Close the Gap's Project Coordinator participated in the VET Toolbox Hackathon

Posted on May 24, 2019 10:58 AM by

On 23 and 24 May, Close the Gap's Project Coordinator participated in the VET Toolbox Hackathon in Brussels. The goal of the Hackathon was to look for solutions to persistent and new challenges related to inclusion and public-private collaboration in Vocational Education and Training (VET).

During this two-day event, different experts, policy makers, private sector stakeholders and other participants worked together to create innovative solutions for challenges related to vocational education and training. 

More concretely, this Hackathon was divided in two tracks that participants could choose from.

The first option was about inclusion of vulnerable groups in vocational education and training. In many countries, VET providers still face difficulties in  enrolling and teaching persons from vulnerable groups. The Hackathon wanted to engage its participants in coming up with innovative approaches to solving this issue of inclusivity.

The second track focused on public-private collaboration in VET. In this track, participants tried to look at how governments and private institutions can work together to improve the quality of VET programmes. By increasing the role of private sector involvement in VET, a higher match between demand and supply of professional skills could also be achieved. 

Our Project Coordinator opted for track 2 where he and his team focused on the development of a mobile application that reviews soft skills in order to achieve more tailormade staff trainings. Their idea was that this should lead to more customer satisfaction. This has a three-way impact. For the private sector this would mean more revenue. Social impact is created through more retention of personnel and the strenthening of the precarious position of unskilled workers in the South. Thirdly, the public sector benefits as well by the potential to scale up in the national curriculum of VET.

After two days of working together in teams on one of the tracks, the participants presented their solutions to a jury in pitch sessions. Afterwards, the winning team and solution were applauded during an award ceremony.

At the ceremony, the team of our colleague was awarded with the second place. This means that they are awarded with the opportunity to further develop their idea with further logistical support of VET Toolbox. Besides that, they also get to pitch their idea at DG DEVCO (The European Commission's Director General of Development Cooperation).