EPRALIMA_Escola Profissional do Alto Lima, C.I.P.R.L. (Vocational Training School)

 

 

The Ministry of Education homologated EPRALIMA in 1999, as a private non-profit organization that provides vocational training at various European levels (level II, IV and V). It is based on a cooperative regime, which has the Lima Valley defined as its geographical area of influence, and includes promoting institutions that are deeply solidified within the social, economic, cultural and local levels, namely: the Municipal Councils of Arcos de Valdevez and Ponte da Barca, the Northwestern Agricultural Mutual Credit Bank, the Commercial and Industrial Association of Arcos de Valdevez and Ponte da Barca, Artelima_Alto Lima’s Academy of Arts and the Arcuense Heritage Study Group.

 

 

Epralima is composed of three branches: the head-office in Arcos de Valdevez, a branch in Ponte da Barca and a branch in Ponte de Lima; a Skills Assessment Centre which recognizes, validates and certifies skills giving individuals an opportunity to receive equivalency to grades, 4, 6, 9 and 12; and finally a Technical Centre which elaborates transnational and communitarian projects. Considering that EPRALIMA is an organization which strives towards quality, a system of quality, based on ISO 9001:2000, was implemented and the school has been certified since December 2007, acquiring its certification seal by the Portuguese Institution of Quality, through ICC – International Company of Certification, in the ambit of “Supplying Vocational Training Services; Education and Training Courses; Vocational Training Courses and Technological Expertise.” Presently the school’s quality system is based on the new revision: ISO 9001:2008.

 

 

Its sustainability is linked to the dynamics of the Upper Lima Region, with the supreme mission of overcoming regional and sectorial needs through training. On this basis, the principles that guided the foundation of EPRALIMA, and which have constituted unavoidable alliances increasing its credibility, are based on the central assumption of the entrepreneurial tissue in the pursuit of competitiveness, striving for the improvement of performance and productivity, as a condition of modern standards and well-being.

 

 

Associated to this desire are the concept of structural competitiveness and the clear recognition of the indelible importance of human capital. Therefore, if intangible investment is the condition of competitiveness, human resources take on a joint role in the development process of companies perceived as agents of change.

 

 

The pressing need to qualify human capital, is rooted in a closer connection between the system and the system that produces skills and the one that takes advantage of these skills (companies), thus depending on the dynamics and effectiveness of the following objectives:

 

  • Placement of the youth and adult population within the school’s area of influence;

  • Training and optimization of management at the intermediary level, which are required for local development;

  • Enhancement of the endogenous potential;

  • Revitalization of the social tissue, through equal opportunities.

 

 

 

Thus, Epralima has based its developmental strategy on preparing youths and adults for the exercise of qualified professions, by developing mechanisms that create closer ties between schools and economic institutions, as well as professional and cultural associations, within the social tissue, in the name of achieving an integrated and entrepreneurial qualified training project, which meets the integrated developmental needs of the country, particularly at the regional and local levels.

 

 

The foundation of Epralima is based on the history and assumptions of its social project, which has established relationships with the community - particularly with the world of business and labour, coming together to consolidate a project primarily devoted to the development of its region. Epralima has guided its development according to the following strategies:

 

  • Prepare youths and adults towards the exercise of a qualified profession;

  • Develop mechanisms in which Epralima and the local economic, professional and cultural institutions and associations can create better relationships;

  • Provide trainees with professional experience and contact with the labour market, preparing them for an adequate socio-economic insertion;

  • Promote, in conjunction with other local agents and institutions, the accomplishment of a training project for qualified human resources that responds to the developmental needs integrated in the country, particularly at the regional and local levels;

  • Provide youths with general, scientific and technological training, solid enough to prepare them for the workforce and post-secondary education.

 

 

All this effort, that includes specific training activities and an important set of social intervention, education and business initiatives and projects, has found its natural counterpart within the receptivity that we have enjoyed, in finding that our actions have benefited, in an exemplary manner, in recent years, an increasing demand for Epralima’s services.

