38 students, 12 nautical and technical institutes, 45 days of intercultural exchange and professional on-the-job training; 2 countries involved in cross-border cooperation: Italy and Croatia. This is the BLUE KEP Project in numbers.
BLUE KEP, an abbreviation for “BLUE Knowledge Exchange Program and integration of education systems in the cross-border area”, is a capitalisation project financed under the Interreg V-A Italy-Croatia Programme 2014/2020, priority axis “Blue Innovation”. With a budget of over a 900 thousand euro, the project’s main aim is to create the framework conditions for the integration of Italian and Croatian technical education systems through the standardisation of school curricula and the creation of methods for the assessment and recognition of education and professional qualifications. Coordinated by the Informest Agency, the partnership includes the Adriatic Ionian Euroregion, the Marche Region, the Istria Region, the Šibenik County Development Agency and the Agency for the coordination and development of Split Dalmatia County.
BLUE KEP created new and performing cross-border guidelines for the implementation of exchange programmes, including procedures for the accreditation of schools and for the selection of students, a mobility plan and international modules about new blue sector skills to be adopted in involved schools’ ordinary curricula, apprenticeship programmes at local companies, and a common scheme for the recognition of the knowledge and skills acquired by students.
Overall, the project involved 12 schools from the nautical, traffic/technological/transport and logistic/industrial and vocational sectors: 3 from the Marche Region (ITIS “Montani” – Fermo; IIS “Volterra-Elia” – Ancona; IIS P. “Fazzini-Mercantini” – Grottammare); 3 from the Sibenik-Knin County (Industrijsko-Obrtnička Škola – Sibenik; Prometno-Tehnička Škola Šibenik; Tehnička Škola Sibenik); 4 from the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia Region (ISIS “Brignoli Einaudi Marconi” – Gradisca D’Isonzo; ITI “Malignani” – Udine; ISIS Nautico “Tomaso Di Savoia Duca Di Genova-L. Galvani” – Trieste; En.A.I.P. “Pasian Di Prato” – Udine); 1 from the Istria Region (Tehnička Škola – Pula) and 1 from the Split-Dalmatia County (Pomorska Škola – Split).
It also selected local companies with complementary specialisations and coordinated them, together with the accredited schools, in the creation of hands-on training. The selected companies were: Plovput d.o.o, The Split Port Authority Lučka uprava Split and IZOR, the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries of Split; Betina Shipyeard at Brodogradilište I Marina d.o.o., Iskra brodogradilište 1 d.o.o., Vodovod i odvodnja d.o.o., PRO AUTOMATIKA d.o.o, Destina d.o.o, Jadrolinija and the Port Authority Lučka Kapetanija Šibenik in Sibenicco; Tehnomont Brodogradilište Pula d. o. o. in Pola; C.P.N. S.r.l. in Ancona, "Ascolani Francesco" Shipyard in Fermo, CRM s.r.l. and Navaltecnica Costruzioni Navali S.r.l. in Grottamare; Monte Carlo Yachts, Mare FVG Maritime Technology Cluster S.c.a.r.l. in Monfalcone (Gorizia), Wartsila S.p.A. and Arsenal S.r.l. in Trieste, Areainox srl Reana del Rojale in Udine.
After a long and thorough preparation, entailing a systematic cooperation between project partners, education experts, accredited schools and companies, the project financed the mobility of 38 Italian and Croatian students and tested 4 international modules: “Maritime Navigation” and “Go&Learn – the sea economy learned in company”, “Understanding the Blue Economy” and “Occupational safety and health in the blue economy sectors”.
Mobility began in March and lasted until July 2019. 19 Italian students and 19 Croatian students spent up to 45 days in the hosting schools and managed to accomplish a period of classroom training and a period of apprenticeship in the selected companies. To add up to the range of skills, they took English courses.
In its last month of implementation, the BLUE KEP project is focusing on the capitalisation and dissemination of results. Project’s achieved goals will be presented in Final Conference that will be held in Ancona (IT) next 26 September. With a view to capitalising and disseminating project’s results, the Conference will be attended by the Italian and Croatian Education Ministries. Their endorsement the the cross-border scheme for the recognition of credits and qualifications will add up to project’s achievement. The Conference will also be an occasion to celebrate the students who took part in the mobility programme and who will receive the certification of the acquired credits and professional qualifications.