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European Programme EASI - Progress

Call for Proposals

European Programme EASI - Progress

The Call for Proposals VP/2014/012 “EaSI - PROGRESS – European Sector Skills Councils” has been published by the European Commission, Directorate Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.

The purpose of the current “European Sector Skills Councils” call is to encourage new forms of collaboration between public and private actors on the labour market (such as social partners, training and education providers, labour market intelligence entities, companies including SME’s, chambers of commerce, public and private employment services) to address persistent skills shortages and mismatches and thus help fill the gap between labour supply and demand in the EU. The operational objective of this call is to support the consolidation and continuation of European Sector Skills Councils that are beyond the feasibility phase.

The activities promoted by the “European Sector Skills Councils” call aim to achieve the following technical objectives:

- To provide more and better sectoral skills intelligence, based on the synthesis and compilation of existing national sources on employment trends and skills demand and supply in the sector.

- To contribute to the development of skills governance at sectoral level and of national skills policies by facilitating capacity building and peer-learning amongst national skill observatories or equivalent organisations and by creating a European platform of exchange and development of joint sectoral skills projects.

Under the current “European Sector Skills Councils” call for proposals, skills governance encompasses collaborative systems for aligning educational output to labour market needs, systems supporting skills-based matching on the labour market, and initiatives for better skills use by enterprises. Skills governance builds on and uses skills intelligence to affect outcomes of education and training systems and on the labour market. Measures to be financed under this call should be concrete and action oriented and carry a true added value in terms of making a difference where rolled out.

The EaSI Programme shall, in all its axes and the current “European Sector Skills Councils” call included, aim to:

(a) pay particular attention to vulnerable groups, such as young people;

(b) promote equality between women and men,

(c) combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation;

(d) promote a high-level of quality and sustainable employment, guarantee adequate and decent social protection, combat long-term unemployment and fight against poverty and social exclusion.

Eligible projects under the current “European Sector Skills Councils” call for proposals should stimulate policy development in participating countries, by actively engaging national and regional stakeholders in its activities and by fostering ownership of the initiatives developed within the network in the participating countries. The networking of stakeholders can be organised by facilitating peer learning workshops, structured study visits or thematic working groups on specific topics or occupations in the sector. European sector skills councils can lead awareness and dissemination actions, including creation and dissemination of concrete tools to share and diffuse knowledge (website, leaflets, video-based products, conferences, seminars, etc.).

As “European Sector Skills Councils” are projects spanning several years (or periods of 18 months), the following list of activities indicates the appropriate actions for each period in the development of the projects:

- First period activities. European sector skills councils should: establish the Council's infrastructure, roles and responsibilities, identify and trial mechanisms of co-operation and dissemination, develop a work plan for the next 2-3 years with concrete deliverables and outputs, synthesise the available labour market intelligence in the sector.

- Second and third period activities. European sector skills councils should expand their membership, engaging co-beneficiaries from countries not covered in the first period of functioning. At the end of two periods/three years of functioning, European sector skills councils should cover at least 15 Member States accounting for at least 50% of EU workforce in the sector. It should attract new membership, including networks of vocational and higher education providers, qualification authorities, research and professional organisations. It should support capacity building at national level in countries with a significant presence of the sector, having less developed skills intelligence and skills governance arrangements. It should develop materials relevant to jobseekers, employment services and the sector workforce informing in an accessible way career choices, up-skilling and reskilling opportunities and possibilities for EU mobility in the sector. It should initiate autonomously on the basis of the skills intelligence gathered new actions.

The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of the action is estimated at EUR 600.000. Grants are expected to be in the range of EUR 300 000 per application selected. The indicative date for the start of the projects is January 2015. The maximum initial planned duration of an action is 18 months. Applications for actions with an initial planned duration in excess of 18 months will not be considered. Under the current “European Sector Skills Councils” call for proposals, the European Commission may finance up to 80% of the total eligible cost of the action.

The deadline for submitting proposals in the framework of the current “European Sector Skills Councils” call for proposals is 3 September 2014.

Further information on the current call for proposals is available on the European Commission’s web site at: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=629&langId=en&callId=411&furtherCalls=yes

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