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Cultural education has not yet attained any formal status in initial vocational education and training (VET) curricula in Europe. However, combining VET with cultural education has great potential for promoting the development of key competences of LifeLongLearning (LLL) in apprentices and inspiring creativity and a spirit of innovation in their everyday work. This is evidenced in evaluations of “Programm K3” (1998 and 2004, AT), and it is recommended in international studies such as the Final Report on ACCESS OF YOUNG PEOPLE TO CULTURE, EACEA/2008/01. According to this report, cultural education provides apprentices with opportunities for personality development and thus also for professional advancement – both of which are of central importance to this large group of European young people (in AT more than 40% of 15-to-18-year-olds). The implementation of MANUCULTURA illustrates how alliances between professional training and school-based training can utilise the potential of cultural education. Moreover: In this way, non-formal education or training can be integrated into the formal VET process. The five MANUCULTURA partners are striving to integrate more creativity and cultural education into apprenticeship training in their countries:

KulturKontakt Austria (KKA) as coordinator, the German company “Alnatura”, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MSU) in Zagreb (HR), Italy-based CESIE, an “European Centre of Studies and Initiatives”, and the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Denmark.

One goal of the MANUCULTURA consortium is to interlink the partners’ experiences with these initiatives. The sectors of business, education and culture can thus learn from each other and gain useful ideas in terms of both method and content. The aforementioned examples show that successful activities are being pursued to offset the lacking orientation on creativity and cultural education in the dual education system (cf. “Sondierung und praxisorientierte Analyse zu Kreativität und Innovation in der beruflichen Erstausbildung”, lege_artis 2009). The quality of the composition of the consortium makes it possible to approach the issue from a variety of perspectives, i.e. from the viewpoints of business enterprises, VET schools and cultural institutions.

MANUCULTURA plans to:

• exchange methods and techniques for cultural education during initial VET,
• collect and disseminate best-practice examples of cultural project work,
• identify and compare successful projects and, on this basis,
• develop joint recommendations.

Following the project, the results are to be integrated into training programmes and, in the form of pilot trials, for example, be tested in practice: in cultural institutions, business firms and VET schools in the respective partner countries.

All the project results will be digitally presented and disseminated in the World Wide Web via the project blog. A project documentation will be made available online for the general public. In addition, the partners will be using their own PR channels to transmit results to relevant stakeholders from the sectors of business, education and culture.

Presentation in the Web will ensure that the results remain available for further use at national and European level after the project is completed. This will consolidate the status of an educational approach that supports the development of interpersonal, cultural and social competences in apprentices – both in the political landscape and in entrepreneurial thinking.

The exchange is planned for a period of two years. Meetings at which the partners present their work and engage in joint reflection will be held in all the participating countries. During the project period, the partners will consider whether and to what extent it will be possible to link the MANUCULTURA results with the ECVET processes in the partner countries. An intensified implementation in a follow-up project is under consideration.

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