 

 

Therefore, Epralima’s capacity to contribute towards the preparation of applications is based on the fact that over the years it has affirmed itself as a local development and business oriented entity. Its contribution derives from its core interventions, which passes through the following:

 

  1. Development of a partnership working culture at the local, regional, national and community levels;

  2. Development of innovative actions through the training and promotion of social and business innovation;

  3. Development of integrated business and the social tissue support;

  4. Dissemination of lifelong learning culture for active citizens (employed and unemployed).

 

 

As a result, Epralima possesses the following qualifications:

 

  1. Carryout needs assessment and market studies;

  2. Design technical and pedagogical resources to support training;

  3. Develop various types of training for various target audiences;

  4. Evaluate training and non-training interventions;

  5. Design, implement and promote technological platforms to support the development of interventions;

  6. Manage projects and partnerships.

 

 

Finally, derived from its experience, "core business" and skills, Epralima is able to contribute its expertise in project activities, due to the fact that it holds:

 

  1. A broad knowledge of the context in which it operates and has close relationships with the target-groups;

  2. Ability to promote the encouragement of networks and the mobilization of different organizations in favour of the objectives to be achieved;

  3. Experience in the development of Work Packages at various levels: management, assessment, diagnosis, design and implementation.

 

 

Competitive advantage is the most appropriate term that justifies Epralima’s interest in project participation, because in order to be distinguished and recognized as a reference point, Epralima must permanently invest in attracting youths and adults, within its geographical context. In this sense, the social and entrepreneurial interventions which Epralima has exercised throughout its existence derive mainly from its ability to interpret the community’s principle needs. As a result, Epralima has pursued a rigorous action strategy, in conjunction with the region’s main development agents, conceiving the establishment of multi-sector partnerships and encouraging the immersion of a collaborative culture based on the assumption of real Strategic Network Cooperation. This attitude has provided Epralima with the ability to assert itself within a territory that insists on the enhancement of endogenous resources and gambles on centralized attractive factors as skills and as a brand name.

 

 

Epralima’s participation is perceived as an opportunity to transfer information and share knowledge, leading to a genuine process of organizational learning, useful for strengthening the region's needs with appropriate solutions, which enhances the competitive advantage of Epralima. On the other hand, as well as the possibility of creating networks for project implementation, Epralima will be able to develop its work in a highly competitive and innovative environment giving important inputs for the improvement of its organizational performance. In fact, apart from important sources of information, research and access to elements that lead to new methods and dynamic processes, are also important catalysts for technological development, space-saving (the promotion of synergies), and optimization of resources that may lead to important gains.

 

 

Project participation is also a tool in which Epralima can magnify the internationalization of its knowledge, experience and potential, immersing the contributions of the social tissue of organizations and business in the development of activities. In this sense, Epralima’s Technical Centre is an important department for the implementation of innovative projects which are enhanced through the sharing of knowledge and the integration of skills and work that is complementary to the benefitting challenges regarding the process of institutional and territorial development. It is therefore a department that desires the incubation of permanent environments of institutional consultation with the local development agents in an attempt to exploit the efforts for the organization of training courses, as well as other immaterial intervention projects.

 

 

Participation in this application process symbolizes a challenge and commitment, in reference to the development of new skills and new employment opportunities, through an increase in a work culture rooted in modernity, creativity and innovation, which can lead to Epralima’s visibility, due to the excellence of its interventions that brings together all the conditions for (re)creating services, regional placements and the consolidation of qualified organizations. Thus, the development of new skills and competencies that facilitate cluster activities valuing the economic resources of the region is one way of pursuing projects, and identifies perfectly with Epralima’s mission.

 

 

Main Areas of Expertise:

 

Currently EPRALIMA offers Level II, IV and V courses through the following modalities:

 

  • Adult Education and Training;

  • Apprenticeship Courses;

  • Certified Training;

  • Continuous Training;

  • Initial Training;

  • Initial Qualification Courses;

  • Specialized Technological Training Courses;

  • Specialized Training.

