The aerospace industry is one of Europe’s leading high-technology sectors. With the rapid globalisation of economic activity and resulting market competition, it is becoming increasingly important to exploit innovation potential and secure European competitiveness on the global economic stage.
For more than a decade, the strategic response to our rapidly changing world has been the bundling of resources and competencies by clustering. Indeed, European policy has made a point to include and support clusters as a priority action to strengthen European innovation.
Subscribing to this approach, the European Aerospace Cluster Partnership (EACP) as a consortium of 34 aerospace clusters from 14 countries was born! Since 2009, EACP has functioned as a valuable platform for transnational exchange within the aerospace sector. With topics ranging from skills and innovation to technology and internationalisation, EACP has initiated exemplary transnational projects and increased the visibility of the European aerospace industry.
The EACP network operates in an informal, decentralized and flexible way that is based on an organisational set of continuous working groups, temporary project consortia and bi- or multilateral ad-hoc partnerships. The main objective resides in improving the global competitiveness in Europe through intense inter-cluster collaboration. This goal is pursued within three major fields of action:
- Knowledge exchange
- Promotion of innovations
- Strengthening of EU-position
All EACP activities follow these guidelines to improve competitiveness in a European context.
FLAG’s membership of EACP allows us to exchange experiences with other clusters and identify cooperation in (European) R&D projects between clusters and members. EACP helps FLAG to gain access to advanced information about European R&D projects and gives us access to a truly European network.
FLAG cooperated to the Skills Hub project. In light of the impending shortage of skilled labour and demographic change, the course for a flexible and skilled workforce must be set today. Thus, the European Skills Hub for Aerospace aims to establish a network of Skills Experts in Europe needed to initiate international collaboration and new projects in the area of vocational education and training.
- To learn about the organisational structure of cluster management and the VET systems in the participating regions
- To identify regional experts for qualification (qualification programmes) and to implement the topic of qualification within cluster management
- To understand qualification certificates and competences in MRO
- To discuss and define requirements for setting up an infrastructure in international vocational training
- Good Practices in the field of qualification and recruitment
- Competency Matrix in the field of MRO professions referring to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF)
- List of part 147 EASA certificated schools
- List of requirements for setting up an infrastructure in international vocational training
- Hand-out describing the process of the partnership and its results
The project enabled the improvement of transparency, the recognition of competences in training, and the strengthening of both the European dimension in global competition and the effectiveness of initial VET in European regions within the EACP. This constitutes a solid foundation for the EACP’s long-term objective: the strengthening of competences and skills of the apprentices through stays abroad. To reach this target it was necessary to evaluate the different VET systems beforehand in order to gain enough transparency to establish an exchange programme. Besides that, there is now an identified consortium of EACP Partners who feel responsible to push the topics of skills and qualification in/for the EACP.