We are happy to announce that our Young Social Makers project, submitted in March 2019, has been selected for funding within the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships in the field of Vocational Education and Training.
During the 24-month project started in November 2019, training providers and schools from Spain, Italy, Cyprus and the Netherlands and will work together to develop training materials that allow teachers to get inspired by the makersculture to change the way they teach their students.
The Spanish organisation Fundacion Technologia Social took initiative for this interesting project. Director if the foundation Enrique Varela explains: ‘There is an Increased need for skills, competences and knowledge related to digitally enhanced design and manufacturing, such as 3D printing, laser cutting, design thinking and prototyping. These skills are highly demanded in the labour market and will become more relevant in the years to come. At the same time, the labour market demands versatile employees capable of working in teams and contribute to innovation. Co-creation, co-design and cooperation skills are pivotal thus for employability.”
Designer of the project and director of the company EOLAS Manon van Leeuwen adds: ‘All these skills are related to what is known as the makerculture, an environment in which different skills and competences come together, taking maximum advantage of digital tools, software and machinery to co-create, co-design and develop innovative products or services. Fablabs or living labs have been growing fast in the last years. Despite the fact that these entities can provide the connection with the demands of the labour market and with methods which are very well suited for young people, their users tend to be adults and collaboration with young people and the VET system is not developing at the same pace.’
Young Social Makers addresses these challenges by developing a coherent programme for Vocational students where they learn to create social objects that solve everyday challenges or people with special needs. The project will use the growing "Makerculture" trend that is emerging everywhere. The most important elements in this project are a program to train trainers who can then train teachers. In addition, practical learning modules are being developed that can be combined with a database of challenges that people with a visual or hearing impairment encounter in their daily lives.