Until end of 2021, within the GREENOVET project, a regional Center for Vocational Education and Training for Green Innovation (CoVE) will be opened, which will be the only one of its kind in the region. The center is formed in close cooperation between the business sector, researchers from universities and centers, as well as vocational schools. In parallel with the center in Skopje, additional three centers are opened in the regions: Styria – Austria, Vasa – Finland and in Leria – Portugal.

The project partners held the second workshop to discuss the strategy for the future regional center for vocational education and training. The GREENOVET project – European VET Excellence Platform for Green Innovation, within which these centers are established, unites partners from four countries in the field of vocational education and training at different levels, local companies, sectoral associations, local authorities and the non-governmental sector. The project will encourage the development of vocational education and training in the field of green innovation throughout Europe, which will contribute to the development of an innovative, inclusive and sustainable economy.

In our country, the project coordinator is the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University “St. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje with the partners Macedonian Chambers of Commerce, ASUC Boro Petrusevski, Rade Koncar TEP and the National Center for Innovation Development and Entrepreneurial Learning.

“The four centers will be established at the same time by the end of this year. Although these centers have the same goal, they will still have special strategies for functioning because each country has its own specifics. But in any case, the advantage of this cooperation is that we have interesting and good experiences that we can exchange with partners from other countries” – stated assis. prof. Dr. Trajche Velkovski from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.

The research conducted at the beginning of 2021 within the project detected competencies needed for the development of green innovations. In the group of the most relevant skills that need to be developed for the development of green innovation are the development of digital skills, entrepreneurial skills and circular economy, environmental protection, ethical behavior, taking initiatives, critical thinking, economic literacy.

The strategy for the centers will need to establish a system to overcome the biggest challenge that now exists, and that is to establish a link between industry and educational institutions.

The lack of qualified staff is a great challenge that the business sector is facing, not only in our country but also in Europe, because vocational schools are not attractive enough to draw more students, and seek support in monitoring the growing needs of businesses that are dynamically changing and expanding. The shock imposed by the health and economic crisis caused by the emergence and spread of the Covid-19 virus has imposed an even greater need for rapid adaptation, in line with new needs and demands of industrial and market trends, and the need for environmental protection is imposed as a necessary segment will enable growth, development and sustainability.

The Regional Center for Excellence in Vocational Education and Training for Green Innovation will offer various services for different target groups in the region, such as: higher education institutions, providers of vocational education and training, industries/ companies, public authorities, students.