ESW – Early School Workers


VET systems need a radical renovation to be competitive. In fact, it is clear that:
-Young people need to acquire specific competences to be successful in the world of work;
-It is necessary to address and prevent the Early School Leaving (ESL) problem, as well as the lack of key competences among young people.

Indeed, according to the Riga Conclusions (June 2015), key competences must be strengthened and made more effective and fruitful in I-VET programme. At the end of the I-VET pathways, every student should have acquired the basic competences needed in a knowledge based society (8 key competences established by the EU).

The UTC ( approach seems to be capable of addressing these challenges. In these schools knowledge and skills are acquired through the resolution of real problems or projects. Their approaches deliver an innovative training concept, which is able to narrow the gap between knowledge and competences acquired at school and those required by the companies. The aim is to tackle and solve the Early School Leaving problem, and to increase the competences of each student during IVET programmes.

The possibility to reach these excellent results has been possible thanks to innovative methodologies and by re-thinking spaces, times and learning approaches. Each UTC is backed by employers and a local university who work with staff to develop an innovative curriculum that gives students first-hand experience of what life is like after school, also integrating three types of learning: technical, practical and academic. A UTC curriculum includes one or two technical specialisms, which are linked to the skills gaps in the region.

All the aspects of these colleges are built around a specific methodology called PiXL Edge, namely a model that gives students the possibility to develop skills useful for the rest of their lives and for their future professional activity (Leadership, Organisation, Communication, Initiative and Resilience).

The project aims at supporting the renovation of VET systems in Europe with the ultimate goal of tackling Early School Leaving and increasing the employability of youngsters while fostering their active role in the society.

In order to reach this objective, the project intends to further strength the key and technical-professional competences of young people attending the VET pathways, analyzing and adapting the English UTC model to the Italian / German / Spanish context.

In this way the project tries to provide an answer to a common issues faced by European VET system: a) increase the level of key competences among the youngsters and reduce the skills gap; b) promote new partnership and WBL organizational models/approaches

The idea is to transfer the English model to training realities in other countries to face the training gap and the ESL. On one side there will be the provider partners (schools from the UK) that will transfer their successful models and, on the other side, the user partners that will study these models and try to adapt these good practices to their national contexts.


The project aims at analysing the UTC model, with its theoretical and practical features, and it fulfils the following goals:

1. Elaboration of a model (organizational and educational variables) transferable to all contexts
2. Transfer this model and adapt it to VET centres in other countries implementing new training pathways in professional sectors by combining national standards and the innovative aspects of UTC model
3. Test and validate the model
4. Monitoring and evaluating the learning outcomes


  • ENAC Ente Nazionale Canossiano (Italy)


  • Christliches Jugenddorfwerk Deutschlands, Gemeinnütziger Verband e.V. (CJD) (Germany)
  • Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy)
  • ENDO-FAP (Italy)
  • IES Virgen de la Paz (Spain)
  • University Technical College (United Kingdom)
  • European Forum of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Belgium)


Start: 01/10/2018 – End: 31/12/2021


Issue #1



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