Science is clear: Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be the defining development of the 21st century. Experts estimate that due to the rise of AI within only 2 decades aspects of daily human life will be unrecognisable. The influence of AI is about to challenge the very organising principles of our economic and social order. It can generate unprecedented wealth, revolutionise medicine and education, but it can bring existential perils for life as we know it. This makes the EC2020 report that the EU is lagging behind USA and Asia in AI-adoption and development all the more worrying. Among many reasons behind that, the lack of skilled work force is definitively one of the more prominent ones. The objective of AI4VET4AI is to contribute to the digital transformation of the EU labour market by adding new innovative teaching content and methods to vocational education and training (VET) curricula in order to support the growth of AI-skilled workers. We start from the ground up: we investigate the most potent sectors for AI-deployment in our project regions, and for those sectors, in close cooperation with enterprises and their cluster organisations we create massive open online courses (MOOCs) and teacher training (TT) materials that can easily be implemented in vocational education and training (VET) programmes. We organise innovative AI vocational education and training (VET) campuses and vocational education and training (VET) innovation AI incubators, in which vocational education and training (VET) learners hone their creative and entrepreneurial skills. We use project activities to connect partners closely and to raise awareness of the AI potential in our regions among representatives of public and private sector, as well as civil society. In turn, this helps us to create a joint and active platform of concerned EU citizens and institutions, interested, informed, and motivated in supporting AI development further – this being the basis of our ambitious Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVE), which aims to attract many more institutions (higher education institutions (HEIs), vocational education and training (VET) institutions, companies, agencies, individuals) in its pursuit of sustainable, inclusive and just AI-powered future for all.

We will form transnational partnerships between policy makers, providers, research institutions, occupational sector organisations, sector representatives, all of which are represented in our project consortium. We will leverage the power of the triangle of knowledge (business, education, and research) to ensure the uncompromised level of vocational education and training (VET) excellence while adding AI-related content to the existing vocational education and training (VET) curricula or introducing new ones. The high level goals that we aim to achieve are directed towards building trust in AI through creating common understanding and raising awareness for the development and use of reliable AI in line with the EU and international regulatory and ethical standards as defined in the EU Coordinated Plan for AI and the EU regulation on AI accordingly, and to introduce AI based innovation in key sectors through relevant skills development as per Digital Education Action Plan (2021-2027). These AI skills will fuel smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth that is at the centre of the EU’s development agenda.

This project addresses a number of target groups: