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Bridges project creates vital employer engagement network across Europe

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The Erasmus+ funded Bridges Work Based Learning project will create a bespoke forum and network to provide employer engagement and a blended CPD programme with digital resources. This will support vocational education and training providers as well as professionals in improving work-based learning through more effective employer engagement.

The International Office at Belfast Met is working with the College’s Skills and Apprenticeship team in leading the way to manage the employer engagement Bridges Work-based Learning project.

In the current global context of complex economic challenges, there is growing interest in how workplaces develop and use skills. However, for this to succeed requires a better understanding of the nature of the skills needed by employers, and thereby the need of vocational training needs.

The co-operation between businesses and vocational education and training has become more pressing over the last year, as apprenticeships ensure that the quality of training fulfils business needs, as well as giving future employees the skillsets that are in demand in the labour market.

A recent study from the European Commission concluded that there are several constraining factors to successful vocational education and training and business cooperation across Europe, and in particularly in Bridges’ participating countries which include Northern Ireland, England, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Poland and Cyprus.

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International Manager Glen McMahon at Belfast Met and Project Manager for the Bridges Project, confirmed:

“This a very exciting project to be working on; cooperation between businesses and vocational education and training is very important for both the quality of education and for learners’ employability.

“This project will ensure that vocational education and training providers and professionals will have the necessary resources to improve work-based learning through effective employer engagement, and in turn make a valuable contribution to our local economy.”

The partners in the Bridges project consortium include:

  • Belfast Met (NI Colleges)
  • City of Dublin Education and Training Board(CDETB)
  • Evolve Global Solutions
  • Mindshift Talent Advisory
  • International Bund (IB)
  • Institute for the Promotion of Development and Training (INFODEF)
  • Centre for social Innovation(CSI)
  • The Centre for Education and Entrepreneurship Support (CWEP).
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