Episode I – Bruxelles kick-off – 8-11 October 2017
Host: OFFA (Office Francophone de la Formation en Alternance)
Organizer: UNMFREO (Union National de Maisons Familiales Rurales)
Participants (organisations): UNMFFREO (France), FD MFR Reunion (France), IFOCAP (France), Sol et Civilisation (France), OFFA (Belgium), Verkmenntaskoli – VMA (Iceland), GAL Napoca Porolissum (Romania), Vivasol (Lithuania), FE3 (France)
Every new beginning is difficult, especially if it involves different people from different places, trying to understand each-other and the other’s purposes and objectives. This is why the kick-off meeting in Bruxelles was so important to the Innovet project. We had participants from 5 different countries, plus an overseas territory of France (Reunion) involved in the proceedings. Among the organisations representing these countries, we had schools, local action groups, rural associations and training/formation organisations. Such diversity inevitably leads to many differences of opinion regarding the best approaches to the common goals and methodology. While for some, it was important to determine a detailed methodology to better understand the needs of their territories in terms of vocational training, others were also concerned with ways to make rural traditional jobs attractive in the context of demographic changes and tough competition from other types of formation. Some partners had been doing the alternance (an educational model for vocational training) for years, while other partners came from countries where this system does not exist and vocational schools have all but disappeared. The mutual point was that we shared similar expectations in terms of the future of the project. We expected to share and learn from each other, as well as see as many successful case studies as possible in all the countries involved. We established many important details for the next meeting, a training session near Figeac.