News & Updates
Africa – Sustainable Development and Recovery Challenges
As a region suffering from global disadvantages and being hard hit from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the continent of Africa is challenged to develop its future path to recovery and growth. The annual OECD Africa Forum was held in virtual format on February 22, 2021 and focused on the possibilities for sustainable future perspectives.
ipcenter participated in the event, because education and the creation of quality jobs by upskilling and professional training are one of the key topics we want to cover in our project work. Experts and policy makers from different regions provided insight and perspective for the meeting, and summarized the key challenges in two regards. First, the priority has to be to overcome the COVID pandemic by international public health cooperation. Second, the global community has to cooperate in a “new deal for development” in line with UN SGDs, with a focus on educating the young and growing African societies, promote digital transformation and entrepreneurship, develop regional high-value chains and promote professional training and cooperation with the professional sector.
ipcenter gained a lot of valuable insight and contacts in the forum, and will continue to develop and implement projects in the African region based on the mentioned thematic focuses.
For more information, please refer to the forum website.
Erasmus 2021-2027 to focus on issues of digitalisation, inclusion and green economy
The new European framework programme “Erasmus+” is currently in its final stage of preparation. New topics and priorities will be the focus of the upcoming programme period 2021-2027, and ipcenter will continue to develop innovative project ideas with our partners to fit the strategic priorities and address the thematic challenges.
First of all, the new transnational educational/training programme will take into account the current challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and also stress topics of better inclusion, sustained and green development and promotion of digital skills.
Erasmus 2021-2027 will have an enlarged budget of overall 25 billion EUR (80% more than in the previous period), most of which will be allocated to activities in the field of education and training, among those the “vocational training” area ipcenter is focused on.
Priority areas of Erasmus will be projects/initiatives that promote the use of digital services and tools for training activities, as well as to promote the digital skill levels of youth, students and employees throughout the programme area.
Also, projects with a deliberate inclusive goal (better participation/inclusion for disadvantaged target groups, or persons with social or mobility issues) are among the strategic priorities, and projects covering “green economy”. The topic of “green” and sustainable issues ties into the recently announced “new green deal” of the European Union that focuses on sustainable, innovative and climate-friendly growth in the coming decades, in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In order to support the thematic areas of Erasmus, the programme will also encourage the cross-sectoral issue of development/use of innovative methods and tools in virtual/digital learning, cooperation and exchange.
Another topic of great relevance for ipcenters vocational training efforts are EU plans to support the foundation of Transnational Platforms Centers of Vocational Excellence that bring together innovative training providers to exchange best practices and create high-quality skill trainings to support local and regional development.
Concrete calls for project proposals (in adult education and VET) are to be expected in spring of 2021, and further information can be found via the Erasmus Programme homepage of the European Commission.
Project development in the MENA region – support for sustainable development
The Middle East and Northern Africa Region (MENA) with more than 800 million inhabitants is a highly dynamic and fast-changing global area directly in the European neighbourhood. The societies in MENA countries are challenged by fast demographic growth, lack of economic perspectives for the young population and other developmental challenges (lack of reforms, outdated training systems, inefficient resource allocation) leading to a growing trend of migration, underused human creative potential, unrest and conflict.
Given the fact that education is the key to future development, ipcenter is convinced that European experts and stakeholders from the areas of professional training and labour market polices can play a very positive role in supporting MENA countries on their road to development. Together, we can end the brain drain of human potential from the global south and give impulses to positive developments in order to decrease migration pressure.
Therefore, ipcenter will set an additional focus on developing and implementing training and upskilling projects in the MENA region, as the next step in our internationalisation strategy to use ipcenter expertise and networks in training efforts outside the Austrian and even European borders.
Using our networks of thematic and regional experts, and with the help of two Austrian regional consultants who have decades of experience in the region, ipcenter will start to analyse regional needs and potential sectors for intervention, develop training programmes and learning tools, as well as start to implement pilot training programmes with policy makers and companies in the region.
In accordance with ipcenters vision to support implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (https://sdgs.un.org/), our projects will contribute to socio-economic progress in the following dimensions:
- SDG 1 – End Poverty
- SDG 4 – Quality Education
- SDG 5 – Gender Equality
- SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth
- SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities
- SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities
ipcenter joins Erasmus Days 2020 for project presentations – labour market Integration and future proof skills
On October 15, 2020 ipcenter had the opportunity to join an Erasmus Days presentation event online, in order to present our recently started Erasmus projects to a broader expert audience. Main topics of the online briefing were “integration into the labour market” and “future-proof competencies and sustainability”.
Over 30 trainers and counsellors from ipcenter, ÖJAB and Die Berater attended the session, in order to gain insight and exchange opinions and experiences related to the project topics.
