First steering committee and online meeting with Ukrainian stakeholders

The project “Craftspeople without Borders” held its first steering committee meeting in Poznan, Poland, on the 28 and 29 November 2023. Our operational partner, the Wielkopolska Chamber of Crafts and Trades (Wielkopolska Izba Rzemieślnicza w Poznaniu / WIR), hosted the steering committee meeting. All partners to the project from Germany, France, Italy and Poland took part in the event.

On the first day, the operating partners informed all about the project activities carried out since the beginning of the project in March 2023. Most significant was conceiving the new training courses in Italy and Poland which prepare craftspeople for missions in international cooperation projects. Both new training courses are meant to start in the first half of 2024.

On the 29 November, we started with an official opening by our Polish partners, followed by a dialogue with our new Ukrainian stakeholders. Our Polish political partner, the Marshal Office of the Wielkopolska Region in Poznan – International Department (Urząd Marszałkowski Województwa Wielkopolskiego w Poznaniu) was vital in finding and getting in contact with these Ukrainian stakeholders.

Guests of honour were Wojciech Jankowiak, Deputy Marshall of the Wielkopolska voivodship, Barbara Kwapiszewska, Director of the Voivodship Labour Office, and Jarosław Frąckowiak, Director of the Hesse-Poland Office. The meeting was opened by Marek Skoraszewski, President of WIR. In his speech, he referred to the long-standing cooperation with the Land of Hessen. Deputy Marshal Jankowiak emphasised in his speech that the ‘Craftspeople without Borders’ project fits in very well with the activities already being carried out by Wielkopolska, which has been providing humanitarian support to Ukraine, in particular to their twin region Kharkiv, since the beginning of the war.

Thanks to Polish craftspeople, the project will enable Ukrainian citizens to acquire new competences and qualifications.

The representatives of the Ukrainian side were Maksym Kolinko – Head of the Department of Territorial and Local Development and International Relations of Executive Office of the Kharkiv Regional Council – and Gennadiy Amerbekov – Chairman of the Board of Directors of Institutions of Vocational Technical Institutes of Kharkiv Region; both joined the meeting online. They presented the system of vocational training and crafts in the Kharkiv Region. The official meeting was closed with a presentation on support for people from Ukraine on the labour market in Wielkopolska by the Director of the Labour Office Ms Kwapiszewska.

This first step towards a cooperation between our project “Craftspeople without Borders” and the Ukrainian region of Kharkiv was obviously of interest for the Polish television: the station TVP3 Poznań reported on the project and broadcasted interviews with official guests and project partners (see here)!

In the afternoon, after the official guests had left, the project partners went on with planning project activities for 2024.

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