Author Archives: Katie Hall

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The second European Vocational Skills Week is here!

Throughout this week we will be showcasing vocational excellence and raising the awareness of the wide range of opportunities available.

This newsletter contains information to help make the most of the Week.

The plenary sessions of the European Vocational Skills Week Brussels events will be webstreamed! Follow the links below.

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Thursday 23 November 2017

Friday 24 November 2017

Throughout the Week use #DiscoverYourTalent #EUVocationalSkills to be part of the conversation on social media.

Post a message to tell us what you’re most looking forward to during European Vocational Skills Week, change your Facebook profile picture or even post a selfie from an event! Watch the video of Jorge Arévalo Turrillas, Regional Deputy Minister for Vocational Training at the Basque Government on the Facebook page.

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Da Vinci Symposium Recap, Photos and Presentations

TA3 2017 Theme: Crafting new learning environments; Be an entrepreneur of your own future!

Powerpoint presentations and photo gallery below

Watch a short video of the event here!

The 2017 TA3 Conference in The Netherlands, organised by Da Vinci College and Markiezaat College has adjourned.

Many TA3 members from the United States, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Spain, The Basque country, Germany and The Netherlands attended the symposium that was kicked off on 11th June with a cultural programme in Dordrecht city centre, visiting the Hof van Nederland museum. Participants were introduced to major events in the history of Dutch democracy, followed by a walking tour of the inner city sites.

On Monday at the venue of the Sustainability Factory TA3 members were joined by representatives from the European Commission, Efvet, Innotecs, the Dutch VET council and many colleagues from Dutch community colleges.

Marloes de Vries, vice president of the executive board of Da Vinci College welcomed attendees, reminding them of Leonardo da Vinci, whose curiosity and fascination for innovative objects and concepts would inspire us during the symposium and hopefully would enable us to think in different directions.

Keynote speaker Ruud Veltenaar, a very inspirational philosopher, reminded us that the world is in transformation towards the next phase in civilisation, which will have an influence on everybody. This transformation is already taking place: Shift happens! Education is to serve as a bridge between our inner world and the external world so that we may meet, face and solve our challenges, working for a greater purpose while investing in well-being rather than welfare.

European Commission representative João Santos explained European actions taken on mobility, Erasmus+ and ways of financing the efforts. He reminded us that young people will undergo numerous transformations during their working lives and will have multiple careers.

Other keynote speakers, professor Egbert-Jan Sol and Siemens Netherlands CEO Ab van der Touw confirmed these views in different ways in their analyses of job-related issues, demographic developments and stressing that employability depends on life-long development. Katie Hall and Susan Lupo stressed the importance of life-long learning pathways as a condition for remaining employable. Job descriptions should be well-aligned to the competencies required by enterprise, business and industry. They presented a framework for credentialing, developed by the Lumina foundation.

The speakers presented a joint vision of competencies that are crucial to employees of the future. We need people to have multi-communicative skills, to be flexible and adaptive and work together, combining the common good and personal interests. Interdependence will be a key factor in our lives. Education should be focused on both social and emotional intelligence.

Our teachers and leaders need to be curious, eager to learn and willing to share their knowledge and expertise. A concept like Watson IBM could involve enormous numbers of people in decision-making, based on algorithms identifying the optimum scenario. The shift is ongoing and will be ever more noticeable to all of us. Several speakers also mentioned the possibility of providing everybody with a basic income, preventing social problems and enabling people to free their minds to contribute without having to worry about basic needs.

Whatever we do: action is required.

After the keynotes the stage was set for a round of interactive workshops or breakout sessions exploring the focus areas of the conference theme, moderated by TA3 members.

The three focus areas were explored by both member and non-member attendees, the sessions providing plenty of opportunity for exchange of opinions and expertise. Of course sessions like these are not a source of ready answers, but represent a process of exploring global questions and issues that might lead to various local solutions, the start of an ongoing search process for the coming period.

The focus areas were: the transformation of learning environments, leadership of scalable innovation and learning and credentialing / life-long development.

Participants then had a tour of the Sustainability Factory, being the venue for the conference. They were presented with a short introduction to the concept of hybrid education in which the frontiers between education and enterprise are becoming more fluid and are gradually disappearing, one step beyond work-placed learning. They were involved in a number of hands-on activities, such as simulated welding, programming robots, and viewing the Nacelle. The Nacelle is the first simulated wind turbine in The Netherlands, recently acquired by Da Vinci College.

