How to launch a successful partnership?
"A Good Beginning is More than Half of the Whole". Yes, but how? Partnerships make it possible to realise great projects. Still, they do not always begin right, do not produce the expected results or are exhausted shortly.
Therefore, identifying the right partner is crucial to establishing a good synergy right from the start. Because - when it comes to education - resources will not grow, but skills will. The European Training Foundation cooperates with partners in different subjects: green and digital education, Lifelong Learning, upskilling and reskilling.
Ideal partnerships have complementary experiences.
"Anyone in a partnership – explains Xavier Matheu, Head of Knowledge Hub Department here at ETF – should focus on the areas where they can have the most added value". "For ETF, he continues, these are the expertise in developing human capital and how to promote it in the countries where we work, something that we have been doing for more than 25 years".
So, what is the recipe for the perfect partnership? Unfortunately, there is no answer to this question. Let's try to understand together which aspects should be focused on when starting a partnership.
Communication: the cement of the joint creation.
In the history of mankind, every relationship has started with a word. If you focus on the common ground, analyse needs together and agree on requirements, you can create a better chance of a successful partnership. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced us - partners included - to keep our distance. Before this, the Torino Process was an opportunity to bring partner countries together and discuss priorities, policies and strategies related to vocational training. Next, shared information and clarity or roles and responsibility should lead to a trustful relation between the partners. The principles of the Torino Process (ownership, broad participation, holistic approach and evidence-based policy-making) have showed the ETF the keys for a successful partnership.
Have shared goals, because together we go far.
Developing more sustainable, inclusive education systems takes time. We need to create solid structures capable of bearing the weight of complex and diverse societies. The ideal partner can do complementary work to yours and is the one that you can help each other with. If you want to be resilient and learn valuable lessons from difficulties, having shared values is crucial. ETF partners have different skills; while some can manage large operations, others have more experience in humanitarian projects. ETF combines these competencies with the dimension of skills in more transversal policies given the big common political goals.
In short, every partnership can't be a success. But, if there is an immediate openness to dialogue and a detailed definition of the shared work, you will have an excellent chance to make it. At ETF, we are convinced that skills and qualifications are central to meeting today's significant challenges. If we develop human capital, it will be easier to get closer to the Sustainable Development Goals, Global Europe, Global Gateway and many others. The road is undoubtedly long, but every journey always starts with a single step. And we have already did many of them.
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