The Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) is leading a strategic project (Learning by doing, 2017-19) to develop and modernise vocational education and training (VET) systems and dual VET. The project operates in the framework of the Danube transnational programme; it aims to increase the capacity of institutional actors defining VET systems in the Danube Region and reinforce national and transnational partnerships.
The project has a budget of EUR 2,359 million, involves 20 regional chambers – eight of which are members of the Danube Chambers of Commerce Association (DCCA) – and several strategic partners from all 14 countries participating in the Danube Transnational Programme area: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany (Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg), Hungary, Montenegro, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Ukraine (oblasts of Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk, Zakarpatska and Odessa).
The Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry has close ties with the National Office of Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning (Nemzeti Szakképzési és Felnőttképzési Hivatal) as well as VET centres, schools, apprenticeship places, VET institutions and companies. The aim is to establish company-oriented VET and adult education in Hungary and create links between VET institutions and economic operators.
The BCCI links VET students with the small and medium-size enterprise (SME) sector, where students can acquire practical skills and be trained by qualified experts under appropriate technical conditions.
The urgency of introducing more effective and more flexible forms of VET is clearly demonstrated by economic, demographic and social trends in the Danube Region. Europe is still suffering from low economic cohesion, and the Danube Region is affected by serious East-West territorial inequality in terms of economic performance: the states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg in Germany are producing almost half of the GDP in the Danube Region. The role of VET, and especially work-based learning, is of high importance, since about half of the jobs in Europe require a medium level qualification, primarily acquired through VET.
Project activities include critical analysis of the current VET systems, transnational knowledge-sharing, study visits and capacity building workshops, policy recommendations, and a handbook to support VET actors implementing VET reforms. The goal is to create demand-driven VET schemes to reduce mismatch between skills and labour market demand.