners. Attended Teresa Damásio, CEO of ENSINUS Group; Catarina Esménio, SCL General Board Adviser; Alexandra Teixeira, Director of the Adult Qualification Department of the National Agency for Qualifications and Vocational Education; and Andreia Lopes, Regional Director of Human Resources at LIDL Portugal, among others.

Finally, Costa has concluded that “in the next encounters we will tackle the problem of attract the people with a low qualification. By this way, we will help them to obtain a quality education to access to new employees”.

The partners have announced the date of the next PLA at the final of the meeting. It will take place in Ireland the next month of May and it will be organized by the Irish partner of PRALINE, Education and Training Board Ireland (ETBI).

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