Ipcenter participated in the “labour market” session dealing with innovative methods to integrate disadvantaged groups into employment and related challenges and possibilities (also for European cooperation and exchange of ideas).
The second session dealt with “innovative employment skills” and how to improve them in order to have sustainable career prospects in the future. Digital skills and the use of innovative training methods are especially important in this context, and ipcenter was able to share our experiences from previous and currently starting projects (DIGIMEDIA, DIGISETS, TOPPLANT) that are dealing with innovative tools for TVET trainers and using online learning to improve transversal and profession-specific digital skills.
Erasmus Days 2020: https://bildung.erasmusplus.at/de/policy-support/erasmusdays/
Kick-off for Erasmus project DIGISETS – improving digital skills together
Digital skills and competences are (together with other transversal skills) the key for successful employment and improved career perspectives in the changing world of work in the 21st century.
Therefore, use of digital processes for working and learning has been one of ipcenter’s core topics, even before the current Covid-19 pandemic brought a further shift towards online work.
On October 22, 2020, ipcenter and our project partners have successfully conducted the kick-off meeting for the DIGISETS Erasmus project, which will be implemented until September 2022. Organisations and training providers from Austria, Spain, Greece and Bulgaria are working together in the project to map and develop innovative tools to measure and improve employment-relevant digital skills that are in ever growing demand even in lower-skilled job profiles. The DIGISETS project tackles a growing mismatch between existing digital skill levels and needed skill profiles, even in previously not highly digitalised work environments.
DIGISETS online Kick-off Meeting, November 2020
The project wants to develop a digital skills framework for selected job profiles in the tourism and retail sector, and give counsellors/TVET trainers a toolkit and guidance how they can measure and strive to improve their clients’ digital versatility. The tools and guidelines deliberated in the project will be used to train a group of trainers from the participating organisations, who will then use them in their day-to-day work. Furthermore, project results will be disseminated via multiplier events, partner networks and the Erasmus project database.
Erasmus project database entry for DIGISETS: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/projects/eplus-project-details/#project/2020-1-AT01-KA202-078055
TOPPlant – project kick-off
On November 18th the Erasmus+ project “TOPPlant” had its successful online Kick-off meeting. Besides representatives from all partner organisations from 4 countries (Slovenia, Austria, Croatia and Hungary), also a representative form the Austrian National Agency joined the meeting. In a very constructive meeting all activities and the time plan of the project were presented within the group and the responsibilities for developing the 4 intellectual outputs have been defined. The project will last 24 months, it will produce 4 intellectual outputs, have 4 project meetings, 5 Multiplier events and two joint staff learning activities – all around the topic of organic plant protection in farming. The spirit is high and all participants are looking forward to implement this project.
TOPPlant online Kick-off, November 2020
Further information about TOPPlant here.
DigiMedia – Promoting digital literacy of teachers in adult education
In various projects, the Institute for Education and Media has carried out research on the quality of digital educational media with its partners and developed differentiated quality criteria for the evaluation of educational media in connection with the implementation of the European media competition, Comenius-EduMedia-Award. It was found that the exploration, evaluation and dissemination of high-quality educational media is not enough to improve the learning outcomes. Obviously, high-quality educational media will only be fully effective if they are integrated into a didactically designed teaching and learning concept and teachers have acquired the necessary media skills. From a media didactic point of view, educational media have the enormous potential to make teaching and learning processes different, as media-supported teaching and learning arrangements, self-learning in learning, cooperative scenarios and flexible offers to individualize learning offers. This accommodates the diversity of teachers and learners (Kerres 2017). A key role in this process is the DIGITAL COMPETENCE of teachers, lecturers and trainers in the didactically relevant handling of digital media or with the digitization of teaching and learning environments and learning processes. The partnership therefore aims to promote the teaching, development and consolidation of adult educators’ digital literacy through integration (methodological inclusion and practical use) and procedurally selected, exemplary digital educational media into media-based teaching and learning arrangements.
DIGITAL COMPETENCE is the scientific basis (Baacke1980, Bauer 2017, Swertz 2018): the interplay of abilities, skills and certainties with regard to differentiation and decision-making requirements, as well as didactic responsibility on the basis of structural, technical and factual media knowledge, aesthetic and Ethical media awareness, critical media analysis and didactically differentiated built, context-appropriate media design.
The DigiMedia project sees itself in this sense as an enlargement of the knowledge and action contexts, but also as an enrichment of the perspectives and options of the didactic arrangements in the adult education context and thus as a promotion of the methodological and didactic quality of teaching competence in the context of currently increasing digitization of teaching and learning Learning cooperation in adult education (see Baacke 1980, Bauer 2017). The project is currently in implementation and was awarded funding under Erasmus+ KA204 – Strategic Partinerships for adult education
Further information on DigiMedia here.
