Open call: European Vocational Education and Training Initiative

Please note: Virtual information meetings on the 6th of December 2023, 6th of February and 12th of March 2024

Green and digital transition

The green transition refers to a fundamental shift in VET programs and practices to prepare individuals for careers and employment opportunities in industries and sectors that prioritize environmental sustainability and the reduction of environmental impact. This transition aims to equip students/apprentices and staff with the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary to work/teach in environmentally friendly and sustainable way.

The digital transition equally refers to preparing students/apprentices and staff to thrive in a digital-first world. The digital transition equips students/apprentices with the digital literacy, problem solving skills and adaptability needed to excel in a wide range of career and industries.

The two transitions are interrelated and are often referred to as the “twin transition”. However projects might work exclusively with one or the other or both.

VILLUM FOUNDATION seeks to enable young people in Europe to become frontrunners in digital and green transitions.

The European Vocational Education and Training Initiative (EVI) supports inclusive VET, specifically addressing the green and digital transition, as well as young people’s social skills and motivation for education. With this program we focus primarily on projects in Czechia, Slovakia, Italy and France.

VILLUM FOUNDATION supports capacity building and competence development and prioritise longer-term projects with potential for systemic change. Applications with a budget of less than EUR 150,000 will not be considered. We prefer projects with a budget over EUR 500,000 in order to realistically fulfil the ambitions.

In 2024, applications for initiatives primarily in Italy and France are eligible.

Focus area 1: Enhancing quality of VET 

VET is an important lever of Europe’s digital and green transitions. Highly qualified and motivated employees are crucial if the industries are to become more sustainable and climate-friendly, while at the same time remaining efficient and competitive. We support high-quality vocational education and training, provided by competent teachers in state-of-the-art facilities — especially in areas relating to the digital and green transitions.  

Focus area 2: Encouraging motivation for education

Europe’s digital and green transitions will require that citizens develop the necessary skills to use new technologies in everyday life and at work. And they must be able to translate knowledge about technology and the environment into qualified decisions – for the benefit of a greener and more sustainable society. In order to enable young people to acquire the skills and competencies needed in the future, we also fund initiatives building young people’s motivation for education, and interest in computer technology and sustainable environment.

The two focus areas are interrelated and overlap. Applications may address one of the focus areas, but we also welcome projects containing elements of both focus areas.

The application process
  • Virtual information meetings from 10 AM to 11:30 AM on the 6th of December 2023, 6th of February 2024 and 12th of March 2024Sign up through the links on the dates.
  • February: The application portal opens for applications.
  • May 23 2024: Deadline for applications, however applications can be submitted continuously until the application deadline. 
  • June – August: Preparation of applications for reviewing
  • September– October: The applications are reviewed by an external review committee
  • December: The Board of Directors decide on grants and applicants are informed.
Expert committee for Youth and education in Europe
  • Kasper Ottosson Kanstrup, Chair, founder of UNLEASH GLOBAL, works as a consultant with a focus on leadership, strategy, and partnerships.
  • Isabelle Le Mouillour, Member, Director of VET in international comparison, research, and monitoring at BIBB.
  • Jan Reitz Jørgensen, Member, chief consultant, former senior advisor at the Ministry of Education with a focus on, among other things, internationalisation in vocational education.
  • Lidia Mikolajczyk-Gmur, Member, Director and Chair of VELUX Poland, with 10 years of experience as an external consultant for EVI, focusing on project monitoring in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland.
  • Marloes DeVries, Director and Chair, Zadkine Vocational Education College, Rotterdam, former member of the board for the vocational education school Da Vinci, Dordrecht.
Which activities are funded?
Within Focus area 1: Enhancing quality of Vocational Education and Training (VET) especially within the digital and green transitions

Teacher training and professional development

We fund training, further education and professional development of teachers in order to strengthen their capability to offer high-quality teaching, especially in the fields of digital technologies and green solutions.

