I – The S.T.R.E.E.T. Project and the Erasmus Plus funding scheme
“S.T.R.E.E.T. – Sustainable Transport Education for Environment and Tourism” is a project funded by the Erasmus+ programme.
Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme that supports education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Its budget for 2014-2020 is €14.7 billion and aims to provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, get trainings, gain experience and volunteer abroad.
Set to last until 2020, Erasmus+ doesn’t have just opportunities for students. Merging seven prior programmes, it offers opportunities for a wide variety of individuals and organisations.
Specific issues tackled by the programme include:
- Reducing unemployment, especially among young people
- Promoting adult learning, especially for new skills and skills required by the labour market.
- Encouraging young people to take part in European democracy
- Supporting innovation, cooperation and reform
- Reducing early school leaving
- Promoting cooperation and mobility with the EU’s partner countries
The S.T.R.E.E.T. project was funded by the Key Action No. 2 (KA2) that is designed to develop the education, training, and youth sectors through five main activities:
- Strategic partnerships to support innovation in the sector as well as joint initiatives to promote cooperation, peer-learning, and the sharing of experience.
- Knowledge Alliances to foster innovation in and through higher education together with businesses, and beyond, contributing to new approaches to teaching and learning, entrepreneurship in education, and the modernisation of higher education systems in Europe.
- Sector Skills Alliances to tackle skills gap and ensure a better alignment of vocational education and training with labour market needs. There are opportunities to modernise VET, exchange knowledge and best practices, encourage working abroad, and increase the recognition of qualifications.
- Capacity-building projects in the field of higher education to support the modernisation, accessibility, and internationalisation of higher education in Partner Countries.
- Capacity-building projects in the field of youth to support the development of youth work, non-formal learning and volunteer work, as well as promote non-formal learning opportunities with Partner Countries
In detail, our project has been funded by the KA2 “Strategic Partnerships”: Strategic Partnerships are transnational projects designed to develop and share innovative practices and promote cooperation, peer learning, and exchanges of experiences in the fields of education, training, and youth.
Strategic Partnerships provide opportunities for a wide variety of public, private and non-governmental organisations to implement a broad range of activities including, for example:
- Strengthening cooperation and networking between organisations,
- Promoting the development, testing, and implementation of innovative practices,
- Promoting the recognition and validation of knowledge, skills and competences,
- Promoting cooperation between regional authorities to develop new systems for education, training and youth,
- Supporting learners with disabilities and special needs and ease their transition to the labour market,
- Supporting education and training professionals to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in learning,
- Promoting integration of newly arrived migrants and raising awareness about the refugee crisis in Europe
- Promoting entrepreneurship and active citizenship among young people.
Strategic Partnerships can have different sizes and carry out different activities depending on the objective of the project, the organisations involved, the expected impact and other elements.
Within the scope of the project’s objectives, there are also opportunities for pupils, students, learners, and staff to learn, be trained, or to teach abroad, insofar as these transnational teaching, training and learning activities contribute to the achievement of the project’s objectives.
The S.T.R.E.E.T. project, started on the 1st September 2015 and ended on the 31st August 2018, had the aim to define a new professional profile, Expert in Sustainable Mobility and Tourism, focused on two main fields: alternative mobility and sustainable tourism, which are opportunities for economic growth, local development and employment.
The partnership included a Vocational Education Training Centre from Italy, a company in the transport sector from Italy, a Municipality from Slovenia, a consultancy in Sustainable Transport from the United Kingdom and a cooperation network of 25 municipalities with a touristic vocation in six alpine EU countries.
ENGIM Piemonte (Italy) – The Coordinator
Vocational Education Training Centre – www.piemonte.engim.it
ENGIM Piemonte is a VET (Vocational Education and Training) organisation based in Turin, North West of Italy. Its main activities have always been focused on young people, since the late XIX century, to provide competencies which can make them ready for the labour market.
ENGIM is one of the main training organisations for initial vocational training in the Piedmont region. For young people only, there is an offer of 20 training courses for a total of around 400 learners.
Lots of activities are related to work placement: the recently introduced dual system, apprenticeship, work-placements both in Italy and abroad, participation to local contexts, other projects aimed at working insertion.
Lots of actions have been developed also in the field of adult education and for several targets: migrants, unemployed people, companies and local authorities.
The main fields of training are: Environment, ICT and communication, management and social care.
The organisation is part of several networks in the field of young people education, adult education, ICT, Energy and Environment and Sustainable Mobility where ENGIM is in charge of carry out post-diploma and post-graduate courses. The networks involve other educational organisations, companies, universities, research centres and local authorities.
During the years ENGIM has also developed a know-how in e-learning and content management system developing on-line courses and providing tools for distance learning using web 2.0 tools and devices.
Since 2012 ENGIM is collaborating with its partner “SocialFare®” to foster social innovation for growth and jobs. There are 5 ENGIM branches in Piedmont for a total of around 200 employees and more than 2000 learners.
The Transpadana Committee was established in 1990 with the ambitious aim of raising the awareness among the public opinion and the relevant Italian, French and EU authorities, about the strategic importance of a high speed and capacity rail link, with huge potential for goods and passengers, crossing Eastern and Western Europe through the Po Valley and connecting the most important industrial areas of Italy as well as the ports of Genoa, Venice and Trieste with the new European railway network.
The aim of the Committee is to promote, facilitate and accelerate the implementation of the system of corridors (Lyon-Turin-Milan and Genoa-Venice-Trieste-Ljubljana) crossing Northern Italy, in order to: improve a safe and environmentally friendly way of transport of passengers and freight, increase the efficiency of Italian transportation systems, facilitating their modal rebalance in favour of railways and revamp Italian economy in a specific technological field. To reach these goals, the Committee ensures a constant coordination between various public and private stakeholders, promoting an international working approach, organising public events and participating in European projects, both as partner and as coordinator.
Transpadana members are public and private subjects, representing all Italian territories affected by corridors: local authorities, chambers of commerce, territorial associations, etc.
ALPINE PEARLS (Austria)
Alpine Pearls (AP) is a transnational association of 25 municipalities across the alpine regions of Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Germany, France and Switzerland, aiming to promote sustainable tourism activities for local development – www.alpine-pearls.com
AP is based in Werfenweng (AT) and was created in 2006 as a tool for the development of two EU projects – Alps Mobility and Alps Mobility II. The association coordinates the activities of its 25 members and ensures that principles of sustainability are satisfied across the network.
Its activities promote a new concept of sustainable holidays, which aims to contribute to the environmental protection and sustainability in the alpine area.
The activities raise awareness on issues like climate change and soft mobility, and in the same time promote local identities, heritage and traditions of the involved communities.
The AP cooperates with ministries, service providers, tour operators and regional and national tourism organizations, across the 6 countries.
The network develops its activities by means of:
– Best Practices Exchange between stakeholders (excursions, general assemblies of stakeholders, meetings, workshops, etc.).
– promotion and communication tools – AP official website and constant PR activities with media across the alpine regions under focus;
The network members which will be involved are best practice examples in the topic of the soft mobility and:
– are familiar with participatory methods and techniques;
– have good communication and disseminations skills;
– have good networking skills
EPN CONSULTING (United Kingdom)
Consulting firm and European Network of Professionals – www.epnconsulting.eu
EPN Consulting is a consulting firm and a network of professionals. The firm has got 3 key professionals, 10 collaborators whilst the network counts more than 50 members and over 2900 professional contacts in Europe.
Main areas of expertise include EU projects preparation and management, Consultancy on Intelligent Transport Systems & Sustainable Transport as well as Business Management & Innovation.
EPN Consulting works with universities, SMEs, private and public organisations and this has helped the firm to gain knowledge of different mindsets that characterise each group of organisations. In particular the attitude to business creation and management is totally different and it is easy to detect huge difficulty in people that move from one sector to another one. Thanks to knowing both the university and business world, EPN Consulting is able to act as a trait d’union between freshly graduated students (work demand) and companies (work offer) by designing bespoke training courses that could enhance their skills and capabilities. EPN Consulting provides also counselling on individuals that would like to become entrepreneurs after being employees or researchers and professional advice to SMEs that intend to improve their market size, get EU funds and increase their visibility in Europe.
OBCINA BLED (Slovenia)
Bled Municipality – http://www.e-bled.si/
The Municipality of Bled was established in 1994. In 2007 it was separated from the Municipality of Gorje. Its territorial extension measures 72.3 km2 and it has a population of 8,145 (July 2014) and ten settlements.
The Municipality of Bled consists of local communities Bled, Ribno, Bohinjska Bela, Rečica and Zasip. With its authorities and administration, it is in charge of carrying out legal regulations in the areas which are assigned to the municipality. The Municipality is responsible for public utility infrastructure, transport, social activities, space and environment. It manages municipal property, offers conditions for the economic development of the municipality, provides and promotes educational and health services, promotes social services, pre-school care, research, cultural activities and the development of sport and recreation.
