Skillman Network

The Skillman Network is a non-governmental organisation based in the EU and engaged in the TVET domain to design and distribute solutions that facilitate the implementation of the work-based-learning approach to skills mismatch for a worldwide community of practitioners, researchers and institutions. 

The network promotes a sectoral skills model based on work-based learning which includes sustainability and ethical values and is committed to responding to a need for learning solutions creating tools and operating conditions for its community.

Since 2014, values, principles and solutions that the Skillman Network promotes have evolved to offer overtime the most appropriate strategic tools, particularly in line with the industry needs, the EU policies changes and the influence coming from the international debate on education and training.

These progressive adaptations and their meanings, from the origins of Skillman to now, land on the pandemic challenge and on the current meaning of ‘excellence’ in TVET.

The launch of Skillman was done within the context of EU policies that have enabled a group of industry and TVET leaders and other research organisations to create the network in response to the challenges associated with skills mismatch. 

The tools and solutions of the Skillman network in the era of the coronavirus pandemic aim to put skills at the heart of policy agenda and to influence the political arena to steer the investment in people and their skills for a sustainable recovery. 

According to the latest European vision, companies expect workers with the needed skills to master green and digital transitions, and people need to be able to get the right education and training to thrive in life. 

The efforts necessary to provide people with these rights require a TVET community able to reflect, identify and share ideas, tools and solutions and, mostly, able to design frameworks that allow such progress.

In relation to the challenges associated with work-based-learning to address the skills mismatch, the Network presents the solutions and the tools designed and applied over time. Additionally, it gives some specific information about settings and characteristics implemented for a large participative model of interaction among stakeholders.

In order to foster its mission, the Network has created and implemented solutions, like: SAW – Skills Anticipation Wave, a model inspired by the salmon ascent route to gather information necessary to design the TVET pathways; Global CoVEs framework, a “Transnational platform of Centres of Vocational Excellence for the emerging skills in Advanced Manufacturing”; SAT Self-Assessment Tool, a subtle mechanism for the continuous evaluation and fine-tuning of 25 variables for excellence in TVET. 

All the tools and the solutions promoted by Skillman include an equitable approach to Work-based Learning and to excellence in TVET. This approach allows to connect the curricula design with ethics and values, and to promote inclusion and social cohesion, in order to tackle adult unemployment and underemployment and to support company and country policies and strategies for innovation, competitiveness and growth.

The current debate among the Skillman members aims to reflect on the meaning of ‘excellence’ in TVET and on the approach that the institutions could have to take it into consideration.