ESTER+ (01/09/19 – 31/08/22)

The ESTER project has been designed to meet the needs of European skills trainers and VET organisations. Recent European statistics highlight an unacceptable workplace fatality rate associated with skilled operations undertaken in the agriculture and forestry sectors of industry. The ESTER project will focus on key high-risk activities within those sectors.

For example, falls from a height and machinery crush injuries are well-known risks which can be better prevented through quality training provision. Partners aim to build upon the successful work of previous projects which developed, for example the European Chainsaw Certificate (ECC), with an aim to provide a recognised European skills trainer qualification.

In order to enhance training delivery, the ESTER project aims to facilitate best practice & high-quality instruction standards & techniques amongst VET providers and skills trainers of courses across Europe and beyond, exchanging knowledge, training innovations and expertise in the process leading to safer trainers and trainees.

The ultimate project goal and key needs are as follows:
1. Develop an innovative formal standardised European skills trainer qualification, registration and CPD process
2. Develop innovative training materials for the benefit of trainers and trainees
3. Reduce workplace fatality, incident rates and associated economic and personal costs within specific sectors of agriculture and forestry

Achieving the key needs requires the following objectives to be met:
1. Develop innovative European occupational standards for skills trainers in train the trainer (TTT)
2. Improve transparency and recognition of trainer skills via innovative European qualifications accredited by ABA International
3. Enhance trainer mobility and employability throughout Europe
4. Encourage and promote life-long learning and continuous professional development of registered European trainers

Project Participants:
The project team is a highly experienced and motivated partnership of industry and training specialists with a desire to improve training standards for the benefit of skilled operator safety in the sectors outlined.

Project Activities:
The project life-cycle includes a number of tasks required to achieve the needs and objectives. These include for example:
• Industry consultations
• Seminar presentations
• Training the trainer events
• Trainer upskilling and best practice events
• Development of a European Trainer Skills Register-ESTER
• Continuous project dissemination
• International certification events
• Production of new European training guidance materials

The project will be undertaken in the following 3 stages:
Stage 1: (Start-Up)
Project management meetings: task lists, dissemination plans etc.
Train the trainer meetings: upskilling, sharing best practice etc.
Develop training standards
Undertake project promotional activities

Stage 2: (Implementation)
Follow-up project management meetings:
Train the trainer meetings: skills consolidation, practice new techniques, pilot test new qualifications etc.
Develop new VET training materials

Stage 3: (Certification)
Live test new European certifications in partner countries
Finalise new VET trainer and trainee training materials
Continued analysis, dissemination and enhancement of project products and goals

Project Impact and Long Term Benefits:
The project will achieve its objectives including new training innovations in the sectors identified in VET skills safety at the European level. The key results will include:
1. Establishment of new European skills register and trainer qualifications
2. Development of innovative training materials and resources
3. Facilitating EU trainer continuing professional development and mobility
4. High quality training provision supporting a reduction of EU accidents and fatalities in agricultural and forestry activities with the support of ABA International