They will support the Pomerania region and beyond. The Euroskills 2023, Erasmus+ InnHUB Gdańsk and Welcome Point UG projects have been launched.

Erasmus+ InnHUB Gdańsk, the EuroSkills 2023 Poland competition and the Welcome Centre UG - as many as three projects were inaugurated at a single event. They will benefit regional as well as international ventures, poles as well as visitors from abroad, entrepreneurs and their employees. On September 5th, representatives of Pomeranian higher education institutions, the city of Gdańsk and the Foundation for the Development of the Education System met at the University of Gdańsk Library to launch cooperation on projects which will have a significant impact on the region of northern Poland.

Prof. dr hab. Piotr Stepnowski

- 'I warmly welcome you to the hospitable premises of our university - a place we want to radiate to the entire academic community. We plan to use all our potential to make the most of this incredible opportunity in a way that is absolutely unprecedented in Poland and Europe. Euroskills, InnHUB Gdańsk are the points which will connect us by a high-speed train,' - opened the event, initiated by the Rector of the University of Gdańsk, prof. dr hab. Piotr Stepnowski

The ceremony took place at the University of Gdańsk Library, as this is where the InnHUB Erasmus+ Gdańsk will start operating from September 8. The facility is not, however, an exclusively European Union venture. The agreement on cooperation with the unit was signed by representatives of twelve Pomeranian universities: University of Gdańsk, Technical University of Gdańsk, Medical University of Gdańsk, Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, Academy of Music in Gdańsk, Maritime University in Gdynia, Naval Academy, Academy of Physical Education and Sport, Pomeranian Academy, Academy of Applied Sciences (State Higher Vocational School) in Elbląg, Higher School of Banking in Gdańsk, Ateneum - Academy of Applied Sciences in Gdańsk.

Rectors and Vice-Rectors of Pomeranian universities after signing the cooperation agreement.

'In the whole endeavour, the universities are like nodes that not only provide substantive support for the project but are also a certain nucleus of innovation. Cooperation with InnHUB Gdańsk is certainly a great challenge, but also an opportunity to go beyond the established framework of a university,' - said prof. Piotr Stepnowski. 

The main task of the Erasmus+ innovation centre InnHUB Gdańsk is to develop innovation in northern Poland. The unit will support entrepreneurs, companies or educational institutions in applying for funding from the Erasmus+ programme. InnHUB stands for both new further education courses and events related to raising professional competence. The cooperation with twelve Pomeranian universities is intended to provide the relevant background for these activities.

- These are not only students and employees, but also companies or local government institutions. All these elements will make it possible to create a so-called ecosystem. This ecosystem has its main goal, which is a competitive advantage - said the Rector of the Gdańsk University of Technology, prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Wilde, Chairman of the Pomeranian Voivodeship Rectors' Council.

During the ceremony, Laurence Gates handed over the act of nomination to dr Paweł Poszytek.

The ceremony at the University of Gdańsk Library also inaugurated the countdown to the Euroskills 2023 industry skills competition. As of September 5, 2022, there are exactly 365 days left until next year's edition. This is a particularly important event for our city, as it is in Gdańsk that the final of this competition will take place. 

Laurence Gates, a representative of Worldskills Europe, talked about the mission of the competition. Because of the frequent comparisons of this competition to the Olympics, the speaker mentioned the similarities between the athletes and the Worldskills participants, i.e. the many years of effort in pursuit of excellence. - 'However, there is also one difference. If a particular Olympic athlete does not do too well during a particular edition of the competition, they can try again in four years' time. By contrast, a Euroskills or Worldskills competition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,' - said Laurence Gates.

- 'Initiatives such as Euroskills help us to disenchant a certain myth circulating in Poland, that vocational education is for the inferior, who do not know what to do with themselves. In a moment, however, you will hear from our competitors that vocational skills are super, cool and fancy,' - announced the guests dr Paweł Poszytek, director of the Foundation for the Development of the Education System. Polish participants in the Euroskills competition and their coaches shared their experiences of preparing for the competition. 

The event was also accompanied by a high-quality musical setting. First, the anthem of next year's Euroskills competition by Marek Dutkiewicz and dr Paweł Poszytek was premiered, followed by a concert stage performance by Grzegorz Wilk and Ania Szarmach and her band.

photos by Alan Stocki, text Marcel Jakubowski/ Press Office UG