Portugal: rural economy qualifications

The Confederation of Portuguese farmers (CAP) carried out a study to identify the necessary key competences and skills for the development of the agricultural sector, and create new, or critically review and update existing, qualifications standards in the national qualifications catalogue (CNQ).

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In March 2020, a final diagnosis report of the necessary skills and competences for the rural economy was issued. In October 2020, the CAP published the final report and an executive summary of the study. The study led to the development or critical review and update of five autonomous qualifications: farming production operator (EQF 2), agricultural production technician (EQF 4), equestrian training and sport technician (EQF 4), beekeeping technician (EQF 4), and gardening and green spaces technician (EQF 4).

Apart from a literature review and statistical analysis, the study included:

  • 36 semi-structured interviews with agricultural entrepreneurs, professional schools and public entities aiming to identify the main necessary competences and skills, the dynamics of the labour market and whether the training offer is adequate;
  • 314 validated responses from an online survey on the competences and skills evolution trends in the different agricultural subsectors;
  • three focus groups with representatives of the agroforestry sector, training providers, professional schools and public entities (40 participants), which aimed to collect information and validate the performed competences and skills mapping;
  • 10 case studies (27 participants) that identified specific aspects of each qualification;
  • four workshops (29 key actors) that built and validated competence standards of the sector.

The study also included a proposal to introduce specialisation certifications in the competence standards for agricultural production operator and agricultural production technician. These have a flexible structure, consisting of a set of core (compulsory) components and two sets of optional components, which are either occupation-specific or of transversal/generic nature.

The study was conducted in partnership with the National Agency for Qualification and VET and the Institute of Social and Economic Studies, and funded by the Operational Programme for Social Inclusion and Employment (POISE).

Source: European university alliance

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