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The CATALYST Project Is Launched: Accelerating Vocational Education and Training for a Circular Economy

Vocational Education and Training (VET) is key when it comes to a long-term and systemic shift of European economies toward more sustainability and resilience. New skills are also needed in order to leverage opportunities stemming from the sustainable-digital transition.

The transition to a climate-neutral Europe and the digital transformation are changing the way we work, learn, participate in society and live. It is clear that Europe can only seize these opportunities if its citizens develop the right skills. The Covid-19 pandemic also had a profound impact on millions of people, many of whom lost their jobs or suffered significant income losses. Part of the labour force will have to acquire new skills to change sectors; another part will have to continue their education to stay in the market.

The entry point in the labour market could be very challenging for newcomers if their educational and training background does not match what is needed for a resource-efficient, circular, digital and climate neutral European economy.

The recently-launched CATALYST project (European VET Excellence Centre for Leading Sustainable Systems and Business Transformation) will strengthen the sustainable competitiveness of professionals, students and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Upskilling and re-skilling are crucial for long-term and sustainable growth, productivity, and innovation and therefore a key factor for the competitiveness of businesses of all sizes, in particular SMEs. The goal of the project is to provide citizens participating in various VET programmes the right skills to work more effectively and take advantage of new technologies. Through its Enable and Inspire component, the project aims to have a positive impact and decrease identified obstacles.

The project was launched in June 2022 and it will run until 2026. 16 partners from North Macedonia, Germany, Austria, Greece and Portugal will run the project on a shared vision to contribute to the meeting the European Green Deal goals. The CSCP will focus on the establishment of one out of the five national CATALYST Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs). The centre (based in Germany) will create an educational offer to tackle personal and organisational development issues and support SMEs to embrace transformation. It will do so by inspiring and enabling them to re-think and re-design their business models as well as by facilitating co-creation and sharing between educational and business organisations.

The desired impact of the CoVEs is to be ‘catalysts’ on national, regional and European levels, enable change, and inspire the transformation of individuals and SMEs toward more sustainable systems and societies.

The project is funded by the Erasmus+ Programme.

For further questions, please contact Imke Schmidt.