The BRIDGES ambition reflects European thinking for the development of Vocational Education and Training (VET) as a ‘first choice’ and the conversion of non-formal VET, to quality assured formal VET within work-based training and apprenticeships. As it is industry led, the Framework for Shared Learning Outcome (FSLO) will inform the updating of National Qualifications (NQs) and ease future learner and VET staff exchange through Erasmus+. As the VET developments are underpinned by an analysis of occupational profiles for fish husbandry operative and site manager levels, future proofed by technology supply companies, ESCO will be updated. Currently the definition of standards for cage farming, the most significant finfish production sector is deficient, and ESCO officials have welcomed this opportunity.
The VET providers will align their work-based NQ delivery systems and curriculum content to satisfy current industry needs, endorsed by the leading European finfish producer and technology supply companies and remain responsive. Aquaculture is of growing importance for both the economy and employment in all partner countries, and as the workforce are widely dispersed, this necessitates the development of innovative systems for work-based learning and assessment which require time to develop, pilot and refine. The VET providers recognize that this is best achieved collaboratively, leading to the formation of formalized north European partnership of VET providers that can develop shared resources and pedagogy and can continue to support the industry following project completion, revitalizing their aquaculture VET portfolios.