 

 

These modalities include training in courses such as:

 

  • 3D Digital Design and Multimedia Technician;

 

  • Accounting and Management Technician;

  • Administrative Assistant;

  • Ceramic’s Technician;

  • Civil Construction Technician/ Construction Management;

  • Commerce, Sales and Service Technician;

  • Communication, Marketing, Public Relations and Publicity Technician;

  • Computer Equipment and Maintenance Technician;

 

  • Computer Equipment Management Technician;

 

  • Computer Science and Management Technician;

  • Computer Science Operator;

  • Computer Science Technician;

 

  • Computer Systems/Management and Programming Technician;

 

  • Cookery Technician;

  • Childhood Support Technician;

 

  • Educational Agent;

 

  • Electrical Installations Technician;

  • Electricity Operator;

  • Electronics, Audio, Video and TV Technician;

  • Environmental Management Technician;

  • Environmental and Rural Tourism Technician;

 

  • Gardening Technician;

 

  • Gas Technician;

 

  • Hairdressing Technician;

  • Handcrafts and Endogenous Products;

  • Hotel and Restaurant Management Technician;

  • Hotel Management/ Catering, Control and Organization Technician;

  • Initial Pedagogical Training for Trainers;

 

  • Library, Archive and Documentation Technician;

 

  • Marketing and Quality in Tourism;

  • Nature Guide Technician;

 

  • Project Designer;

 

  • Quality Management;

  • Receptionist Technician;

  • Renewable Energy Technician;

  • Safety and Hygiene at Work and Environment Technician;

 

  • Secretarial Technician;

  • Socio-cultural Animator/ Geriatrics Assistant;

 

  • Table/Bar Services;

 

  • Table/Bar Technician;

 

  • Tourism and Environmental Technician;

 

  • Professional in Tourism Technician;

  • Viticulture/Oenology Technician;

 

  • Web Designer.

 

 

Activities Managed:

 

Considering that Epralima has been involved in European Projects since 1998, the following is a brief description of projects, managed by Epralima, that have shaped Epralima’s performance with other organizations.

 

.In_Food Quality (Financed by the Equal Communitarian Initiative)

 

Description:

 

The intent of the IN_Food Quality project was to overcome the lack of technical qualifications inherent to the food sector, as well as the behavioural failures at motivational and communicational levels. The project was based on an integrated training strategy for food companies, flexible and adjusted to their needs, and at the same time, allowed the behavioural aspects of human resources to be improved. Thus, the training methodology of IN_Food Quality aimed to provide companies with a critical and training ability in the field of Food Hygiene and Safety (FHS). The Guidance of the European Union concerning food control is that any intervention concerning the food chain should be subjected to official control. Therefore, the project aimed to ensure that the food that reaches the consumers is safe. As a result, the agro-food sector of all the countries of the European Community should obey certain prerequisites, based on a food safety management policy. The compliance with these pre-requirements by the agro-food businesses, especially micro and small companies, still represent a common problem across Europe. Knowing these difficulties, IN_Food Quality project intended to: increase the levels of requirements in conformity with FHS among the food businesses in the different partner countries; implement and promote, in these countries, the “Safe Food Seal” as a territorial reference regarding the compliance of the requirements on FHS; provoke awareness in European consumers about the meaning of food safety. To achieve these goals, IN_Food Quality was composed by a European Partnership with partners from Germany, Bulgaria, Spain, Romania, Slovakia and Portugal. The project provided an opportunity for these organizations to exchange experiences and know-how, and to encourage the establishments of informal partnerships with other relevant companies in the sector, within their countries. IN_Food Quality has an electronic platform (web-site), with free and easy access, in order to provide information sources on FHS. Besides functioning as a support tool for the incorporation process of the IN_Food Quality products, this platform largely contributed towards the dissemination of the project and also of the activities carried out during the project’s lifecycle.

 

 

National Project Education to Entrepreneurship (financed by PRODEP)

 

Description:

 

Based on the school project that establishes the promotion of “environmental, physical and health education in a transversal perspective to all curricula, in order to sensitize the community to adopt strategies that promote conceptual changes” as a priority, ENE project focused on Environmental Awareness. Therefore, the students carried out research and worked on thematic areas, such as: the reduction of electricity consumption, paper consumption, water consumption and adoption of renewable energies and recycling or reuse of materials.

 

For the development of this project we had a partnership with local entities and authorities, such as: Municipality of Arcos de Valdevez, Municipality of Ponte da Barca, Resulima and Arealima.

 

The process of support and monitoring of the planned and implemented pedagogical devices of ENE project, in order to support mechanisms for communication, information and dissemination of the project activities’ and results, allowed us to build a strategy of continuous improvement that combines the following components: a) Methodology of Dissemination – products, practices, solutions and consolidated experiences; b) Monitoring of the implementation of answers, solutions, products and organizational practices of educational management resulting from the project; Strengthening of the autonomy and responsibility of the school’s key-skills, of the entrepreneurship and curricular skills, improvement of the quality of teaching and the learning process, the work processes and pedagogical management, with greater satisfaction of direct and indirect beneficiaries.

 

 

Inforadapt2Europe (Financed by the Sectorial Programme Leonardo da Vinci – TOI)

 

Description:

 

Inforadapt2Europe is a project designed for the diffusion and transfer of the products that resulted from the original project developed within the scope of the Equal Communitarian Initiative, in 2001, called Inforadapt_Inform, Train and Adapt companies towards Hygiene and Safety at Work. The main objective of the Inforadapt2Europe project was to improve the work conditions through the increase of employers’ and workers’ abilities and skills in the application of HSW, which is considered the key problem of the partner countries, concerning the improvement of working conditions. In September 2009, Inforadapt products were incorporated in the daily practice of 60% of the partners through the incorporation of the products developed under the “Inforadapt_Informar, Formar e Adaptar as Empresas para a HST” (Inform, Train, Adapt companies towards HSW). The development of the project was based on the HSW transfer process of transfer of products, since HSW is a transversal area that covers all sectors of economic, social and educational life. The transfer of the products was not focused on a particular sector, but concerned with a dimensional component in a geographic level, based on the specific needs of each partner. The transfer strategies of the products are highlighted by the incorporation of these within the training institutions and the adjustments implemented in new companies in others countries. The target group of this project are companies that aimed to: have access to HSW information; increase their knowledge in HSW; consolidate the knowledge of entrepreneurs in reference to adjustments or changes to the organization’s working process with the implementation of HSW; train internal trainers in HSW; incorporate/improve/update modules or specific content of HSW for the training courses curriculum, especially in areas with higher risk of accident; required use of content/tools/methods of training, adaptable to each sector and specificities of the target group. The following are the developed and incorporated products: an Awareness Program; a Digital Knowledge Centre; a Training Pack; a Consultancy/Implementation Plan.

 

 

EUROCAP Pilot Project (Financed by the Sectorial Programme Leonardo da Vinci – Innovation Pilot Project)

 

Description: this project allowed the following results to be achieved:

 

· Creation of new training devices for sandwich training of assistants for European development,

 

SMI/ SME;

 

· Analysis of companies’ needs;

 

· Definition of new professions;

 

· Conception of training adapted to new profiles.

 

 

COMPETITOR Pilot Project (Financed by the Sectorial Programme Leonardo da Vinci – Innovation Pilot Project)

 

Description: The intention of this project was to create a system of recognition and certification of skills acquired in parallel to the one offered by the school, for workers in the areas of electronics, electricity and mechanics.

 

 

CRAL Pilot Project (Financed by the Sectorial Programme Leonardo da Vinci – Innovation Pilot Project)

 

Description: The result of this project led to the creation of a Resource Centre for foreign language learning.

 

 

CEDAM Pilot Project (Financed by the Sectorial Programme Leonardo da Vinci – Innovation Pilot Project)

 

Description: This project was intended to create Educational Centres in Environmental Companies, PNPG – Preservation of Nature.

 

 

CETURLIMA – Centro de Estudos Turísticos do Alto Lima (Financed by Operational Programme of the North Region)

 

Description: This project aimed towards the implementation of the following goals:

 

  • Investigate, collect and systematize bibliographic elements and records of the oral tradition, guided towards the creation of a database and a substantial information network on tourism.

  • Appreciate and promote the specificity of Lima Valley’s tourism heritage which is susceptible to the redefinition of Cultural excursions.

  • Create a mediating and catalyst space for information and tourism documentation that provides services for the economic, social and cultural agents of the region.

  • Provide the Lima Valley with a set of technical and human resources directed towards tourism development through proper promotion of its endogenous potential.

 

 

INFORADPT_Informing, training and adapting companies to SHW (Financed by the Equal Communitarian Initiative)

 

Description:

 

This project was based on pursuing of the following activities

 

- Creation of a Technical Centre;

 

- Creation and implementation of a digital library;

 

- Creation and implementation of a web site;

 

- Implementation of awareness initiatives on SHW;

 

- Conception of training plan;

 

- Training for trainers.

