Boosting Human Capital in the 21st Century | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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Boosting Human Capital in the 21st Century

Priority Axis

Technological and Social Innovation

Specific objective

Social Innovation

Lead partner

Provinciale Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij West-Vlaanderen


Start Date


End Date


Project budget

3 760 208

ERDF amount

2 256 125

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    Unemployment rates of low-skilled people (level 1-2 in the EU Qualification Framework) in the 2 Seas region remain high, while there is a continuously growing number of operational job openings amongst others in the manufacturing sector. A study of DG Employment and Social Affairs (2015) mentions that a common cause is skills mismatch, either because there are not enough jobseekers with the necessary skills to fill open vacancies or because job requirements by employers do not fit with the competences of jobseekers. This study advises EU members to train the (un)employed. However, learnercentred training is underused in the manufacturing industry, training doesn’t account for barriers to learning experienced by low-skilled people (LSP) and fails to provide solutions to overcome these challenges (Nielson, 2011). Therefore vocational training services for the manufacturing sector in the 2 Seas Region need modernisation by combining expertise of work and education (Marope et al., 2015).

    Main Achievements

    The project has taken an operational start in March. In a first stage each region has collected local good practices with proven success in the recruitement and pre-training of the LSP. In UK, Tavistock, based on their expertise and with the input from all partners, has developed a training/ coaching programme where LSP, families and in-company coaches will be involved. This programme will run back-to-back with WP2. In France, MEEF has organized a first co-creation session with partners and external stakeholders. Also in Flanders different exploratory meetings have taken place. Kulak is supporting the partners with instruments and advise around the baseline measurements for WP1. A cross-border meeting will be planned in April. 

    Regarding to the WP2, Kulak has performed a literature review and is finalizing the methodological framework . Plans for the baseline measurements for WP2 are made for all the regions. Numerous meetings took place with the Flemish partners under the leading role of Skilliant to discuss around the decision tree. This tends to become a rather complex instrument, which will help partners make well-founded technology choices. Cross-border feedback will be given in a meeting in February. CETIM and VDAB are in the phase of screening the curricula for the vocational training and have an idea about the ILT’s they will use. The UK-partners have already purchased a VR-installation and developed a vocational training which will be delivered in February. 

    Three successful roadshows took place, with the involvement of partners and external stakeholders.The road shows have highlighted a number of innovative technologies such as performant electronic learning platforms (FR), a VR-application for welding (UK), or the pick by light system and technology box to stimulate learning culture (BE). Significant differences were also noticed with respect to the training infrastructure/capacity in industry though it was also very clear that all the regions face the same challenges. 

    It can be concluded that the partners focused in 2019 on the development of the project in their own region. Nevertheless, they also had the opportunity to learn and inspire each other and contribute together to the development of deliverables such the methodological frame and the decision tree in a cross-border context. The added value of the cooperation across regions will become very obvious in the following phases.



    Vlaamse Dienst voor Arbeidsbemiddeling en Beroepsopleiding (VDAB)

    MidKent College

    Kent County Council


    University of Greenwich


    The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations

    Sud Concept Hauts-de-France


    Maison pour l’Entreprise l’Emploi et la Formation Santerre Haute Somme

    KU Leuven Campus KULAK Kortrijk