Euro-Arco is a Transfer of Innovation (large-scale co-operation) project delivered under the Leonardo da Vinci Programme, which is part of the European Union’s Lifelong Learning Programme. Leonardo supports vocational education and training (VET) organisations, staff and learners across the EU to work together to improve training, skills and employability.
The purpose of Euro-Arco is to transfer and adapt innovative vocational education, training materials and methods that have been developed by Wac Arts in the UK. The central aim of Euro-Arco is to develop the key competences of young people who are NEET, in particular, those defined as Transferable Skills, so that they are better able to maximise their potential in terms of social, cultural and economic inclusion. This will be achieved through transnational collaboration between Wac Arts and Rinova in the UK, MuLab in Italy, Questao in Portugal, MetroLab in Spain, Hope for Children in Cyprus, and Kunstbedrijif Arnhem in the Netherlands.
The Transfer of Innovation is centred on the methodology and approach that has been set out in the Transferable Skills Toolkit for Trainers, which has been developed by WAC ARTS in collaboration with Rinova. The Toolkit was developed and piloted through the national Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS), Flexibility and Innovation Fund, which gave opportunity to test and validate a non-formal learning approach that had been developed by WAC ARTS, and produce a pedagogical resource for trainers.
The specific objectives of Euro-Arco are to:
1. Transfer and test the Transferable Skills Toolkit in the participating countries; taking into account the adjustments required to the partner organisations’ teaching methods, the training needs of the personnel involved (managers, trainers and support workers), and the skills needs of the young people who are NEET;
2. Build the capacity of the participant organisations via the transfer of know-how, stemming from the ARCO approach and the adaptation of the learning materials, to generate effective practices re organizational management, trainers’ peer support, key competences training/content development;
3. Embed key competences through transferable skills into initial vocational related content and collaboration with local stakeholders; and
4. Identify learning outcomes and results, and disseminate widely at local, national and EU levels and ensure the knowledge is cascaded to other organisations via the participating partner organisations/countries.
By promoting the acquisition of Key Competences, this project squarely addresses priority LEO-TraInno-9. The Toolkit for Trainers specifically explores the similarities and differences between Key Skills, Core Skills and Transferable Skills. Each of these concepts is presently recorded in the Toolkit in relation to the UK skills system.
Our Transfer of Innovation is Across Sectors taking into account the sectoral, transversal and geographical perspectives, some of which are explored in this Comparative Study:
SECTORAL: in London, Rome, Arnhem and Malaga, the transfer of the ARCO methodology and approach is taking place within the Arts, Cultural and Creative Industries. In Portugal, there is a focus on engaging young people who are NEET through active outdoor, leisure and sports activities.
TRANSVERSAL: to further enhance the innovation, in Cyprus, Hope for Children, has a particular focus on how cultural expression can encourage mutual understanding and foster conflict resolution.
GEOGRAPHICAL: ARCO is to be adapted through cooperation between six EU Member States, taking into consideration, the striking differences, in terms of the different development stages of their Lifelong Learning Systems, different social and linguistic contexts, and in some cases, different social and educational landscape, for example, where there is a division between Turkish and Greek communities (both of these will be involved. Some of these differences are explored through this Comparative Study.
Why Euro-Arco is important
The ARCO project is set within the current context of rising unemployment levels among young people in Europe aged 16-24 years. Its overall aim is to support and enhance the employability of young people NEET (Not in Education, Employment and Training), particularly those from disadvantaged communities – many of whom have been alienated by ‘traditional’ education and formal approaches to learning.
Increasing levels of youth unemployment in each of the participating countries and across the EU (Eurostat and OCDE, 2011) are leading to concerns of a ‘lost generation’. There are key cohorts of young people who are classified as NEET, and are at risk of becoming long-term NEET, are increasingly at risk of being excluded from the labour market, simply because once NEET they find it more difficult to re-engage with learning or employment. For some groups of young people, being young and NEET is leading to higher incidences of homelessness, anti-social and offending behavior, substance abuse, pregnancy, or multiple and overlapping disadvantages. All partners participating in this project are currently working with this target group of young people.
More information can be found on the Euro-ARCO website at www.euro-arco.org