Aquaponics New Novelty In Education (ANNIE) is an ERASMUS+ KA2 project in which several EUROPEA partners are involved. Rotterdam was the venue, from 13th to 16th of December, for the kick-off meeting of this project.



Aquaponics is an eco-friendly, sustainable system for food production, a circular system where aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (plant breeding in water) come together.

The Processfish-tank_

The cycle starts with the feeding of the fish to produce ammonia rich waste, which accumulates in the water.

The effluent-rich water is essential for plant growth. So the waste water is pumped to the grow beds. The bacteria that is cultured in the grow beds helps to break down impurities and as a result, nitrogen remains, which is an essential nutrient for plants. The plant roots filter the water which now contains nutrients for the fishes, and is pumped back down to the fishes.

Aquaponics a sustainable system to grow food

Aquaponics is sustainabplants-growing_le because the food is grown locally and not from far flown. And without the use of pesticides and antibiotics, so it is even healthier
and fresher. Aquaponics also supplies ten times more food per square meter, with a minimum of water consumption. This makes it ideal for urban areas and dry, nutrient-poor countries. Aquaponics can thus contribute to future food problems, the reduction of CO² emissions and 9/10 may reduce the use of precious drinking water for irrigation.

Aquaponics training for sustainable food production

The Aquaponics Training Centre will provide short training sessions to various groups within society and also to foreign students and teachers.

The Training Centre provides training not only as a lifelong learning process, but also an opportunity to obtain a higher qualification, to make a start to set up their own mini enterprise headed by Wellantcollege or to provide young unemployed an opportunity to develop.

The Aquaponics Training Centre can play a role by providing a pragmatic training for disadvantaged groups in the labour market. So they can set up an aquaponic setting within their own environment itself to provide their area of vegetables, herbs and fish, grown in an organic way. They also learn about water, plants and animals and that together form a complete picture of the ecosystem.

At Wellantcollege Rotterdam there is a demonstration lab. Such units can be placed anywhere in an urban environment to set up a sustainable way for food production. For example in abandoned buildings, sheds, greenhouses or community centres.

For further information

Please contact with the Project Leader Mr. Ton Stok

LOASA project launched

5-day seminar leads to common and unambiguous framework


In the Erasmus+ KA2 project LOASA (Learning Outcomes in Accordance to the Skills Agenda), 5 partners from the world of work have teamed up with 5 vocational education and training (VET) institutions to co-develop units of learning outcomes that are based on ECVET principles and align with the New Skills Agenda for Europe.

The participating VET organizations, all members of the Europea network, are:

  1. Yrkesakademin – vocational vollege of Ostrobothnia in Finland
  2. Sastamala Municipal Education and Training Consortium (SASKY) in Finland,
  3. Jordbrugets Uddannelsescenter Aarhus in Denmark,
  4. Centro Integrado de Formación y Experiencias Agrarias (CIFEA) in Murcia, Spain
  5. Wellantcollege in the Netherlands

The project members recently met in Doorn, the Netherlands for their first transnational meeting, including a 5-day working seminar guided by European ECVET expert Mr. André Huigens. The result is a collectively developed, common and unambiguous framework to build the units of learning outcomes on.

Aim of the LOASA project

The LOASA project aims to reduce the skills gap in the labour market and increase the employability of workers by co-developing units of learning outcomes that are based on ECVET principles and contributing to the main topics of the New Skills Agenda for Europe and further develop this European agenda.

New Skills Agenda for Europe

In June 2016 the European Commission adopted a New Skills Agenda for Europe to make sure that people develop the skills necessary for the jobs of today and tomorrow. This task is essential to boost employability, competitiveness and growth across the EU.

The New Skills Agenda for Europe has 3 priorities:

  1. Improving the quality and relevance of skills formation;
  2. Making skills and qualifications more visible and comparable;
  3. Improving skills intelligence and information for better career choices.

Whom will benefit from LOASA?

By creating units of learning outcomes that are based on ECVET principles and align with the New Skills Agenda for Europe, the LOASA project serves three target groups:

  1. VET-students and employees on the lower and middle levels (roughly EQF levels 2, 3, and 4);
  2. Excelling students who seek additional challenge (in the context of fostering excellence on all EQF levels);
  3. Employers who need transparency of skills.

The aimed impact

Potential long term benefits of the LOASA project results include:

  1. a reduction of the skills gap on the labour market;
  2. increased employability of VET students and workers on lower and middle EQF levels;
  3. fostering excellence in vocational education and training;
  4. the exchange of knowledge between VET and industry (both sectoral and regional);
  5. a better understanding by VET students and teachers of the skills that businesses require;
  6. units of learning outcomes as a tool for human resource policy.

Rationale of the project youth-unamploiment-ue-july-2016

Europe is facing several major challenges, including a fragile economy and high unemployment rates for youngsters under 25. There’s a huge skills gap on the labour market. 40% of European employers cannot find people with the right skills. This gap will continue to grow over the next years, especially in the green sector and for workers on lower and middle EQF levels.

Need for reskilling and upskilling

Technological progress and globalisation require adaptable people and different skills than before. The skill sets required in both old and new occupations are transforming how and where people work. This means:

  • the creation of additional jobs e.g. in pollution control;
  • substitution of employment e.g. in the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy;
  • elimination of jobs e.g. in the manufacturing or packaging materials;
  • transformation of existing jobs e.g. through the greening of profiles and working methods.

At the moment, VET  is insufficiently providing students with the skills the economy needs, and employers ask for more transparency of skills. Also, VET is not contributing enough to foster excellence by providing additional challenges to excelling students.

Additional info?

For more information, please contact

Mr. Jan Jeronimus, LOASA project manager





The city of Don Benito (Badajoz) has been the venue of the XXIII edition of the annual meeting of EUROPEA – Spain, from 2nd to 4th November.

Almost 50 people, teachers and other training professionals of the “green” sector, coming from different regions of Spain have gathered to exchange knowledge and educative experiences. The programme has been a combination of conferences and cultural visits such as:


  • “Expertemprende”.- A wonderful experience about a program aimed to develop the entrepreneurship among youngsters from their early ages. A former student of the Agricultural School of Don Benito participated in this conference telling his personal experience and how it led him to become a successful entrepreneur.
  • “The quality in the agricultural training”.- Three speeches about procedures and systems to ensure the quality in the “green” training.
  • “Good examples in management of European initiatives”.- Two conferences about international projects and management of European Commission funding. The fist one was about an interesting project framed in a cross-border programme among Spain and Portugal, funded by FEDER. And the second one was based in explanations about another interesting project concerning to Circular Economy.


  • Roman Theatre and Castle of Medellin. Next to the Guadiana River has been discovered, very recently (2007), an awesome Roman theatre in a good conservation status. It is placed on the south hillside of a hill which summit is topped by an Arabic castle of VIII century built on top of the ruins of a former roman fortification. Other roman buildings around the theatre are being discovered in the current archaeological works which are carried on.


  • Ethnographic museum of Don Benito.- In an impressive modernist style manor house, built in XIX century and donated to the municipality by their former proprietors,  descendants of a noble, the Count of Orellana, it has been set  this pretty ethnographic museum full of objects which has been given by the inhabitants of Don Benito and other closed towns.

As an important part of this meeting, EUROPEA – Spain has held the General Assembly in which important issues has been approved like new statutes and the creation of a Consortium formed with many agricultural schools and other “green” training centres aimed to apply for funding for the development of ERASMUS+ projects.

ERASMUS+ Call for new proposals 2017


Any public or private body active in the fields of education, training, youth and sport may apply for funding within the Erasmus+ programme.

The total budget earmarked for this call for proposals is estimated at EUR 2157,1 million:

Education and training: EUR 1 905,4 million

Youth: EUR 209,1 million

Jean Monnet: EUR 10,8 million

Sport: EUR 31,8 million

Deadline for the submission of applications:

Key Action 1

Mobility of individuals in the field of education and training 2 February 2017

Key Action 2

Strategic partnerships in the field of education and training 29 March 2017

All deadlines for submission end at 12.00 (noon), Brussels time.

The detailed conditions of this call for proposals, including priorities, can be found in the Erasmus+ Programme Guide at the following internet address:

The Erasmus+ Programme Guide constitutes an integral part of this call for proposals and the conditions for participation and funding expressed therein apply in full to this call.

For further information, Call and Guide:

The European Vocational Skills Week


This first European Vocational Skills Week will take place from 5 to 9 December 2016 with events in Brussels and parallel activities in Member States, EFTA (European Free Trade Association) and EU candidate countries at national, regional and local levels.

What is it about?

This is to improve the attractiveness and image of vocational education and training, showcase excellence and quality and raise awareness of the wide range of opportunities.


Because it is believed that…

  • Every single person is talented. Some talents may be obvious, some still hidden.
  • Vocational education and training is a smart choice, is fun, and leads to excellence in education, high-quality jobs and increased employability.
  • There are great vocational training opportunities that successfully prepare you for interesting and challenging careers, as well as active engagement in society.
  • Vocational education and training is a desirable option for people of all ages, and prepares people for jobs the world over.
  • Quality training develops the creative and innovative potential of learners.
  • Up skilling and re-skilling throughout life is key to improved job opportunities and better integration in society.
  • Lifelong learning enhances social inclusion, diversity, and active citizenship.

How will the initiative unfold?

A series of events/activities will take place in Brussels (press conference, conference, workshops, closing event with award-giving) and across Europe. They will be underpinned by a sustained communication campaign.

Who will be involved?

All stakeholders: learners, parents, companies, business organisations, social partners, education and training providers, adult learning organisations, researchers, career counsellors, public authorities, and society at large is invited to get involved.

For more information,



Twitter: #EUVocationalSkills