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Xarxa FP, the European reference network on VET mobility, held its XVII General Assembly last 18th of February in Rovaniemi (Finland), gathering more than 40 representatives from 21 European cities.

During the General Assembly (GA) participants reviewed the results of the network in 2015, discussed new actions and projects for 2016, approved an ambitious strategic plan for 2016-2020 and welcomed two new cities: Hamburg (Germany) and Ventspils (Latvia).

Xarxa FP network: 23 cities from 9 European countries

With the incorporation of Hamburg and Ventspils Xarxa FP membership enlarges to 23 cities from 9 European countries. Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany and the third largest metropolitan region in the European Union, sent only in 2014 about 1.000 trainees via EU funded mobility programmes. Ventspils, the sixth largest city in Latvia, has the deepest ice-free port in the Baltic Sea and, thanks to the last years investment in the port’s infrastructure, has attracted more than 20 new manufacturing plants.

Moreover, the city of Lublin (Poland) attended the GA as an observer city.

An ambitious strategic plan for 2016-2020

The GA also approved Xarxa FP strategic plan up to 2020. Through its strategic plan, Xarxa FP seeks to become a reference organisation within the area of European mobility by promoting and innovating Vocational Education and Training in the framework of EU education and training policies. The plan outlines three main strategic lines to be developed up to 2020:

  • Improve the quantity and quality of VET mobility;
  • Stimulate and promote VET Innovation though the development of strategic partnerships and international projects;
  • Contribute to the design of EU VET policies;

The GA also appointed Mr Jordi Castillo, Head of VET Internal Relations of Barcelona, as new Secretary General.

VET innovation projects

The GA also discussed the development of new projects in the field of cooperation for innovation, exchange of good practices and strategic partnerships. ECVET, Early School Leaving (ESL), Professional Qualifications of VET Teachers and Trainers, elaboration of an impact study of student mobility on employability, making VET more attractive, cooperation with SMEs and targeting the skills gap are some of the topics that members decided to work on from 2016 onwards.

Moreover, during the GA the city of Toulouse presented the International “Summer jobs” exchange project, a programme that recruits young foreign people for seasonal jobs.

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