Open call: European Vocational Education and Training Initiative:
Please note: application deadline has passed. Deadline was 14 August.
VILLUM FOUNDATION seeks to enable young people in Europe to become frontrunners in digital and green transitions.
The European Vocational Education and Training Initiative (EVI) supports inclusive VET, specifically addressing the green and digital transition, as well as young people’s social skills and motivation for education.We focus primarily on projects in the Czechia, Slovakia, Italy and France.
In odd years, we fund projects in Czechia and Slovakia, and in even years we fund projects in Italy and France.
VILLUM FOUNDATION supports capacity building and competence development and prioritise longer-term projects with potential for systemic change.
The initiative is allocated EUR 10-15 million annually. Applications with a budget of less than EUR 150,000 will not be considered. We prefer projects with a budget over EUR 500,000 in order to realistically fulfil the ambitions.
In 2023, applications for initiatives primarily in Czechia and Slovakia are eligible.
In 2024, applications for initiatives primarily in Italy and France are eligible.
Our funding is mainly focused on projects in two focus areas.
- Focus area 1 supports initiatives at an institutional level, funding facilities, training and organisational change.
- Focus area 2 relates to the skills and motivation of youth to engage in VET and education in general.
The two focus areas are interrelated and overlap. Applications may address one of the focus areas, but we also welcome projects containing elements of both focus areas.
Focus area 1: Enhancing quality of vocational education and training (VET) especially within the digital and green transitions
VET is an important lever of Europe’s digital and green transitions. Highly qualified and motivated employees are crucial if the industries are to become more sustainable and climate-friendly, while at the same time remaining efficient and competitive. We support high-quality vocational education and training, provided by competent teachers in state-of-the-art facilities — especially in areas relating to the digital and green transitions.
We fund initiatives that support the continuous improvement of the vocational educational system, including work-based learning, recognition of prior learning, soft skills and high-level vocational training. We favour cohesive projects focusing on both equipment, educational development and inclusive study environments.
Europe’s digital and green transitions will require that citizens develop the necessary skills to use new technologies in everyday life and at work. And they must be able to translate knowledge about technology and the environment into qualified decisions – for the benefit of a greener and more sustainable society.
In order to enable young people to acquire the skills and competencies needed in the future, we fund initiatives building young people’s motivation for education, and interest in computer technology and sustainable environment.
For some groups of vulnerable youth who are further away from education, a special effort is needed for them to be fully included and play a part in the green and digital transition. For this reason, EVI also supports initiatives which focus on elevating the basic social competencies of vulnerable youth. We focus, in particular, on socially disadvantaged youth and young immigrants or refugees.
Focus area 1: Which activities are funded?
Within Focus area 1 we typically fund:
- Teacher training and professional development
- New student training programmes and educational pathways
- Inclusive study environments and diversity in recruiting
- State-of-the-art equipment and facilities
We fund training, further education and professional development of teachers in order to strengthen their capability to offer high-quality teaching, especially in the fields of digital technologies and green solutions.
We also fund the development of new pedagogical and didactical approaches, organisational change and new organisational practices which increase the quality of teaching and pave the way for more digital and sustainable VET.
We expect training and professional development to be a large part of the project, and commitment and participation from management is imperative.
The digital and green transitions require new competencies. We fund the development of training courses and educational pathways within the fields of digital technologies, climate adjustment and green solutions.
A thriving study environment that welcomes students and creates strong learning communities is a crucial feature of high-quality VET institutions. We encourage applicants to encompass inclusive practices and to implement measures of diverse recruitment as part of the project.
We fund renovations and adjustments of existing buildings for workshops and training facilities especially aimed at digital technologies and green solutions. We do not fund property acquisitions or the building of new properties.
Focus area 2: Which activities are funded?
Within Focus area 2 we typically fund:
- Early curiosity for digital technologies, the climate and sustainable environment
- Promoting vocational education and training in general
- Strengthening social competences and motivation for education
We fund initiatives in the last years of elementary school which promote digital competencies and interest in digital technologies, the climate and sustainable environment – both by teaching children and youth directly, and indirectly through training of teachers in new didactic methods. We favour initiatives which communicate new technologies and environmental knowledge in an untraditional, experimental and motivating way – preferably with a high level of hands-on experience.
We fund initiatives which promotes VET education, e.g. through cooperation between schools and VET schools, regular school visits with a high degree of hands-on experience, and participation of schools in the national Skills competition for school leavers.
We fund initiatives which train the educational supervisors at the elementary schools in the newest knowledge about the VET educations available in the area/region, and we fund development of tools which help them in mapping competencies and motivation for the individual in terms of different educational possibilities.
We fund initiatives which establish and support places where vulnerable young people can meet, connect and establish social contacts.
We support initiatives which encourage networking and social competencies to grow through meaningful activities (club activities, participation in volunteer work etc.). This is specifically targeted at at-risk youth like migrants, minorities, and otherwise excluded youngsters from marginalised areas of, e.g., great poverty etc.
Before you apply...
Schools and educational institutions, civil society organisations, local innovators and public authorities can apply.
Applicants cannot be individual persons.
Please note: English is our working language in everyday communications with applicants and grantees. Applications must be submitted in English. When grants are given, communication with project managers must be possible without interpreters.
We prioritise projects that are:
- Developmental, i.e. having a real development perspective and seeking to change and improve a specific vocational educational challenge.
- Innovative. Please note that we do not only support new innovative initiatives, but also initiatives that in other contexts have proved their worth in promoting long-term sustainable and systemic developments.
- Long-term, preferably with a project period of several years, allowing for necessary time to increase chances for success and systemic impact.
- Directly including young people in its activities. Youth as a target group must benefit directly from the project, even though the main goal is organisational or sectoral development.
We encourage collaboration with partners, that deliver supplementary competencies and capabilities.
All types of costs can be included in the project budget as long as the costs are relevant for the project.
Renovation and construction costs are eligible, if this is necessary for the proposed activities and if it strengthens the continuity of the activities when our grant ends.
Fees for consultants, specialists and advisers can be included. For instance, specialised assistance needed in relation to tenders, renovation projects, legal compliance etc.
VAT costs are not supported. VAT costs must be financed by the applicant itself or by other funding sources in case the applicant is not VAT exempt or cannot have VAT costs reimbursed by national authorities.
Applications with a budget of less than EUR 150,000 will not be considered. Applications with budgets of EUR 500,000 or more are preferred.
Co-funding is not a requirement. However, please note that if the total project budget includes VAT costs, applicants should outline how these costs will be financed, as VAT costs are not supported.
The application process
- August 14 2023: Deadline for applications, however applications can be submitted continuously until the application deadline.
- August – September: Preparation of applications for reviewing
- October – November: The applications are reviewed by an external review committee
- December: The Board of Directors decide on grants and applicants are informed.
Getting started with your application
Information and advice for organisations considering applying for a grant.
- Eva Zeuthen Bentsen, MSc., PhD, partner in Zeuthen Storm, board member of VILLUM FONDEN
- Jan Reitz Jørgensen, chief consultant, private consultant, former senior advisor at the Ministry of Education, external member
- Jørgen Tang-Jensen, former CEO of VELUX A/S, board member of VILLUM FONDEN
- Kasper Ottosson Kanstrup, Chair, founder of UNLEASH GLOBAL, works as a consultant with a focus on leadership, strategy, and partnerships.
- Isabelle Le Mouillour, Member, Director of VET in international comparison, research, and monitoring at BIBB.
- Jan Reitz Jørgensen, Member, chief consultant, former senior advisor at the Ministry of Education with a focus on, among other things, internationalisation in vocational education.
- Lidia Mikolajczyk-Gmur, Member, Director and Chair of VELUX Poland, with 10 years of experience as an external consultant for EVI, focusing on project monitoring in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland.
- Marloes DeVries, Director and Chair, Zadkine Vocational Education College, Rotterdam, former member of the board for the vocational education school Da Vinci, Dordrecht.
A Focused Survey - Vocational and Educational Systems
Transition to work - vocational education and training
Transition to work - vocational education and training
Granted Projects 2021
Completed Projects 2021
Social Enterprises in Central & Eastern Europe - Windows
List of publications
2013 - 2021
Over time, VILLUM FOUNDATION has supported many social projects in Europe - and some of them share their stories on the Facebook group called The Projects.