The Skillman International Forum is a major recurrent event that we put together every year. Yet, this time, the goal was more ambitious than ever: hosting it as a hybrid event and bringing people from around the world to attend was indeed a big challenge. Furthermore, the onsite activities of the conference were hosted in two different European cities (Bologna and Lisbon), while the online streaming was always on for people to follow the conference at any time and from everywhere.
For this 7th edition, we have compiled quite a hectic agenda involving top-notch TVET practitioners, international organizations, schools, youth groups, political bodies, and companies, so that all voices about “how to redefine the future of learning” could be heard and shared.
The conference took place on November 15-18 in partnership with major international organizations such as IVETA, AER, ENNI, EAPRIL, ETF, ECCTIS, Colombo Plan Staff College, ITCILO and IDEB, and the participation rate and involvement from our international community of stakeholders were impressive, with online peaks of 686 views.
The official opening of the event was hosted onsite at the municipality’s facilities in Palazzo d’Accursio, Bologna (Italy) and then moved on to the Portuguese Industrial Association in Lisbon, (Portugal). Each day was dedicated to a specific topic: green revolution, micro-credentials, digital revolution and sharing is caring, inspiring valuable discussions and bringing to the table many examples of excellence, new ideas, innovative strategies to be implemented and replicated around the world in the vocational education sector.
What’s more, plenary sessions of roundtables, webinars and interactive spaces were followed by workshops and interesting onsite field trips, both in Bologna and Lisbon.
The international delegation of stakeholders at the conference in Italy had the opportunity to visit Centoform (from one of the Skillman CoVes) to learn about green transition and understand the dynamics between green jobs and skills. They also stopped at Guidetti, a pioneering company in innovative green practices.
On the next day, CiS (from the Reggio Emilia CoVe) invited participants to the Human-Technology Training Centre, with a digital training environment equipped with the latest technologies for the development of digital skills of people and businesses, followed by the visit to the Digital District of Unindustria Reggio Emilia.
Meanwhile, in Lisbon, a group of participants signed up for a trip to Atec, an innovative training academy resulting from the partnership of Volkswagen, Siemens, Bosch, and other major companies. They came together to forge an extremely practice-oriented unit that meets the needs of the Industrial cluster in terms of staff training and qualification. Its facilities are well structured and equipped with innovative training setups and machinery, combining theoretical methods with real-context working spaces that enable students to gain valuable hands-on experience.
Finally, some of the workshops that took place at SIF 2021 included: 360 degrees VR video making (to be applied to education curricula), youth discussion groups, design thinking, entrepreneurship and information technology, and the ICoED method, a co-design approach used to develop upskilling programs in an industrial context.
After such a long time of social distancing, the Skillman International Forum 2021 was a very valuable opportunity to greet some old friends and meet new people, set the basis for future sustainable cooperation and exchange insights and views on the needs and trends of the vocational education sector, in order to meet them and move towards a brighter future of togetherness.