Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind. Albert Einstein

The EU’s strategy for sustainable growth, “Europe 2020”, puts green growth at the heart of its blueprint for competitiveness. The “EU Resource efficiency Roadmap” and the “Waste Framework Directive” summarize the need for the EU to re-create a competitive economy based on a sustainable society model. The necessity of creating employment and economic growth through preserving the environmental conditions and ensuring a sustainable future for the EU citizens can boost the economy and create jobs. It is therefore clear that the demand for renewable energy technologies in the construction sector is driven by environmental awareness, regulation, and policy. However, training providers have not yet caught up with this new skills demand, creating an important skills gap in the current labor market.

Green skills and environmental awareness in vocational education and training, state that most learning providers do not yet include green skills in their learning strategy.

 GSS–VET (Geothermal and Solar skills – Vocational education and training) project aims to design and deliver a demand-driven Vocational and education training in response of the targets set up by the EU Directive 2010/31/EU on the Energy Performance Buildings: all new buildings by 2020 to be nearly zero energy buildings.

GSS-VET objectives are to:

  • Design 3 EU core curricula (EQ levels 4-5) for Geothermal, Photovoltaics and Solar Thermal energy systems installers, divided in sets of learning outcomes.
  • Implement, deliver and evaluate the above-described training
  • Certify, after developing a technical scheme according to ECVET recommendations and ISO 17024 norm, participants developed skills.

As a training outcome, an E-learning Platform is to be designed and launched, containing all training materials, in English, Bulgarian, German, Greek and Spanish.

The project plans to:

  • Directly involve 40 trainers and 200 workers during the project’s lifetime.
  • Involve 2,500 adults in the created training curricula and the innovative methodology, as well as to prepare 1,000 trainers in targeted trainings thanks to the involvement of VET providers, sectoral organizations (including an EU umbrella), regional authorities and other associated partners.
  • Create a roadmap for the official recognition of the training by 2025.
  • Develop a network of VET providers implementing the GSS – VETtraining in 8 EU countries.

The project aspires to:

  • Enhance creativity and innovation including entrepreneurship at all level of VET.
  • Promote work-based learning including traineeships, apprenticeships and dual learning models to help transition from learning to work.
  • Stimulate partnership between public and private institutions.
  • Reach the objective of 15% of adults to participate in lifelong learning.
  • Make lifelong learning and mobility a reality.

The European added value will be ensured by the consortium of 16 professional partners from 4 different EU countries (Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, and Spain) and by the involvement of a European umbrella sectoral organization, covering 10 extra EU countries.

The Project Coordinator is:

Karapidakis Emmanuel, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering, Hellenic Mediterranean University, Crete, Greece.

The project (-575891-EPP-1-2016-1-EL-EPPKA2-SSA) is funded by the Erasmus+ KA2 –Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices – Sector Skills Alliances. The duration of the project is 36 months (1/11/2016 – 31/10/2019).

For more information, please visit the project website:

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