This very inspirational day was concluded by an informal dinner buffet, enabling participants to share their experiences of the day, strengthening relationships and tying new bonds.

During the industry tour on Tuesday we visited Woensdrecht airbase. The industry tour made it clear to all participants that regional cooperation is absolutely vital towards building sustainable economic progress. Tapping into the needs of regional enterprise and aligning efforts of education, local authorities and business to these needs, has yielded a common ground for further development.

A region needs a particular focus, in Dordrecht this is the Maritime Delta, in Woensdrecht it is the combination of the commercial Aviolanda Business Park with the military airbase being in conjunction with aircraft maintenance and training. This was even translated physically by removing the frontiers between both bases, a sign of mutual trust. The municipal authorities have been instrumental in bringing about and maintaining these networks. This has also been the main reason for Aviolanda to resettle in the region and for steady enhancement of the business environment by attracting new partners.

The cooperation described and the interconnection of multiple smaller networks is highly conducive to creating sustainable economic growth and has created thousands of (new) jobs. Markiezaat College presented participants with an overview of these partnerships involved in the maintenance of civil and military aircraft. The behind-the-scenes presentations and walks around the airbase were quite impressive. What was most striking is, that in order to be successful, concepts depend very much on informal relationships, lots of patience, concerted effort and a willingness to succeed.

The Dutch Air Force provided insight into the workings of the military operations at Woensdrecht and the cooperation between civil and military authorities. At the AMTS (Aircraft and Maintenance Training School) the attention paid to detail, quality control and safety regulations was quite visible, students being well-trained to reduce the number of mistakes to a minimum. The visitors went on to the Markiezaat campus where they were shown the learning environments of building and construction.

The Wednesday members’ business meeting reconfirmed the commitment of TA3 members to expand the network, to increase member-driven activities and to seek the cooperation of other alliances to enhance the impact the network may have on vocational training.

The presentations and impressions of the conference will be made available to participants (and other interested parties) through various links on this website. Due to contractual obligations Ruud Veltenaar’s presentation may only be made available through the following link, deze link (English version) or deze link (Dutch version) and must not be shared for unauthorised publication.

We thank all those who have contributed to making this conference a great success: the keynote speakers, the American and European secretariats, artists, Da Vinci and Markiezaat staff and students, workshop and breakout moderators, representatives of municipalities, and of course: the participants!


Presentatie TA3 Ab van der Touw

Presentatie TA3 Burke Murphy

Presentation TA3 Joao Santos

Presentatie TA3 Marsha Danielson

Presentatie TA3 Mark Weber en Michael Malone

Presentatie TA3 Katie Hall en Susan Lupo

Presentatie TA3 Egbert Jan Sol




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Da Vinci Photo Gallery

Photo Credit: Christinne Venter, Student, Da Vinci College Art & Design Department

Dordrecht, Netherlands

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TA3 European Secretariat, Hans Lehmann, EUC Syd Denmark participating in UNESCO event on Education for Sustainable Development

UNESCO is the lead agency for the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the official follow-up to the UN Decade of ESD (2005-2014). One of the GAP’s five Priority Action Areas focuses on implementing sustainable solutions at the local level. This involves mobilizing local municipalities and communities, ensuring that they have sufficient capacities in ESD, strengthening learning opportunities for citizens in various settings, and promoting collaboration among local stakeholders in different sectors.

To build global momentum for mainstreaming ESD at the local level, UNESCO will organize workshops in all five UN regions between December 2016 and December 2017. UNESCO will invite twenty-five cities or municipalities, each represented by two people, to participate in each regional workshop. At these workshops, which aim to enhance cities’ knowledge on how to best integrate and implement ESD activities, participants will share ESD practices and policies in urban contexts.

Together with the deputy manager from Sønderborg, I participated in the conference. The participants discussed how Education and Learning can support development and secure a sustainable future for all.

This is one of 5 events, (one in each UNESCO region is planned). Photo of our group at the UNESCO UIL headquarters in Hamburg, Germany at the Chinese conference center (a gift from Hamburg’s partner city Shanghai). There are participants from 15 European countries and North America (Canada, USA)

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What’s your community’s Return on Involvement?

