Practice Enterprise Commerce and Trade Platform
The VETCOP project was a transnational VET software development project aiming to improve employability in the European trade sector by developing a virtual European trade platform for vocational education and training (VET). The platform provides the opportunity for international, collaborative experiences and interactions in the context of ICT-based teaching, training and learning – also known as virtual mobility. Using ICT to create a virtual mirror of the single market promotes virtual mobility and new possibilities of using multimodal learning content that meets the expectations of digital-born learners.
Further strengthening skills, qualifications and competences associated with international trade and commerce are extremely important to stay competitive and achieve success in the global market. The main objective of the VETCOP project was to enable international trade for the more than 7,000 Practice Enterprises and 200,000 students that participate in Practice Enterprise activities each year in a virtual online environment based on economic simulation as a practice-oriented learning methodology.
Participants using the project platform are able to buy and sell goods and services in the virtual marketplace and to make realistic payments through the developed credit card and banking systems that operate using real-world structures and regulations. Through work-based learning in the Practice Enterprise platform, participants acquire skills and competences matching both educational curricula and labour market needs in the field of international trade and commerce.
The consortium behind the VETCOP project involved partner organisations from Denmark, France, Spain and Germany that work with VET through different national implementations of the Practice Enterprise concept (enterprises built and operated by students). They are all members of PEN Worldwide – an umbrella Association administrating a worldwide network of Practice Enterprises based in Germany. It is an ongoing ambition for the Association to harmonize common elements of the different national implementations of the Practice Enterprise concept in order to support transnational collaboration, cooperation and hands-on interactions.
The VETCOP project encompassed a range of activities. As a software development project, these activities were mainly about the actual development of code, work packages, modules, subsystems and intellectual outputs, all of which in the end constitute the VETCOP trade and commerce platform. The development of the trade platform followed the Unified Software Development Process in combination with the agile benefits of Scrum. The main subsystems are a B2B Marketplace and a Banking and credit system.
The trade platform expands the opportunities of VET teachers to design specific educational hands-on courses and to keep these courses in line with development of international skills and the didactic principles of work-based learning. VET teachers have a new, dynamic and flexible platform through which they can ensure consistency between curricula, training methods and skills, qualifications and competencies outcomes. Participants in the training programme integrating the platform acquire valuable learning outcomes in the fields of international commerce, marketing, ICT and e-commerce that increase their mobility as well as their employability in the global labour market. The outcomes of the VETCOP project are openly available to all Practice Enterprise participants and all institutions that operate within the Practice Enterprise network.
More than 7,000 Practice Enterprises now have access to hands-on experience of simulated real-world trade on an international level. This means that instead of only mirroring trade through simulation in separate national contexts and by means of mutually incompatible systems, the VETCOP platform makes it possible for all Practice Enterprises to take part in international trade mirroring the very idea of the digital single market economy.
Further information on the Erasmus+ VETCOP Project is available at: