It has been repeatedly emphasized on the EU level that SMEs are one of the key ‘driving forces’ of modern economies. It is because of their contribution to technological upgrading; product and process innovations; employment generation; export promotion; etc. The numbers have also proven this conclusion. In 2016 SMEs still provided an estimated 68% of all jobs in the non-financial business economy and contributed 58.1% of the total value-added created by businesses in the EU.
At the same time because of great number of unqualified workforce and fast labour market changes the need for proper VET training is bigger than have ever been before. VET needs to be reformed to be more responsive to evolving European market ensuring that people are equipped with the right skill and taught the way that is the most efficient and convenient. It should link the worlds of work and education more effectively.
The ME2ME Project was aimed to address both of these conclusions using the opportunities for the development of innovative learning content provided by the digital era. Micro enterprises owners is the group known for lack of time and low uptake of extra training, which might be the reasons for the failures of many small businesses. ME2ME will try to bridge the gap between business owners and education service providers by bringing them together in on-line networks.
The main project objectives are to:
• grow a culture of learning within the micro-enterprise sector by cultivating positive attitudes towards learning among business owners
• develop peer-to-peer learning networks in each partner country
• help bridge the gap between business owners and education service providers
• train VET tutors to develop media-rich mini-learning-format resources that address specific skill needs in the SME sector to help make VET more responsive to the needs of business.
The focus of the consortium will be put on ensuring the convenient access to the materials thanks to the planned mini-learning format resources widely available on digital platform. The project will support the shift from the education provision that is designed along traditional lines into training courses that are based on the social networking opportunities and are highly adaptable to the needs or availability of their users.
The project consortium consists of 9 partners:
• The Center for Training and Research INNEO (PL)
• Future in Perspective (IE)
• Kauno mokslo ir technologijų parkas (LT)
• SFEDI (UK)
• Pandokrátor (HU)
• Universitatea Din Pitesti (RO)
• Reintegra (CZ)
• Innoventum Oy (FI)
• Schweizerischer Verband für Weiterbildung (CH, associated partner)
The ME2ME Project runs from September 2017 to August 2019.