Innovations for the Water

Innovations for the Water Sector

Essen (GER)/Bucharest (RO), November 2010 - The third European Workshop "Innovations in the Water Sector: Competence Models, eLearning and Social Communities" took place at the end of September, 2010 in Bucharest. WACOM provides a short report for those who were not able to be there.

Representatives and experts in sectors such as human resources development, vocational education and training (VET), and water-treatment-plant operation, as well as the water sector in general, from all over Europe came to participate and contribute their professional opinions.

"Through the helpful input of the participants at the European Workshop, the WACOM project has sharpened its focus to suit the needs of its potential users better", says Christian M. Stracke, WACOM Coordinator from the University of Duisburg-Essen. Previous conferences were held in Vilnius (Lithuania) and Budapest (Hungary); together the meetings have provided a fruitful source of pertinent information for interaction between VET experts and professionals involved in the water sector.

The host of the event, the Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest (TUCEB), represented in the WACOM project by Dr. Maria Cheveresan, welcomed all fifty participants. Presentations by the TUCEB Dean, Dr. Ioan Bica, and the representative of the Romanian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Dr. Ileana Vasilescu, opened the floor for a lively discussion and experience exchange.

In the meantime, TUCEB has received very positive feedback and a pronounced demonstration of interest in the continuing work of the project. The aims of the EU-supported WACOM project are the transfer of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the German Reference Framework for Competence Modeling PAS 1093 into German and European vocational training in the water sector through the creation of the WACOM Competence Model.

This will be supported by an integral pilot phase during which key partners from the wastewater treatment plants will be asked to pioneer the advances for which WACOM is striving. Involved parties will thus be able to affect the exact design and specifications of the WACOM Competence Model and gain the benefits of the model before it is released on a larger scale.

"We are very excited for the fruition of our project objectives and the effect they will have on the European water sector and competence model standardization as a whole", emphasized Mr. Stracke; the final stages of the development of the WACOM Competence Model are underway, and the search for potential partners has taken a new emphasis.