SIFOR Dissemination Seminar in Brussels hosted by RREUSE

Pic 1 On September 29th, the partnership of SIFOR moved to Brussels for a dissemination seminar organised by RREUSE. The seminar was the occasion to show to a selected number of participants representing vocational training bodies, social enterprises, reuse centres and local authorities the purpose of the project and to understand better how training activities around the profile of waste manager and “valorizer” could be structured.

After a presentation of the RREUSE network given by the director Michal LEN, it was the turn of Mrs. Serenella Sandri from the leading partner Emilia Romagna to present to the Belgian audience the objectives of the projects and the expected results. She highlighted how Emilia Romagna after a period of almost two years is now trying to make a synthesis of what has been learned from the visits and talks in different countries so to be prepared for the integration of the professional profile of “valorizer” in the official vocational training programmes of the region.

Luca Galloni from UNIMORE updated on the recent findings of the research. If, as explained in Bucarest, textiles collection is a profitable and mature business, furniture collection and refurbishment can be viable only under specific circumstances. On the other hand WEEE viability much depends on how the operations are carried out and on the agreement with EPR schemes as well as their openness to cooperate with the social economy sector.

The seminar continued with three interventions from representatives of the Belgian social enterprise sector. Peggy Liekens from WEB Turnhout (Flanders) focused on a specially designed training aimed at the insertion of people with disadvantages in “up-cycling” different materials. With the help of designer and architects, trainees are instructed on how to get the maximum from different sort of materials so to re-create new products to be sold in interior design shops. Peggy showed pictures of the artistic creations made in the WEB atelier as well as of the shops where the items are sold.

Virginie d’Etienne from RESSOURCES (the Wallonian network of re-use social enterprises) talked about the efforts the network is undergoing to see the “valorizer” profile formally adopted by the regional vocational training system. At the moment the skills required for the profile have been clearly identified and now it is up to the FOREM (the competent body) to decide whether the training can be integrated in the formal regional system. Virginie explained as well the different levels of competences the training is addressing so to tailor it on the different professions that can be found in reuse centres, from managers to the workers responsible for the different operations.

Matthieu Bonaventure broPic 2ught another interesting experience from the field since he was responsible for the “manager of re-use centre” training course in Brabant. He explained why at some point he decided to stop the training due to the fact that there was little request at that time for people with such a profile. He had to focus more on the core business of what he was doing: managing the re-use centre “Ressourcerie de la Dyle”, which is a good example of cooperation between social enterprises and local authorities in the field of community waste management. He has nevertheless kept alive his cooperation with Ressources to develop the training in a more structured way.

Audrey Grandjean from AEF Europe illustrated how the Wallonian Government is turning the  vocational training system upside-down in light of the recent EC-VET initiative of the European Commission, allowing for the accumulation and transfer of credits gained by trainees through the recognition of learning outcomes in vocational education and training across Europe. To avoid having people to start a new training from scratch, they can bring the knowledge they have already acquired in previous courses so to avoid to get lessons in things they have already learned. The profiles are carefully selected in co-operation with the industry and with other social partners.

In representation of FOREM, the public bodies responsible for vocational training in Vallonia, Bérenger Dufromont gave a presentation on the “valorizer” training course organised in Mons. The course, which lasts for 5 weeks, is presently given mainly to staff working in the industry and who are responsible for energy and waste management within the firm. The target here is  companies working in specific industrial areas where synergies can be created to minimise the quantities of waste generated and increase the volume of material susceptible of being re-used and recycled. At the moment the FOREM is working together with Ressources on a training module which will be more focused on social entrepreneurs and which should see the light at the beginning of 2015 and be integrated in the formal regional training programmes.