ince 2008 Europe has been suffering the effects of the most severe economic crisis it has seen in 50 years. The majority of small and medium-sized enterprises have not been able to bounce back to their pre-crisis levels. New companies, especially SMEs represent the most important source of employment creating more than 4 million new jobs every year in Europe. However, a substantial number of EU Member States are still neglecting to take into the account the needs of SMEs thus creating a gap between vocational education professionals and owners/managers of micro-enterprises.
The SYNERGY project “Harnessing the Learning Assets Within the SME Business Community” with partners from Cyprus, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Greece, Germany and Finland under the Erasmus + Program, was launched in September 2014 and will be completed in August 2014.
The aim of SYNERGY is “improve the quality and relevance of VET provision to micro-enterprises to support the transformation of the European economy into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy by developing and implementing a bespoke learning environment for vocational education professionals and micro-enterprise owners to ensure the development of micro-enterprises and to enable this dynamic sector realize its true potential”. The objectives of SYNERGY are: (1) To support the development of a culture of learning within the micro-enterprise sector cultivating positive attitudes towards learning among micro-enterprise owners by ensuring that learning materials developed are relevant to their needs and appropriate to their learning preferences; (2) To support the continuous professional development of vocational education staff by providing a bespoke in-service training program that builds their knowledge and understanding of the business world and supports their work in non-traditional blended learning environments (3) To create a sense of community animating micro-enterprise owners and education service providers towards a common set of educational goals and objectives ensuring that service provision is tailored to address the needs of local businesses; (4) To design and implement a series of cost-effective, flexible, bespoke peer-to-peer learning micro-social networks to considerably increase the range and accessibility of educational services and supports; (5) To provide a suite of bespoke media-rich learning resources that address specific skill needs within the micro-enterprise sector identified through research with the target group; (6) To promote inter-cultural awareness and grow the potential for international business development for micro-enterprises by linking the on-line learning communities created in the different Member States.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
[Project No: 2014‐1‐IE01‐KA202‐000355]