 

 

In_Food Quality (Financed by the Sectorial Programme Leonardo da Vinci – TOI)

 

Descritpion:

 

Disseminate good practices in the area of ​​food safety and hygiene, as well as overcoming the gaps in this area, in order to foster the sharing of knowledge at a European level.

 

 

In addition to the above mentioned projects, the following table shows Epralima’s experience in previous European Projects.

 

 

Year

Programme

Type of activity

Title of the project / network

Contracting organisation

2005

Leonardo da Vinci Programme

VETPro (Vet Professionals)

Challenges

EPRALIMA

2005

Leonardo da Vinci Programme

IVT (Initial Vocational Training)

GO! Leonardo Project for training in Europe

EPRALIMA

2005

Equal

Adaptability

IQA_Inovar para a Qualidade Alimentar

EPRALIMA

2006

Socrates Programme

Scholarship Development Project

Chances Égales pour Tous

Grupul Scholar Ilie Murgulescu

2006

Leonardo da Vinci Programme

IVT (Initial Vocational Training)

Work in Europe

EPRALIMA

2006

Equal

Transnational Cooperation Agreement

NAIF_Network in the Agrofood Innovation Fostering Local Development

EPRALIMA

2006

Equal

Transnational Cooperation Agreement

LLINO_Lifelong Learning in Organizations

EPRALIMA

2007

Leonardo da Vinci Programme

Transfer Of Innovation

Inforadapt2Europe

EPRALIMA

2007

Leonardo da Vinci Programme

IVT (Initial Vocational Training)

Europe in my Hand

EPRALIMA

2007

Leonardo da Vinci Programme

VETPro (Vet Professionals)

Equal Opportunities

EPRALIMA

2008

Long Life Learning Programme

Transfer Of Innovation

In_Food Quality

EPRALIMA

2008

Leonardo da Vinci Programme

IVT (Initial Vocational Training)

Discovering Europe

EPRALIMA

2009

Leonardo da Vinci Programme

IVT (Initial Vocational Training)

Europracticum

EPRALIMA

2009

Leonardo da Vinci Programme

VETPro (Vet Professionals)

Learning with the Difference

EPRALIMA

2010

Leonardo da Vinci Programme

IVT (Initial Vocational Training)

Highway to Europe

EPRALIMA

2010

Leonardo da Vinci Programme

VETPro (Vet Professionals)

Challenge Differences to Make the Difference”

EPRALIMA

2010

GRUNDTVIG

Learning Partnerships

Engaging the Learner”

Bumps Babes and Beyond C.I.C.

2011

Comenius

Comenius

Digital Story Telling

Nesodden Videregaende Skole

2012

Comenius

Multilateral School Partnerships

Blue Ribbon’ – European waterways as cultural infrastructures

 

Istituzione Scolastica Superiore "Polo Valboite" Liceo Scientifico - Liceo Artistico

2012

LEONARDO DA VINCI

Partnerships

iVOC – international supporting network for vocational and academic guidance staff

 

August Horch Akademie GmbH

2012

LEONARDO DA VINCI

IVT (Initial Vocational Training)

Europike_Turning Vocational Training into Opportunitties for Younths

EPRALIMA

2012

LEONARDO DA VINCI

Transfer Of Innovation

EUKCEM_European Knowledge Center for Mobility

Associazione Centro Studi Città di Foligno

2013

LEONARDO DA VINCI

VETPro (Vet Professionals)

"EUROREC_Pro_Recognition of Professional Qualifications within the European Union"

Epralima

2013

LEONARDO DA VINCI

PLM (People in the Labour Market)

"EU Career_ Becoming Active in the Professional Entrepreneurial World"

Epralima

2013

LEONARDO DA VINCI

Multilateral Project Development of Innovation

TECRINO-Teaching creativity in engineering

RTD Talos

2013

Grundtvig

Learning Partnerships

Learn to learn for adults Returners

LIETUVOS SUAUGUSIUJU SVIETIMO ASOCIACIJA

2013

Grundtvig

Workshops

"Literacy, Adult Education and Citizenship" -

Epralima