EUpTrain – transnational knowledge exchange between trainers of low-skilled adults in multiple European countries
The objective of EUpTrain is to create a transnational network between Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Romania in order to share Europe-wide knowledge between organisations specialised in adult education through exchange of experts and the development of a sustainable handbook comprising transnational good practices and methods for trainers working with low-skilled adults. The target group of this project are trainers of low-skilled adults, with at least 2 years of working experience (certified language trainers AND a) trainers in adult education OR b) trainers in cultural integration and orientation OR c) trainers for basic skills). EUpTrain implementation is carried out in a spirit of professionalism, open communication and trust between partners, with a strong commitment to cooperation, knowledge-exchange, well-defined roles and responsibilities related to the division of tasks. All requirements for monitoring, evaluation and feedback are taken care of to ensure the quality of the final results and partnership.
EUpTrain activities include:
= 3 transnational project meetings attended by a total of 16 experts (8 trainers and 8 project managers)
= one knowledge exchange workshop with the main goal to filter out examples of good practices from all participating organisations and to show international differences, new
opportunities, new ways of work and different methodologies in training of low-skilled adults (16 trainers and 8 project managers with pedagogical background)
= based on the workshop results: creation of a handbook (translated to all partner languages and English) containing 16 best practices, 2 from each country and 8 methodologies
The results of EUpTrain will be a handbook (translated into 8 languages) containing the results of knowledge-exchange activities, specifically a collection of concrete examples of international best practice examples and methodologies for trainers working with low-skilled adults. This varied collection of best practices and methodologies is making the project results valuable for other European countries as well. The handbook will be accessible online and free of charge for all partners and other organisations. Through the dissemination of the handbook, trainers who work with low-skilled adults in all of Europe who are not participating in this project, will also benefit from the project results and will be able to increase their knowledge and expertise. Additionally, the creation of a transnational network between the partner organisations will ensure the sustainability of the project results. The overall aim of the project is to promote networking and synergy-creation on European level and to increase the knowledge exchange and the collaboration of trainers working with low-skilled adults and of organisations in the field of adult education in Europe. The mid-term impact is to establish synergies and to build bridges between these different organisations with the resulting long-term impact to contribute in this way to increase the education level and therefore lower the unemployment rates of low-skilled adults in Europe.
Further information about EUpTrain here
DIGISETS – digital skills evaluation tool and support
The project funded under Erasmus+ KA2020 – Strategic Partnership for vocational education and training tackles a growing mismatch between existing digital skill levels and needed skill profiles, even in previously not highly digitalised work environments. We cooperate to reach the following objectives: First, to draw a map/framework of work-relevant digital skills. Second, to design an evaluation toolkit for organisations, it is multi-dimensional and gives a wider view of hard and soft digital skills. The results are used for education professionals working with (potential) employees in tourism and retail sector. The project is currently in implementation.
Digital skills and abilities to work in digital and networked environments are one of the key competencies of integration in the 21st century labour market. Challenges and changes related to “Work 4.0” have touched all sectors of the economy, even in services industries like tourism and retail. Employees with rather low-skill assignments need to have digital abilities and understanding in order to be able to work efficiently. In short, there is a trend in services towards digitization and the necessity to have multi-disciplinary digital qualifications. (1)
The EU has recognized this trend, and has developed a “Digital Competence Framework” to map out different dimensions and levels of digital skills that are relevant for work and private life. (2) In Austria, the Ministry for Digitalisation and Economy has adapted the framework in order to include more dimensions and aspects of digital literacy in everyday life (3), and the Public Employment Service has a working group on new skills that concludes a great and rising demand and skill needs in all economic sectors, including tourism and retail. (4)
Therefore, the digital education becomes a central element in any discussion on the topic. The demand of digital skills has risen and many jobseekers lack the skills to make a transition towards a digital work environment. Furthermore, there is a lack of accessible/transparent tools for organisations and stakeholders to measure and improve existing digital skills.
The DIGISETS project tackles a growing mismatch between existing digital skill levels and needed skill profiles, even in previously not highly digitalised work environments. Experienced organisations and training providers from AT, BG, ES, EL cooperate to reach the following objectives: First, to draw a map/framework of work-relevant digital skills (previous research and data). Second, to design an evaluation toolkit for organisations. The tool is multi-dimensional and gives a wider view of hard and soft digital skills in an accessible form. Mainly the toolkit will be designed for education professionals working with (prospective) employees in tourism and retail sector. The toolkit is produced and programmed together in English, and then translated into the partner languages.
The project will also implement a workshop for trainers from participant organisations. The goal is to present outputs (framework, toolkit, guidebook) for practical testing, feedback and critical exchange on the importance of digital skill sets and how to improve them. It will also provide a forum for networking, matching, discussion and testing. Preparation is done by online questionnaires, and further discussion/feedback will take place at the event. This will include practical exercises, feedback and guidance to training offers. Furthermore, the project will organise multiplier events in all participating countries to present results and learnings to other stakeholders, in order to promote and disseminate knowledge.
