PoVE Water - Issue 3                                                                                   View this email in your browser
March 2021

Welcome to the PoVE Water Newsletter

Pilot PoVE Water is a transnational project that draws on existing and emerging vocational competences and skills needs in the water sector, translating them into an approach of vocational excellence. This ensures upward convergence of VET with (EU) knowledge triangles and a strong engagement with the regional economic and social ecosystems. The project intends to create the infrastructure necessary to embed vocational excellence in the water sector in Europe, thus laying the grounds for vocational curriculum development and consequently competence development of VET students.

Water and Beyond session event “With knowledge and skills: water as the engine for economic development and jobs”

Water and Beyond: EU transformative approaches for international partnerships was hosted by the European Commission DG-DEVCO and the Government of Slovenia, with the support of Government of Portugal as the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The event was addressed to policy-makers, decision makers who can contribute to ensuring the availability and sustainability management of water and sanitation for all. Water is linked on various levels including an environmental or social perspective. Therefore, water stress and the lack of decent work can exacerbate security challenge. Water is, therefore, essential to decent jobs as well as sustainable development. In mean way the research and studies show a growing lack of qualified workers in the water and water-related sectors.

On Wednesday 20 January 2021 the Session 5 titled “With knowledge and skills: water as the engine for economic development and jobs” was organised by UNESCO and Women for Water Partnership”.

Murray Bieder, UNESCO and Lesha Witmer, Women for Water Partnership, opened the session and introduced the first keynote speakers.

Michela Miletto, UNESCO, WWAP Coordinator introduced Driver for Employment and sustainable growth. She said that 3 out of 4 jobs that make up the entire global workforce are water-dependent.

Prof Moshood Tijani, African Minister’s Council

on Water introduced the background in water resources and jobs and analysed capacity building gaps and the implication for decision making.

Afterwards, the PoVE Water, Young Water Solutions, ILO, Union for the Mediterranean and JRC EU Sciences Hub in this panel discussion speakers gave a review of curricula as well as of how water can create economic development and growth.

Pieter Hoekstra and Erna van der Werff, introduced PoVE Water main results of the project so far. They highlighted that “current and future water sector professional have the work attitude, knowledge and competences that the rapid changing EU Water industry demand.”

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Interview with David Innes & Nicola Murray of Glasgow Clyde College

David Innes and Nicola Murray are from Glasgow Clyde College. The college is based in Glasgow and they are the sole training provider of the HNC Water Operations in Scotland working closely with their main stakeholder Scottish Water. Their work package is designed to prepare the knowledge sharing process.
Read the interview

Skills Ecosystem Scanning: lessons learned from the PoVE Water project

With the Platform of Vocational Excellence Water project reaching its half way point, we reflect on the work done so far developing the Centers of Vocational Excellence Water in our partner countries. The first important step was to create a close understanding of the skills ecosystem of the water sector in each country, and gaining intimate knowledge about the economic and societal needs. By making a so called context scan of each country involved, we have provided a strong basis to build the Centers of Vocational Excellence Water on. The partners in the Platform of Vocational Excellence have taken the following steps over the last year.

Step 1: Mapping the stakeholders

In order to get a clear overview of all stakeholders active in your regional skills ecosystem, it is important to map your partners

and determine the relations between the various stakeholders. Which role does each stakeholder play and how do they relate to each other? In this mapping exercise, you also include stakeholders that may not be a direct project partner, but can still influence your work. An important aspect of this exercise is to determine your region. In some cases, the regional skills ecosystem includes the entire country, in other regions this is a smaller geographical area. The service area of the stakeholders is an important indicator to determine the scope of the region skills ecosystem. In some cases, the service areas will not match. For instance when a company is working nationwide, while a school is more regionally oriented.

In the Platform of Vocational Excellence Water project, the partners mapped their region by creating a stakeholder map. 

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Education of Water Management Specialists is on the Agenda of the Latvian Education Policy

In close cooperation with representatives of education and industry, Latvia has succeeded in updating the issue of improving and strengthening the vocational training in the water management sector during a year – this will facilitate the excellence approach in this sector and an influx of new specialists into the industry.