This is a new lens on an old frame.  Communities today are revitalizing themselves not only seeking a Return on Investment, but also a Return on Involvement.  Attending a recent RED Group session – Regional Economic Development Group of Minnesota, I heard stories that put new meaning to *ROI.

Leaders from three regions in Greater MN put forth narratives that captured community driven grass roots initiatives aimed at improving the economic future of their regions.  With the creation of Bemidgi Leads in the Northwest, GreenSeam in Greater Mankato and a refreshed portrait of growth in Duluth in Northeast, MN, we learned about the power of effective and prolonged “intentional collective action” as cultural game changers in each of these regions.

BemidgiLeads (Building a Future of Promise for Our Community) participants gathered every week for three years to listen, evaluate and measure the pulse and prospects of their regions economic future – and they did it gratis!  They knew they had to take charge of their economic future to shape and revitalize the future they aspired to.  The effort has been transformative – creating a new narrative that is changing the cultural economic identity of their region.  They also determined that workforce and talent development could not be separated from economic development.

A decade later they are seeing the value of “the 16 destiny drivers” they developed as guiding the ongoing outcomes of their early listening sessions.  BemidgiLeads provided the community with a vehicle for people to make a difference and that in fact, created alignment at a strategic level!

One phenomenal active commitment they made is to Student’s First – assigning a town mentor to each and every 1,600 high school students! This kind of ROI sends a powerful signal to youth that they matter to the future of Bemidgi!  This one on one commitment has the potential to benefit the longevity of their community for generations. Measuring that Return on Involvement could be groundbreaking!

Each of these regions was once dependent on a natural resource based economy and find that today’s technology driven 21st Century Agriculture contributes more broadly, intersecting the local economy through tourism and business services.  All three regional initiatives defined success based on a new narrative, releasing themselves from the mantle of complaint, grievances and old myths to form instead a fresh identity to carry them forward, together.

Their Return on Involvement made me think about the preeminence given to “big data,” to the concepts of quantification trending nationally.  And these stories underscore the quote –

*“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” William Bruce Cameron

Alignment of assets and aspirations for a community can be measured as a Return on Involvement, especially if the interdependence that develops works not only across sectors but also inclusively across race, class and gender.

TA3 is a member driven network that brings a high level of Return on Involvement.  So consider joining us as we push the frontier of ideas at the next TA3 2017 Symposium in the Netherlands on new learning spaces.

  1. *the phrase Return on Involvement, is attributed to John Foley, Level Brand, Minneapolis, MN
  2. *Often attributed to Einstein but actually coined by William Bruce Cameron in “Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking”

By L. Burke Murphy, Director of TA3

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Bente Lyck-Damgaard and Hans Lehmann to lead TA3 as European Secretariat

Category : TA3 Connections

Bente Lyck-Damgaard is vice president at EUC Syd and has more than 15 years of experience in many different management positions at the college. She is now responsible for upper secondary technical education, IB and for the overall administration and economy of the college. EUC Syd is a regional college based in the southern part of Denmark and offers a wide range of vocational programmes, adult vocational training and supplementary programmes, technical upper secondary school and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB). Bente Lyck-Damgaard’s experience in the educational sector also includes a position at Southern Denmark Business School.

Bente Lyck-Damgaard holds a Master of Science in Economics from the University of Aarhus in Denmark and a Master of Business Administration in Educational Management from the University of Leicester, UK.

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Euc Syd becomes new European Secretariat

Category : TA3 Connections

Hans Lehmann is Vice Principal at EUC Syd, a regional college, offering upper secondary technical education, International Baccalaureate, vocational education and adult training. Hans Lehmann is responsible for the vocational educational programmes, adult training and internationalization and he is CIO for IT Center Syd. He holds a Master’s Degree in English and an MBA from University of Leicester.

One of the main focus areas for development in his job is the application of digital learning, and the consequences for teaching and learning. In addition, Hans promotes training that will prepare learners for the global work force. Hans has extensive experience in international projects and networks, including TA3, EU programmes, UNESCO Sustainable Learning Cities and cooperation with Chinese companies and colleges.

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March 2015 March 15 Volume 18 No. 1

Category : TA3 Connections

News includes a recap of the January 2015 TA3 Policy Forum, updates on the El Salvador project, a new member profile, several grant awards obtained by member schools and reflections.

Read the full March 15 Connections!