The transnational platforms of Centres of Vocational Excellence are supported by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ programme. CoVEs aim to drive innovation and excellence in vocational education and training, by bringing together a wide range of local partners. VET providers, employers, chambers, research centres, development agencies, employment services, and social partners (among others) work together creating “skills ecosystems”, that contribute to innovation, economic and social development at a regional and European level. Vocational Education and Training (VET) has an important role to play in research, education and innovation. It can contribute to smart specialisation strategies that lead to sustainable growth, innovation, job creation and social cohesion.
The ultimate aim is to provide high quality vocational skills, to support entrepreneurial activities, to diffuse innovation, and to act as knowledge and innovation hubs for companies and particularly SMEs.
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The Platforms for Centres of Vocational Excellence initiative introduces a European dimension to vocational excellence by supporting the development of Centres of Vocational Excellence, operating at two levels:
Take a look at the CoVE factsheet.
Centres of Vocational Excellence are intended to be world-class reference points for training in specific areas for both initial training of young people as well as for continuing up-skilling and re-skilling of adults, through flexible and timely offer of training for the skills needs of companies.
They operate locally, being closely embedded in the local innovation ecosystems. CoVEs act as catalysts for local business investment, and ensure supply of high-quality skilled workers. They also support entrepreneurial initiatives of their learners (incubators), and act as knowledge and innovation hubs for companies (in particular SMEs).
VET excellence ensures high quality skills and competences that lead to quality employment and career-long opportunities, which meet the needs of an innovative, inclusive and sustainable economy.
The concept of vocational excellence entails a holistic learner-centered approach in which VET:
CoVEs are characterised by adopting a systemic approach through which VET institutions actively contribute to co-create skills ecosystems, together with a wide range of other local/regional partners. CoVEs are expected to go far beyond the simple provision of a quality vocational qualification.
From available evidence (mapping study), keys to CoVEs’ success include:
CoVEs may also be relevant to some EU initiatives, such as the Blueprint for sectoral skills and Sector Skills Alliances that work on related activities such as understanding future skill needs and occupational profiles and translating them to qualification profiles.