In October 2009 the Development plan for the Municipality of Bled 2009 – 2020 was adopted. There were identified clear vision, goals and four key priorities: i) the effective management and administration, ii) the green alpine municipality, iii) a top tourist destination, iv) vital municipality.
The Municipality of Bled has been a member of Alpine Pearls since 2009.
The Project Idea – The general context in which the project took its idea was the need of a more integrated territorial development, taking into account peripheral and scarcely populated areas. These areas need to enhance their accessibility, foster entrepreneurship and enhance jobs creation, build strong local capacities. Thus, an effective mobility management could play a crucial role facing this territorial challenge.
Nevertheless, although the professional sector is focused on urban contexts it can be re-qualified in terms of competences and expertise, tailoring on specific mobility needs of peripheral areas.
Marginal areas can rely on tourism considered as a fundamental driver to maintain the economic activity of these territories. Strictly intertwined with the mobility field, tourism can trigger a sustainable economy based on the ecological capital, the agriculture and forestry field and the entire specific social capital.
The new professional profile of Expert in Sustainable Mobility and Tourism, matching mobility and tourism under a sustainable perspective, will be able to work in peripheral, touristic contexts (e.g. Alpine Valleys) granting increased capacities for jobs opportunities in all EU regions.
Another aim of the project is to foster entrepreneurship, in terms of knowledge and attitudes, which represents a key asset for a young person facing the labour market. For a not yet clearly defined profile, entrepreneurship can be an added value enriching basic skills with problem solving capabilities, autonomy and self-responsibility. Enterprising spirit and capability to design and suggest innovative projects and investments ideas are qualities appreciated in all sectors of the labour market, either private or public.
What did we do in the project? – The partnership designed and implemented a training programme addressed to young unemployed or underemployed individuals available on the labour market.
The training was developed jointly by the partners and it is in English in order to give a EU perspective. The training was on line and also included 4 study visits (“learning activities”) in the UK, Austria, Slovenia and Italy.
The courses foreseen by the project are of 2 types: the Basic course and the Specialised course.
The BASIC Course – the programme aims to fill potential gaps among countries and participants on basic mobility management knowledge and skills, so that all participants could be considered at the same level. The training programme was available on line and open to all participants.
It was accessible via the platform and was also used as a base to select participants for the training activity abroad.
The platform had a close access (login and password) so that the partnership could monitor the learners and their participation, and it is going to be open at the end of the project.
The link to the platform is: http://streetproject.eu/moodle.streetproject.eu/
The training units consisted of 11 video lessons (approx. 30 minutes each) in English – each one followed by a final test – on the following subjects:
- Sustainable Mobility
- European legislative framework on mobility management
- Partners’ national contexts: laws and professional profiles in mobility management
- Mobility manager: an inter-disciplinary profile
- Transport competences and techniques: integrated transport systems, different transport modes features
- Communication abilities, marketing skills, social networks
- Spatial planning basic concepts and economic advantages deriving from a smart and integrated mobility planning
- Work process: build relational networks (knowledge of the territory), services provision (dissemination, new solutions implementations, etc.)
- SUMP – Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan: tools to develop and implement mobility plans
- Team working and problem solving
Overall there were 146 people who subscribed to the platform from Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.
49 of them achieved a score enabling them to participate to the selection process for the learning activities abroad.
The SPECIALISED Course – It was focused on sustainable tourism mobility management in urban and non-urban areas/regions. A significant part of the course was the study visits/learning activities abroad for a group of selected participants (who have attended the basic online course).
Learning Activities Abroad – After the online training phase, 21 students were selected to participate in four training activities abroad. The training sessions lasted five days each and were carried out in London (UK), Werfenweng (Austria), Bled (Slovenia) and Torino (Italy). The study visits were practical examples of how different areas with different socio–economic backgrounds approach tourism and sustainable mobility.
In each visit there were also lessons on the theme of mobility management, transport and tourism. Details can be found in this document in the following paragraphs:
- 4.1 – The London Study Visit
- 4.2 – The Werfenweng Study Visit
- 4.3 – The Bled Study Visit
- 4.4 – The Turin Study Visit
Other activities carried out in the project – The partnership met four times: there was a kick-off meeting in Bled and three transnational management meetings held in London, Werfenweng and Turin. The meeting in Turin combined also a final event to present the results of the project, the platform and the learning activities. A similar event was held in London: they both involved stakeholders, participants to the learning activities and local authorities.
