VENet is a transnational cooperation among partners from Austria, Cyprus, Germany and Poland with the aim of developing a model of an innovative vocational education network. The aim is to integrate disadvantaged young people into the labour market through an individual practice-oriented qualification.
This transnational cooperation takes place within the framework of the 2nd (and last) round of the EQUAL programme of the European Union. The EQUAL Initiative is a laboratory of new ideas for European Employment Strategy and the social inclusion process. Its mission is to fight discrimination and exclusion in the labour market. The EU’s contribution (from the European Social Funds) to EQUAL of €3.274 billion is matched by national funding. EQUAL differs from other programmes in its function as a laboratory (principle of innovation) and its emphasis on active cooperation between Member States. Over 2000 Developing Partnerships (DPs), selected by the Member States are networking at national and European levels. The requirement that projects be transnational should enable individual DPs to learn from each other and to cooperate productively across borders via a Transnational Cooperation Agreement (TCA)
This partnership lasts from July 2005 until March 2007.
All national projects of the four development partnerships from Austria, Cyprus, Germany and Poland have similar concepts: To develop a competence-network for demand-oriented qualification of disadvantaged persons and their targeted integration into the labour market. By exchanging already existing knowledge and newly acquired experiences during the project period the partners develop a common product: The concept of a Vocational Education Network (VENet Model) which is transferable to all European countries.
The VENet model
• involves all relevant players of the labour market policy and education policy of the region concerned
• focuses on disadvantaged unemployed people with no (or no utilizable) qualification
• approaches an individual qualification on an innovative level
• trains the participants in a network of companies
• takes the demands of the regional businesses into account
• provides psychosocial support to the participants
• aims for a sustainable integration of the target group into the labour market
The main product of the transnational cooperation is the VENet model that can be adapted to all European Countries. A support function will assist interested parties to realize a “regionalized” VENet model. This Internet Platform serves as a means of disseminating the VENet model and as a forum for interested parties. European mainstreaming and a final event should ensure the survival of the VENet model after the end of the transnational cooperation.