Since August 2019, ‘Skills for Jobs’ project has supported key public and non-public VET and university providers at the district level to establish a regional dialogue platform in collaboration with companies / employers in the region.
The creation of regional dialogue platforms was identified as a necessity for the offer diversification process, not only for the project’s partner VET providers, but also for other providers in the region. Offer diversification denotes adapting education and training programs offered in a given region in order to meet the needs and prospects for development of the labour market in the same region. This relevance can be ensured through offering new programs or revising and updating existing ones.
Structured dialogue workshops with companies represent the epicentre of platforms at the regional level. Providers of a district and the most important companies operating in that territory will be at the heart of the workshops, which will be organized each year in October. Each district is expected to host 4 to 5 workshops a year, grouping companies by industry or industry group. An industry (sub-group or group of industries) is consulted every 2 to 3 years by providers in a district.
Organizing such workshops requires that education and training providers in each district meet beforehand in order to define industries. During the coordination meetings organized in early September, providers also coordinated to prepare structured information on directions, profiles and training programs that they offer, which will be presented in the form of a regional offer catalogue.
The industries and dates of structured workshops were defined based on inputs from the provider coordination meetings, as well as consultations with Regional Employment Offices and Chambers of Commerce (where present) (see below table).
Regional dialogue platforms will help establish a coordination mechanism to facilitate and structure potential provider-employer partnerships, aiming at contributing to identify short-term and mid-term skill needs at the regional level. Only by intensifying mutual trust and engagement among the key actors of the world of work at the district level, can a more enabling environment for regional offer diversification (aligned with labour market needs) can be achieved.