A Stakeholder Analysis was carried out at the beginning of the project: a list of relevant organisations was set up and a further classification was carried out according to their being potential participants to the course (VET Learners), companies working in the field of tourism and mobility, local authorities dealing with transport and tourism and other relevant organisations.
The Stakeholders Analysis was important in order to:
- Find participants for the online course and the learning activities abroad
- Contribute to the contents of the course
- Communicate and disseminate the results of the project
- Be a potential job opportunity for the learners
- Introduce their good practices during the learning activities
- Follow the project through its website, social network channels and newsletters
More information on the Dissemination actions designed and implemented are in the A1 chapter while results of the Evaluation Questionnaires sent to students to measure their degrees of satisfaction of the Study Visits as well as the entire project are reported in the A2 chapter.
II – The Project Legacy: Toolbox
EPN Consulting was in charge of preparing the Toolbox that represents the S.T.R.E.E.T. Project legacy for organisations that in the future would like to design a strategy on how to train Experts in Sustainable Mobility and Tourism.
Thanks to this document they will have a reference to learn basic information on many subjects and among all Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans, Intelligent Transport Systems and Services for more efficient public transport networks, European Union Directives that harmonise strategies across the Member States. Besides, they will learn which procedures we put in place, how we designed Basic Course modules to attend online and how we designed Study Visits, part of the Specialised Course, to show learners (i.e. students) how theory is converted in practice and adapted to local needs and legal requirements.
The Toolbox was designed to become a reference handbook, however the S.T.R.E.E.T. consortium realised that a large document – either in Word or PDF – could not be that user friendly. That’s why the consortium decided to prepare a final version as an e-book, which is certainly more versatile and easy to browse. In addition, to ensure maximum visibility to the e-book, the S.T.R.E.E.T. partners applied for the ISBN (International Standard Book Number), that is: 978-88-99781-40-8.
II.a – The Toolbox as an e-book
To create the e-book we started by comparing many potential suitable platforms and software. To assess which was the best one for our purpose we took in consideration their prices and their main features, such as the storage allowance, the book setting possibilities and the services offered by the provider. Since the Toolbox is supposed to host a large number of media files, images in particular, a large storage size has been one of the most relevant requirements for our choice. All these have been satisfied by PressBooks that with its PDF+eBOOK PRO version provides 250MB of available space .
After a first general evaluation, we decided to start working with the trial version of PressBooks in order to assess the pros and cons of this platform.
We had two possibilities to start with our book: editing directly on the platform or importing the final Word version of the Toolbox. The best solution was to set the book structure on the platform and then copy the text from the Word document previously created.
We decided to import only the Annex 2 (Evaluation Questionnaire) that included a lot of images and that was also available in the epub format. All the other images have been uploaded manually in their relevant paragraphs.
Once the structure was set up, with all the parts, chapters and paragraphs titles, PressBooks created the Table of Contents (ToC) automatically.
One of the limits of this platform is that the ToC can include only two levels. This means that if you want the titles of the main paragraphs to appear in the ToC, you have to mark them as “Heading 1”.
PressBooks has been very user-friendly, mainly because we didn’t need to learn any programming language and we could find all the setting options in the Dashboard of the platform.
Since we bought the PDF+eBOOK PRO version, we also had the possibility to generate our customised book cover and to export the book in many formats, such as web, pdf, epub and mobi.
Links and references
S.T.R.E.E.T. Project official page: www.streetproject.eu
- ENGIM Piemonte – www.piemonte.engim.it
- TRANSPADANA – www.transpadana.org
- ALPINE PEARLS – https://www.alpine-pearls.com/
- EPN CONSULTING Ltd. – http://www.epnconsulting.eu/
- BLED Municipality – http://www.e-bled.si/
EU Erasmus+ official website: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/
Erasmus+ websites in the partner countries:
- Austria: http://www.erasmusplus.at/
- Italy: www.erasmusplus.it
- Slovenia: http://www.cmepius.si/
- United Kingdom: http://www.erasmusplus.org.uk/
Selection of relevant EU websites on Education and Learning:
- http://ec.europ a.eu/education/policy/strategic-framework/education-technology_en
- Rethinking Education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes
- REGULATION (EU) No 1288/2013 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL. of 11 December 2013. establishing ‘Erasmus+’: the Union programme for education, training, youth and sport and repealing Decisions No 1719/2006/EC, No 1720/2006/EC and No 1298/2008/EC
- COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION – EUROPE 2020 – A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth -EUR-Lex – 52010DC2020 – EN – EUR-Lex – Europa EU