Delegates from the Trans-Atlantic Technology and Training Alliance (TA3) met together in Belfast, United Kingdom for the network’s annual symposium and explored how to prepare for the future global economy through employer and educator partnerships. Hosted by the Northern Ireland Department for Employment and Learning, delegates and speakers were treated to a fantastic mix of robust learning and cultural exchange, sightseeing opportunities and historical experiences.
An open bus tour of Belfast kicked off the four-day event, followed by a networking reception at Crumlin Road Gaol. The conference featured keynote speakers from the U.S. and Europe, representing a wide variety of government, policy and educational institutions. Afternoon workshops provided further interaction and discussion among group members on the following topics:
• Competencies and Credentials,
• Making Apprenticeships work at SMEs,
• Matching Labor Demand and Supply, and
• Successful Models of College-Business Partnerships.
When the day ended, delegates and speakers were treated to local music and dinner at Stormont, the parliament building in Belfast. Minister of Employment and Learning, Stephan Farry hosted the event and concluded the evening with an informative and entertaining tour of the building, including the assembly and senate chambers
At the annual business meeting the next day, delegates discussed potential international collaboration on project work, exchanged ideas about current and emerging issues for educational leadership, faculty, and students, and prepared for the 2016 symposium, which will be hosted by Lawson State Community College, in Birmingham, Alabama.
On the third day, delegates participated in campus tours, including Norbrook Laboratories in Newry, which has grown to be one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies specializing in the development of veterinary and animal health medicines. Delegates were able to meet two apprentices during the tour. Apprenticeships was a central theme at this year’s event and cited as a key component of building the future global workforce.
The TA3 is a membership consortium of more than 30 leading community and technical colleges, and several state system offices, in the U.S. and Europe. The TA3 promotes community colleges’ efforts to support their regional economies, and promotes the value and importance of a global perspective on community college missions. The TA3 is managed by co-secretariats, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce in the U.S. and the Danish Agency for Higher Education in Europe.
More photos here! NI Hosts the TA3 Symposium 2015
PowerPoint presentations here!