BILLARD - Blended and Integrated Lifelong Learning for Actors in Regional Development

BILLARD - Blended & Integrated Lifelong Learning for Actors in Regional Development

This project is financed by the Leonardo da Vinci Community vocational training action programme. BLUEWATERS’ partners are from Austria, Hungary, Romania, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Czech Republic, and Germany.

BILLARD aims at the development of a training product and methodology for a (re-)integration of the target groups into working life, while providing knowledge and understanding of contemporary regional development processes, governance theory, policy and practice in a European context.

In order to reach this goal the project has identified the following specific aims:
  • to build capacity in the target groups by upgrading their skills and competencies,
  • to enhance their innate qualities and transform them into “working tools”,
  • to enable the target groups to take part in the working processes either as valued employees, entrepreneurs or as project-managers/assistants for regional development projects,
  • to elaborate a common agreement on what basic skills a person engaged in regional development processes in Europe should possess, by defining the new European profession of a regional manager
  • to develop 3 alternative curricula (regional development managers, regional development management assistants and management assistants) for a training and educational programme in regional development,
  • to develop educational guidelines for training regional development actors.
The project addresses the following two target groups:
  • women re-entering the labour market – i.e. women who were interrupted in their career development due to certain reasons (e.g. maternity leave, caring for a disabled relative etc.), they have an academic degree and have been away from the world of work for at least 2 years
  • university drop-outs – i.e. young people who are unemployed or employed below their intellectual potential, they started to pursue their studies and successfully completed at least two semesters, but have dropped for some reasons
The prime products of the project will be
  • a certified, internationally recognized training programme accompanied with 3 alternative curricula (one curriculum for regional development managers, one for regional development management assistants and one for management assistants),
  • a set of sample modular training materials,
  • a set of hands-on guidelines for teaching and blended learning in the field of regional development.

The training programme, which addresses the relevant competence shortage, will be based on a wide variety of different inputs from different cultures and understandings of regional development processes. It will be flexible enough to give the target groups an opportunity to acquire a labour- market-recognised professional qualification.

The EU has to cope with striking disparities among its various regions. These disparities will be further intensified by the accession of new countries. Though regional development has recently undergone a period of unprecedented change, enlargement will again bring about an era full of reforms and revolutionary actions. Subsequently development processes, institutional structures and regional policies will have to face profound transformations not only in the East, but also in the West.