We also fund the development of new pedagogical and didactical approaches, organisational change and new organisational practices which increase the quality of teaching.

We expect training and professional development to be a large part of the project, and commitment and participation from management is imperative.

New student training programmes

The digital and green transitions require new competencies. We fund the development of training courses and educational pathways within the fields of digital technologies, climate adjustment and green solutions.

Inclusive study environments and diversity in recruiting

A thriving study environment that welcomes students and creates strong learning communities is a crucial feature of high-quality VET institutions. We encourage applicants to encompass inclusive practices and to implement measures of diverse recruitment as part of the project.

State-of-the-art equipment and facilities

We fund renovations and adjustments of existing buildings for workshops and training facilities especially aimed at digital technologies and green solutions. We do not fund property acquisitions or the building of new properties.

Wihtin Focus area 2: Encouraging young peoples motivation for education - especially in the fields related to the digital and green transitions

Early curiosity for digital technologies and environmentally sustainable practices

We fund initiatives in the last years of elementary school and in high schools which promote digital competencies and interest in digital technologies, the climate and sustainable environment – both by teaching children and youth directly, and indirectly through training of teachers in new didactic methods. We favour initiatives which communicate new technologies and environmental knowledge in an untraditional, experimental and motivating way – preferably with a high level of hands-on experience. 

Promoting VET education in general

We fund initiatives which promotes VET education, e.g. through cooperation between schools and VET schools, regular school visits with a high degree of hands-on experience etc.

Strengthening social competencies and readiness for education

We support initiatives which empower at-risk youth to get ready for education and self reliance through networking, upgrading of social and professional skills etc. The target groups are migrants, minorities and other socio-economically challenged children and youth.

Before you apply...
Who can apply?

Schools and educational institutions, civil society organisations, local innovators and public authorities can apply. Applicants cannot be individual persons.

We encourage collaboration with partners, that deliver supplementary competencies and capabilities.

Please note: English is our working language in everyday communications with applicants and grantees. Applications and appendixes must be submitted in English. When grants are given, communication with project managers and key persons must be possible without interpreters.

Which project costs are eligible?

All types of costs can be included in the project budget as long as the costs are relevant for the project.

Renovation and construction costs are eligible, if this is necessary for the proposed activities and if it strengthens the continuity of the activities when our grant ends.   

Fees for consultants, specialists and advisers can be included. For instance, specialised assistance needed in relation to tenders, renovation projects, legal compliance etc.

Please note: VAT costs are not supported. VAT costs must be financed by the applicant itself or by other funding sources in case the applicant is not VAT exempt or cannot have VAT costs reimbursed by national authorities.

How much can be applied for?

Applications with a budget of less than EUR 150,000 will not be considered. Applications with budgets of EUR 500,000 or more are preferred.

Co-funding is not a requirement. However please note, that VAT costs are not supported.

How do you apply?

All interested applicants must submit project proposals online through our application portal which opens at latest on March 1st 2024.

The foundation's application form and budget template must be used. They can be found on this webpage in November 2023.

Publications and grants

Digital, green, and inclusive initiatives in Czechia and Slovakia

Nine projects receive grants from Villum Foundation. 

A Focused Survey - Vocational and Educational Systems

Working paper


Transition to work  - vocational education and training

Working paper

Transition to work  - vocational education and training 

Working paper


Social Enterprises in Central & Eastern Europe - Windows
of Opportunities

Over time, VILLUM FOUNDATION has supported many social projects in Europe - and some of them share their stories on the Facebook group called The Projects.

Contact us:


Nicolas Schunck
Head of program, VILLUM FONDEN
+45 24 46 82 97
Vibeke Holtum Nørgaard
Senior Adviser, VILLUM FONDEN
+45 21 82 71 57
Conni E. Foght
Programme Coordinator, VILLUM FONDEN and VELUX FONDEN
+45 23 82 75 62
Agi Csonka
Programme Director, VILLUM FONDEN
+45 20 14 05 45