Further information about DIGISETS here.
TOPPlant – trainers for plant protection in organic farming
TOPPlant Project is funded under the Erasmus+ KA202 – Strategic Partnership for vocational education and it is currently in implementation. TOPPlant is dealing with the topic of organic farming which is more than just production without the use of chemicals, it is the cultivation of foods while incorporating the results of present developments in agricultural science.
Producing organically is undoubtfully different from conventional production methods, as it is practiced on a controlled field while applying pre-specified rules as well as documenting all stages of production. To become successful in the field of organic farming professional knowledge and practical experience are of outmost importance. These skills can be acquired by participating in practical vocational educational trainings. Within the TOPPlant project a innovative methodological curriculum, a comprehensive training ,anual, crop specific guidelines for four countries will be developed, as well as a interactive e-learning tool which will make the theoratical part of the training available on smart-phone. By implementing its innovative methodological curriculum andconducting pilot trainings with personnel identified by project partners: NAIK Hungary, BC NAKLO Slovenia and University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture, the need for specialised training in this field will be covered. Furthermore, all the nascent learning material will be made available to ipcenter and biohelp in Austria as well, who will use the material for advising of organic farmers and to enrich their vocational training offer. The innovation of TOPPlant is found in its focus on a methodological approach where trained facilitators help the learning process of organic farmers., and in making the innovative training content available via an e-learning tool that can be accessed by smart phone.
Additionally, TOPPlant supports the development of cooperative agricultural production in different regions, especially by means of intensive counselling in biological plant protection, production techniques and quality management. Understanding and exploring the challenges organic farmers face forms the building block of TOPPlant trainings. In turn, various learning techniques are implemented so that suitable and diverse learning opportunities are presented to the farmers. Ultimately, TOPPlant contributes to a better and healthier environment, by encouraging sustainable and clean agriculture.
More information about the TOPPlant here.
Online German course for hotel employees though innovative application
ipcenter offers the new specialised German language courses for hotel employees through an innovative application.
If your company wants to test the course, feel free to contact us by email at: email@example.com.
Because of the measures to contain the Corona virus, we are working from home. You can reach our team without restrictions via email and phone. We are happy to hear from you! Tel: +43 1 6678302-0 | Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aufgrund der Maßnahmen zur Eindämmung des Corona-Virus sind alle Bildungsangebote auf Distance Learning umgestellt. Unser Team erreichen Sie uneingeschränkt via E-Mail und Telefon. Wir freuen uns auf Sie! Tel: +43 1 6678302-0 | Mail: email@example.com
ipcenter at SMI2G networking and brokerage event in Brussels
On January 29th and 30th, the Security Mission and Innovation Group (SMI2G) organized a networking and brokerage event concerning the upcoming Secure Societies Horizon 2020 Calls for proposals.
About 600 participants from all over Europe, representing large enterprises, SME´s, government offices, law enforcement agencies, research institutions, universities and other organisations showing interest in H2020 projects either presented their project idea in search for partners, or simply joined the event to offer their expertise for future project-consortia.
In five sessions covering the topics Artificial Intelligence, Border Security and External Security, Disaster resilient Societies, Digital Security, Fight against Cybercrime and Terrorism, as well as General Matters, nearly 60 projects were presented, offering a good opportunity to ipcenter.at to join a consortium offering our vast expertise in various fields of education.
We received preliminary positive feed-back from 6 project consortia concerning participation in their projects, one of them already invited us to participate in a project on the topic of digital security.
Given that the most Calls will be opened in March only, we expect being offered even more opportunities to participate in Horizon 2020 projects, which is part of our long-term strategy of establishing ourselves as a preferred partner in international projects where we can contribute with our core competencies – education and e-learning tools.
Georg Richter, Senior Project Manager, January 2020
WKO Asia – strategical thinking
On 20 January 2020 the Austrian Chamber of Commerce organised an international conference on strategic business perspectives with the focus on Asia.
As the current booming region, Asia is affected by and leading in global mega trends like the newest technologies, climate issues, urbanisation and the need for new education and economic models. Austrian and Asian experts and entrepreneurs participated in the conference and exchanged ideas, experiences and future opportunities.
The conference covered topics like: digitalisation, energy issues, current economic developments and case studies for successful Austrian Businesses in Asia.
Colleagues of the International Project Unit of ipcenter.at attended this inspiring meeting to gain first-hand insight into current issues and meet representatives of the new generation of government and business leaders. Since Asia is one of the focus regions of IPU, the conference was a valuable opportunity for networking, finding new contacts and exchanging future project ideas.
Further information about the conference:
We look forward to hearing from you!
Whether you are interested in projects, our work or anything else. Our team ist ready to answer your questions.