The water management or water supply and sewerage sector has been ageing rapidly in Latvia. According to the statistics, the average age of this sector workers was 49.6 in 2018 and already 51.9 in 2019. It is the highest indicator in Latvia in comparison with other sectors. This is an evidence of the need to inject knowledgeable and interested new specialists into the sector.

“In the course of the year, we have succeeded in reaching an agreement on cooperation between the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, the Employers' Confederation of Latvia, Riga Technical University (RTU), RTU Technology College of Olaine, Vidzeme Technology and Design Vocational School and Daugavpils Construction Technical School. These colleges and vocational schools ensure professional education in the water sector, while the RTU provides the higher education,” says Jānis Rubulis, Senior Researcher of RTU Water Systems and Biotechnology Institute. This year, a memorandum of cooperation is scheduled to be signed, setting out the objectives of all stakeholders, defining the goals to be achieved and evaluating the progress in achieving these goals.

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Czech professionals meet online to establish CoVE in the Czech Republic and planning Regional educational webinar

Online meeting on establishing CoVE WATER in the Czech Republic took place online on March 16, 2021. After months of preparation and planning were pre-chosen and asked representatives of different education sectors and water-related organisations to be part of the arising Centre of Vocational Excellence WATER in the Czech Republic.

Czech CoVE WATER will consist of the representatives of cluster CREA Hydro&Energy, Mendel University in Brno, Brno University of Technology, South Moravian Region, Regional Development Agency, VET school in Brno and educational institution for environmental training Lipka. On this first constitutive meeting basic CoVE's goals and main activities were agreed, and statues and executive bodies of the CoVE were voted.


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A tentative success - PhD thesis on public-private partnerships

Link to thesis

In these turbulent times, how should the government go about achieving major public- policy goals like a better education system, in the face of dramatic technological and social change? That is the question that underlies the thesis of Pieter Moerman that he defended on December 17th at the University of Amsterdam, which considers a large-scale experiment involving vocational education.

The research builds on the more than 300 public-private partnerships developed in The Netherlands. The essence of a public-private partnership is that it involves results that colleges or companies could never hope to achieve alone. The government often stimulates these projects with a financial contribution but makes all kinds of demands on the cooperation. Usually by imposing top-down rules or setting targets Moerman: "I didn't expect the way in which the government steers to have such an impact on how the collaboration turns out. The government limits us by strict rules', I often heard during my research on the work floor. What is the conclusion of the thesis? Give companies and schools room to improve their own approach and you get better results".

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Interview to Edwin Zammit, Deputy Director for Innovation, R&I Office, MCAST, on the platform of Vocational Excellence in Water

Scottish Water launches two new digital learning hubs aimed at school pupils

Scottish Water has launched two new digital learning hubs aimed at both Primary and Secondary school pupils. 

The hubs are an accessible and informative learning resource for our young people, inspiring the next generation. 

The online learning modules have been designed for pupils to learn in a fun way about the Water Cycle, how it is affected by climate change and how Scottish Water works with nature’s cycle.

The Primary School education hub is aimed towards adults who can register and share content with classes or children. The Secondary School education hub is aimed towards adults or any users over the age of 13.
As they are entirely digital, we hope you find the resources interesting and helpful, particularly during periods of school closures where home schooling is required.

Give us your feedback. You can contact the team at SwExtlearnhub@scottishwater.co.uk

SKILLS PANORAMA: Skills intelligence provided by Cedefop promoted PoVE Water project

"European Platform of Vocational Excellence Water"

In Europe the Water sector faces several challenges. Besides increasing periods of draught and the transition towards a circular economy, the water sector labour market is dealing with an aging workforce.

With the promotion of the PoVE Water project on SKILLS PANORAMA: Skills intelligence provided by Cedefop, we want to make sure to promote the sector as on of the top sectors for youth to work in and to ensure that the current workforce is keeping up with the rapid innovations of the sector.

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The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Project number: n° 612632-EPP-1-NL-EPPKA2-SSA-P

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