Upskilling and Reskilling: How the CATALYST Project Will Support SMEs to Transform

Just around one percent of German companies are not a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). With the necessary skills, SMEs can play a decisive role in shaping Europe’s sustainable future. But, how can they prepare their workforces for this? On 19 and 20 September, 16 project partners from 5 European countries came together in Skopje, North Macedonia, to launch the Catalyst project. The project goal: to make the European workforce fit for the future!

At the the kick-off, the project lead Prof. Angelina Taneva-Veshoska from the North Macedonian Institute for Research in Environment, Civil Engineering and Energy (IECE) stressed the urgent need to embrace sustainable transformation in SMEs all over Europe by upskilling and reskilling their employees and co-creating new business solutions in trans-disciplinary partnerships.

The aim of the project is to provide Vocational Education and Training (VET) learners with the right skills to integrate sustainably into their work and take advantage of new technologies. At the same time, cross-sector and trans-disciplinary partnerships will be encouraged in order to boost mutual learning and best practice exchange. Through these “enable and inspire” components the project partners expect to lead sustainable systems and business transformation all over Europe.

The project will establish Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) that will serve as ‘catalysts’ on a national, regional and European level, enable change and inspire the transformation of individuals and SMEs toward more sustainable systems and societies.

“We do not only want to transfer knowledge and competences for SMEs in the addressed sectors, but above all we want to initiate partnerships in order to create room to try out new things and to move from thinking to implementation”, says CSCP project manager Imke Schmidt.

Together with the German Sustainable Business Association (BNW) and BELLS, the CSCP will establish a Centre of Vocational Excellence in Germany to create an educational offer for tackling personal and organisational development. The centre will target five key sectors of the European Green Deal: food, building, IT and digitalisation, textiles and waste management.

The project is funded by the Erasmus+ Programme.

For further questions, please contact Victoria Funk.