First Annual Regional Conference in Western Balkans 6, December 15th, 10:00-13:30h CET

The Western Balkan 6 Chamber Investment Forum and the Regional Challenge Fund are organizing the First Annual Regional Conference in the Western Balkans 6, that will be held online on December 15th, 10:00-13:30h CET. To secure your place, please fill in the registration form on this LINK.
The Regional Challenge Fund (RCF) is a financing facility designed to increase youth employability. It boosts the competitiveness of enterprises in Western Balkans economies by funding investments in equipment and infrastructure for selected dual or cooperative training projects implemented through partnerships between vocational training institutes and enterprises. The grants are allocated through a competitive regional challenge.
It’s an initiative undertaken by the German development bank KfW and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The main implementation partner is the Western Balkans 6 Chamber Investment Forum, whose operations are supported by consultants from the Fund Management Unit.
The first round of applications demonstrated the attractivity of the RCF and significant interest in the WB6 region in the cooperation between the enterprises and educational institutions. The RCF had the First Call for Expressions of Interest opened from February until April 2021 and received 205 applications from consortia of vocational training institutes and enterprises from all Western Balkans economies. The eligibility and compliance checks based on the predefined eligibility criteria resulted in shortlisting 66 consortia and inviting them to prepare the full project proposals. In the second step of the evaluation, external selection experts reviewed and scored the applications based on selection criteria.The Selection Committee`s decision about the funds available for the first call resulted in 23 most successful projects being proposed for finance, allocating approximately 10 million Euros to the region.
The RCF organizes its First Annual Regional Conference to share the experiences and lessons learned from its first call and promote the exchange among stakeholders in vocational education and training in the region. Cooperation among national economies in bringing education closer to the business is seen as crucial for achieving the objectives of improved employability, labour market relevance of VET, and increased competitiveness of enterprises.
The RCF also recognizes three additional aspects that cut across economic sectors and boundaries and their potential for building labour-market relevant skills in line with the current policy initiatives: green transition, regional integration, digit(al)ization.
The above-mentioned topics will be discussed with the officials and experts from EU and WB6 public institutions and organizations active in the field with vocational education and training, chambers of commerce, international organizations, regional organizations, vocational education and training providers, enterprises, and civil society organizations, and others.
For more information about the First Annual Regional Conference and the agenda, please click HERE.

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