The impact of a European project on the wine industry
[Translation (French-English) : EPALE France]
At the instigation of the French coordinator, the consortium of VITIMOB partners was formed in the original structure of a "European meta-cluster" made up of major learning companies committed to viticulture and the inclusion of people with disabilities. As they also participate in regional and territorial clusters, the partnership has benefited from a network effect that has helped to raise awareness and involve stakeholders who are committed to developing inclusive training and certification at the respective territorial, regional, national or EU level: public institutions, professional branches, training or certification bodies, associations, companies and wine-growing cooperatives, etc. Associated with this first key success factor, the structuring and network effect of the European instruments for the transparency of competences and qualifications has played its full role as a lever: thus contributing to the extension of the system to other audiences and to the continuity of the system in updated forms.
Wider deployment to new audiences
The French wine industry suffers from a chronic shortage of skilled labour, especially for highly technical tasks. Indeed, many operations, although manual, require very specific skills, sometimes local and seasonal: this is the case of vine pruning, harvesting in areas where the law imposes manual harvesting, or trellising, to name but the main operations. It is no longer uncommon to encounter service providers employing up to 1000 workers during times of stress. The vast majority of these structures host a foreign workforce with often approximate skills or know-how based on local practices that do not always correspond to the needs and methods usually identified in Europe. This labour force of Romanian, Bulgarian, Polish and Spanish origin for Europe, but also Afghan, Kazakh, Syrian or Somali, is now an indispensable breeding ground, proven or potential, in demographically deprived employment areas. In order to ensure the professionalization of this population, the vast majority of which faces a language barrier, VITIMOB didactic tools appear to be an operational solution. To this end, contracts are currently being drawn up in view of rolling out VITIMOB, notably in Champagne.
Part of a continuity, but in renewed forms
- The VINIMOB European strategic partnership (2019-2022)
VINIMOB aims to include people with special needs in the winemaking professions. In line with the VITIMOB partnership, which focuses on wine-growing professions, it brings together the central core of the "European meta-cluster", whose learning companies also carry out activities in the fields of processing and marketing. In this case, in addition to the four partners fully committed to the professional wine sector, three from France and one from Spain, two new players from Croatia and Italy are joining the ranks.
In this case, the capitalisation of project achievements as well as the mobilisation of European transparency tools should ensure the production of professional profiles and job references at EQF levels 3 and 4.
- The Italian regional project VITE SENZA CONFINI
VITE SENZA CONFINI (Lives Without Borders) is the result of the active participation of the Italian Consortium "Elpendu" in the VITIMOB partnership. This project, financed by the Apulia Region, aims to integrate about twenty young people under 35 years of age into a 900-hour training course, including mobility abroad, with a view to obtaining the professional title of "Operator of technical and agronomic interventions in the vineyard". To this end, the VITIMOB tools will be used and a specific agreement has been signed between the various members of this partnership to ensure future mobility for certification purposes.
In the light of these various observations and lessons which are not exhaustive, the inspiring experience of the Erasmus+ strategic partnership is a convincing illustration of the contribution made by the European instruments for the transparency of qualifications and competences, first and foremost the ECVET system. Indeed, without the distinctive contribution of the ECVET methodology the realisation of a common European job profile, the design of a European job reference framework or the development of a European digital skills portfolio would be a very long-term, even uncertain, prospect in view of the many challenges and obstacles to be overcome. However, in a window of opportunity of less than 24 months and in a professional sector unfamiliar with Community approaches and tools, VITIMOB has successfully integrated the strong international, European, national and territorial constraints imposed on a collective ambition focused on innovation and inclusion for all, in an operational manner and in accordance with the highest professional requirements in force in the wine sector.
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