On September 2020, the Nationale Agentur Bildung für Europa beim Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (Erasmus+ National Agency in Germany) communicated the approval of the SWIFT SME – Smart Working: Innovative & Flexible Training for SME proposal, under the KA2 Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices – Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training.
EU SMEs are the most affected by the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdown: Europe is “closed for business”, and while large companies have systems in place to implement telecommuting and Smart Work, SMEs (especially microenterprises) do not have ICT systems in place nor policies for their staff to work remotely. Furthermore, EU SMEs are the most exposed to the risk of not being able to ensure business continuity and be resilient in times of crisis. More importantly, they are less prone to reaping the benefits that Smart Working can bring due to the lack of guidelines on the most suitable ICT solutions and practices to implement Smart Working and of mechanisms to manage Smart Working and telecommuting. There is a pressing need to equip SMEs and empower their staff to implement Smart Working.
In this context, SWIFT SME aims at
- Fill the skill gaps identified by the EU and national entities to equip SMEs with skills, competences and solutions to be more flexible, responsive and efficient through Smart Working arrangements.
- Provide venues for SMEs and their staff to develop competences, skills and tools to adopt and adapt Smart Working for their resilience, competitiveness and growth.
- Enhance the responsiveness and flexibility of EU SMEs to ensure business continuity in times of need and crisis, while increasing their competitiveness and efficiency through effective Smart Working.
- Increase the growth and competitiveness of EU SMEs through more relevant and timely training to empower them with the operational tools and equip them with the skills to be more resilient and flexible.
SWIFT SME will produce a multilingual OER Platform containing training and tools for Smart Working that will be developed and delivered to at least 120 students at project implementation. Training courses will be developed on the basis of mapping activities and policy analysis at EU level.
SWIFT SME will be co-funded by the Erasmus Plus Programme of the European Commission and will be implemented between 2020/22. The project brings together 6 partners from 5 countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, Romania and Spain).
In the Project, IHF asbl brings its expertise and experience as a key social player in international and European projects. In particular, IHF asbl ensures the “European Dimension” of the Project as it carries out all the technical tasks from a “European Perspective”, i.e. carrying out analysis of relevant EU policies and initiatives; extrapolating EU relevant case studies, lessons learned and best practices.
For further information on SWIFT SME and other IHF asbl initiatives: