Digitization and Industry 4.0 are perhaps the most important drivers behind the profound transformation of the labour market, the way people work and the new digital skills required to meet the needs of the digitalized market. VET is valued for fostering job-specific and transversal skills, facilitating the transition into employment and maintaining and updating the skills of the workforce according to sectoral, regional and local needs.

The 3D2ACT project proposal addresses three main priorities of the Erasmus+ Programme as shown below:

– Further strengthening key competences in initial and continuing VET
– Supporting the uptake of innovative approaches and digital technologies for teaching and learning
– Supporting educators, youth workers, educational leaders and supporting staff.

Although over 13 million learners are engaged in VET each year, VET remains a second choice for many students and parents, and it is usually linked to low-achievers. VET needs to increase its attractiveness through quality provision and flexible organization, allowing progression to higher vocational or academic learning, and closer links with the world of work.

Based on the above the 3D2ACT project will support VET trainers and educators in an attempt to strengthen their profiles with the acquisition of new skills, the development of targeted material, the collection of tools and resources, while at the same time it will create opportunities for linking VET schools with the labour market building on synergies and partnerships with established organizations using industry 4.0 and automation or 3D-printing and robotics.

The key competences to be promoted as part of the 3D2ACT project are:

– 3D design, modeling and printing skills (3D-P) which appear to be missing from VET curricula and are currently needed to enter the labour market and be included in VET job profiles. 3D-P is currently seen as a cornerstone of the industrial shift towards advanced manufacturing, creating opportunities for employment, value creation, and reallocation of manufacturing production back to Europe
– Targeted ‘wide and deep’ digital competences, as purported by the 2018 Digital Action Plan: coding, robotics and STEAM skills based on a cross-curricular approach away from subject boundaries
– Entrepreneurial skills, but with a social impact as they are responding to social challenges/needs and have a benefit for the community, the environment or the culture. Having an entrepreneurial mindset is a great advantage in today’s job market, since it is what makes ideas come true and become a reality. Creativity is the engine of entrepreneurship.