The RCF grant support programme is intended to strengthen cooperative training and thereby to increase the quality and employment-relevance of vocational training measures. For this purpose, the RCF supports the establishment of consortia between vocational training institutes and enterprises for the implementation of cooperative training programmes through the Memorandum of understanding. To be eligible, project partners must be prepared to engage in joint training activities with the aim of qualifying trainees based on qualifications and/or occupational standards that correspond to the demand of the labour market.
Consortia should be formed from public or private (including non-profit) vocational training institutes which offer recognised (“accredited”) vocational training programmes leading to officially recognised qualifications that are in accordance with the regulations of national qualifications authorities, or the equivalent, and cooperating enterprises (including SMEs). Recipients of RCF financial support are vocational training institutes as lead partners of a cooperative training consortium. Direct financial support to partnering enterprises cannot be obtained as part of RCF funding.
It is expected that the VET consortia will co-finance the cooperation training projects by making a matching contribution of at least 10% of the total requested funding amount. The contribution may be provided financially and/or in-kind to the coverage of operational costs and/or investment costs by the Vocational training institutes and/or the enterprises or jointly.
The RCF is open to all organisations and institutions involved in technical and vocational training that issue a certificate for their training courses and/or are recognised in any of the WB6 economies. As one of the main objectives of the RCF is to address the practical aspect of vocational education and hence to increase the relevance of vocational training for enterprises, VTIs that have engaged or are willing to engage in cooperative training activities are the primary targets of the programme (for a more detailed overview of the concept of cooperative training, please see the RCF cooperative training guideline).
Enterprises joining the cooperative training consortia funded under the RCF will have identified investment and active engagement in capacity-building and staff development as one of their strategic goals. Applying enterprises may have already gained some experience with cooperative training initiatives or have decided to participate in them, are committed to supporting the delivery of cooperative training, and are ready to integrate elements of practical education in their work processes. These aspects play a central role in the assessment of project proposals submitted by consortia, in addition, participating enterprises are required to:
Apart from the engagement of enterprises and vocational training institutes schools and the regular reconfirmation of training needs, the quality and effectiveness of cooperative training programmes depends on the availability of adequate training facilities at the vocational training institutes. Suitable training workshops, the availability of relevant equipment and machinery, and the regular use of such facilities by teachers and trainees in the schools ensure that skills gained during the practical in-company learning contribute to the overall learning objectives. The goal of the RCF is to enable such investments, in the form of new procurements, construction or renovation work, and in this way strengthen the practical aspects of training courses. As a result, the added valued of the trainees for partner enterprises will increase and improve their employability in the local labour market. Although not a precondition, project proposals which foresee the introduction of new technologies are strongly encouraged by the RCF. Furthermore, the project application is expected to comply with the following criteria: