About us

Craftspeople without
Borders – an ambitious

Levering on the expertise of the private sector, craftsmen and craftswomen from Germany, France, Italy and Poland engage in development cooperation in order to improve the competencies of local skilled workers in developing countries.

Imparting knowledge through collaboration:

Requested by project sponsors in the developing countries and co-organised by local craft organisations, the German, French, Italian and Polish Craftspeople without Borders go directly to the craft enterprises and training centres. Their missions are varied and geared to the local needs: From training for 3D printing in a business incubator to a practical basic course in masonry construction for trainers, or support in implementing social standards in companies.

Development cooperation is already increasingly relying on the skilled crafts to promote training and employment in the target countries. But until now, it has been difficult for project managers to find suitably qualified craftspeople, as there was no placement platform available.

Our concrete approach

The joint project of European crafts organisations for the promotion of crafts worldwide known as “Craftspeople without Borders” comprises these two important measures:

1. Qualification for missions abroad

Our training programme is aimed at interested craftspeople in Germany, France, Italy and Poland. They complete an extra-occupational course in preparation for their first mission abroad. In Germany, the course is completed with the “Internationaler Meister (HWK)” qualification, and in France, with the “Agir en Accompagnement de Projets de Coopération Internationale” (2APCI) qualification. The training structure is currently being set up in Italy and Poland.

The training qualifies the participants for missions in the target countries and enables them to pass on their knowledge there. In cooperation with local craft organisations, they work directly with the craftspeople on-site, face-to-face, using a practical approach adapted to actual situations.

2. Platform for competences

We add the qualified European craftspeople to our pool of experts where they are listed according to trades and competences and can be selected by interested project sponsors for suitable missions.

Handwerkskammer Frankfurt-Rhein-Main, the Chamber of Skilled Crafts Frankfurt-Rhein-Main, acts as an intermediary: We know the people behind the anonymised data from the expert pool and bring supply and demand together.

A future-forward idea

The project is being carried out by the Handwerkskammer Frankfurt-Rhein-Main (abbreviation: HWK FRM, the Chamber of Skilled Crafts Frankfurt-Rhein-Main in Germany), the Chambre de Métiers et de l’Artisanat France (abbreviation: CMA France, the umbrella organisation for the French Chambers of Skilled Crafts), the Confartigianato Imprese Vicenza (Italy) and Wielkopolska Izba Rzemieślnicza in Poznan (Poland). Other political partners are the Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks (abbreviation: ZDH, the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts, Germany), the Conseil Régional de Nouvelle-Aquitaine (Regional Council of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France), the Land Hessen (State of Hesse, Germany) and the Marshal Office of the Wielkopolska Region (Poland). In cooperation with sequa gGmbH as programme manager, the project is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Our vision is to get more European countries on board, and for the network of Craftspeople without Borders to keep expanding so that, in the future, craftspeople can support each other across the globe. We want to use this to increase equal opportunities internationally and make the world a little better together.

The crafts: An essential asset for development cooperation

The European Development Cooperation (DC) seeks to establish close ties with the skilled trades and use their specific strengths to train skilled workers, and to employ their competences in sectors relevant to development policy. Developing countries, despite their visible progress in political, administrative and other areas, still face numerous problems that hinder development, including the low skill level of their workforces and the associated shortage of skilled labour, which are among the main obstacles preventing increased foreign investment and economic development. The European Craftspeople without Borders can make a significant contribution to reducing this shortage of skilled workers.

Through the successful deployment of the craftspeople, the parties involved in development cooperation should recognise the importance and the added value crafts bring to this field. Craftspeople without Borders wants to create a European movement that firstly promotes European collaboration in the trades sector in DC and, secondly, increases the attractiveness of the trade professions in Europe through the possibility of missions in countries throughout the world in addition to the usual work or professional duties.

First-hand testimonials

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