Southern Europe is particularly vulnerable to land degradation, which affects important sectors of the economy (agriculture, fishing, tourism) and the supply of vital services and goods (water, food). Although “actions to restore ecosystems and biodiversity have significant potential to create new skills, jobs and business opportunities” ((ED 2011/2307(INI)), there is a considerable shortage of skilled workers in this field due to the lack of proper training. This is especially important in Southern Europe, where youth unemployment is extremely high.
Objective of the project
The overall objective of LANDCARE is to improve training capacities in relation to Land Degradation and Rehabilitation (LD&R) in Southern Europe, in order to fulfil the demands of an emerging labour market and contribute to the green economy.
LD&R is a field that requires training involving real study cases and hands-on experience. For this reason, the education path proposed in the project will combine short-term international mobility and innovative online learning (PLEs, SPOCs).
The project will try to recover unemployed skilled people who are useful to encourage employability in this sector. Employability skills will be enhanced by means of personalized training and hands-on practices. To increase the scope of this strategy, the project reinforces interactions between students, educators, researchers, companies/agencies/NGOs and decision-makers.
The main activities proposed focus on training both staff (from academic and professional partners) and students (HEI, company staff and selected unemployed people). The teacher training will include
a) intensive training in innovative online learning tools (PLE, SPOCs) and
b) short-term joint events to reinforce training capacities in LD&R.
The student training will be based on two types of blended mobility.
a) The concepts of Land Degradation and Rehabilitation will be taught by means of an intensive study programme, involving mobility and flexible online training.
b) Practical experience and employment skills will be provided by means of an internship programme combined with solid online and personalised training on employment and entrepreneurship.
Certain teaching outputs of the project will have a strong multiplier effects: the development of blended mobility to enhance the employability in the “Green Economy”, the publication of the first handbook linking Land Restoration and employability opportunities and the launch of a peer teaching network. The main multiplier social effect is the enhancing the green economy to generate job and development.