The European Commission allocated on Monday €8.5 million for two pilot projects with Africa and one with the Western Balkans in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector.

The projects are expected to start their activities as of January 2020.

“The three projects selected for the pilot Vocational Education and Training mobility scheme are concrete examples that meet the needs of both enlargement countries and Africa,” said Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.

The mobility projects include 2 pilot projects in Africa, namely Overstep and Supporting Alliance for African Mobility (SAAM) and 1 in the Western Balkans, called Internationalisation of VET systems in Western Balkans (Intervet).

Overstep has been awarded €2.5 million with the aim of improving teacher training, skills and pedagogical knowledge, enhancing the quality and effectiveness of curricula and training, and improving the knowledge of managerial staff.

SAAM has been awarded €4 million, as it will have to coordinate 32 VET organisations across 8 EU Member States and 13 African countries, with the aim of supporting the mobility of VET teachers across a range of disciplines.

Correspondingly, Intervet received €2 million to improve the culture of learning mobility in the field of VET, by increasing VET teachers’ and headmasters’ competences in planning and managing mobility projects.

The European Commission has long been advocating for its commitment to invest in young people, education and skills. “Africa and the Western Balkans are a political and strategic priority for the EU. We therefore have to ensure the full use of all our existing instruments and offer real opportunities to our partners,” said Gabriel on the matter.