Seinäjoki Joint Municipal Authority for Education consists of Vocational Education Centre Sedu and Sedu Adult Education – in short Sedu. Sedu is among the biggest vocational education and training providers in Finland.  South Ostrobothnia, with more than 208,000 inhabitants, is the sixth-largest market area in the country. The region invests heavily in technology skills as well as food industry research and development.

In the eight units of Vocational Education Centre Sedu there are some 4000 students studying for vocational upper secondary qualification and the staff of 500. Sedu provides vocational qualifications in the following study fields: Social Science, Business and Administration, Arts and Crafts, Social Services and Health, Natural Resources, Tourism, Catering and Domestic Services, Technology and Transport Sector.

Adult Education Sedu with its nearly 20 000 students and 220 staff members concentrates on adult training within the system of competence-based qualifications. Sedu works to improve the competitiveness and standard of operations of companies and other organisations by offering them tailored training and development services. Sedu also plays an important role in the integration of immigrants by providing courses in Finnish language. An important role of the centre is also to provide employment training and career guidance.  Mostly the training follows the national competence-based qualifications system but tailored courses for companies are also arranged.

We at Sedu see the creation of open and flexible learning environments and individual study paths as essential for the motivation of our students and as a key to successful learning. The same can be said of the wide range of international study opportunities

for our students and the many international opportunities for our members of staff. As an acknowledgment of excellence, Sedu recently won a national quality award from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture in 2014.

In Finland Safety and Security education (VET) started in 2001. Sedu has offered vocational qualification in this field since the beginning. Sedu has also provided adult education in Safety and Security since 1990’s. Sedu is a strong education provider in this field in the South Ostrobothnia region.

Sedu has close cooperation with local security companies and authorities. In the steering group of security education there are all the important external stakeholders involved.  This steering group aims to develop the quality of security education to match the needs of working life for example by developing curriculum. This cooperation has been successful. The effect can be seen as better quality in students´ vocational skills and as a consequence of this, the students’ employment rate has increased.

Internationalization of the qualification has been strongly in Sedu´s agenda since 2010, when we started to gather partners for international network. At that time there were only couple of VET schools in this field in Finland who had some international contacts. As a result of this work the first international project was granted to the safety and security network in 2012. Vocational Education Centre Sedu coordinated this Leonardo VETPRO project called Leonardo for Security (L4S) in 2012-2014.

The motivation for this new project raises from the lack of knowledge, skills and competences on multicultural issues in safety and security education currently provided. This is clearly a point for development and it is best worked on in international cooperation.

L4S -project was coordinated by Safety and Security lecturer Timo Paakkanen, who is also the coordinator for this new E4S-project.   The team of safety and security education teachers in Sedu will support him in embedding the new aspects to the local curriculum as well as in implementing the education itself. The coordinator has worked as a teacher in Safety and Security since 2006 and with its internationalization since the beginning (2010).  Other teachers in safety and security education have many years of experience in working in private security companies and fire department in various tasks. One of the teachers has a company which concentrates in safety training and planning.

Sedu has a team of-pedagogical and technical specialists working with skills development of teachers in relation to curricula reform. From pedagogical point of view this group will support the work of this project. The pedagogical development team has gained national acknowledgment when it was invited by National Board of Education to produce the education provider level example to a guide: Inspiring and Strengthening the Competence-based Approach in all VET in Finland – Support Material for Implementation.

The implementation of personalized learning and strong emphasis on pedagogical methods supporting the acquiring of learning outcomes in various settings are high in the agenda in Sedu.

The project will be supported also by the international services of Sedu. The Manager of International Affairs has experience on international education cooperation since 1998.  She is also a member of the ECVET Expert team of Finland.  Sedu has acted both as a sending and as a receiving partner in student and staff exchanges since 1996. Sedu is also working with several Erasmus+ KA2 as well as ESF projects. As a proof of successful international work Sedu received Erasmus + VET Mobility Charter in 2015 (2015-1-FI01-KA109-009223).

Secretary in charge of the financial tasks of the project administration, Ms Marjatta Hautala, has a long and successful work history in carrying out her job with international projects.

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