Tim spreads out wings further in Europe

Online since 23-03-2020
In a previous update, we explained the Tim Europe (Erasmus+) plan. In anticipation of the decision, the countries are already preparing in advance of an approval.
In a previous update we explained the Tim Europe (Erasmus+) plan. The project application was effectively submitted to the European Union on 20 February by five partners: Belgium, Poland, Hungary, the Netherlands and also Sweden. In anticipation of the decision, the countries are already preparing in advance of an approval. 

In order to maximise the effectiveness of Tim in Europe, several European countries have been approached to work with Tim Europe. This has led to an initial co-operation between five CLIMMAR members: Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary and Sweden. The goal is to make the available Tim Netherlands teaching materials in agricultural engineering accessible to industry and education partners in European countries. Teaching materials will be translated and learning books will be introduced in the vocational education of the countries concerned. In order to finance the translations and the European platform, Tim Europe hopes that the Erasmus+ project will be approved. 

Belgium first country to step in
The Dutch education platform Tim, Tech in Motion, has got off successfully and operates well. Teaching materials have been developed and exchange of knowledge between sector and education occurs on a daily basis. Thanks to the platform, it is possible to continue to provide companies with a constant influx of well-trained technical employees. To shape Tim's success in Europe further, a plan has been submitted on 20 February 2020 to the European Union. With the project Erasmus+, ‘Tim Europe’ hopes to receive funding to finance a four-year co-operation with several European countries. 

Partner from the very beginning is Belgium. What moves the Belgian partner to work together with Tim Europe? And how did the Belgians find Tim? It all started on the exhibition floor of the Belgian agricultural trade fair Agribex. This biennial fair is the meeting place of the entire agricultural sector in Belgium and takes place in the Expo Halls in Brussels. At the request of Fedagrim, the Belgian branch organisation and CLIMMAR member, the agricultural university Thomas More has arranged a large stand at this trade fair. A stand with live action, designed as a workplace where students show what working in agricultural mechanisation looks like. During the December 2019 edition, Tim visited the stand and met the Belgian colleagues. A good reason to enter into extensive co-operation. 

More specialised technicians required
Apart from the approval of Europe for the project, Belgium has decided to cooperate with Tim Netherlands. There are many interfaces in terms of approach and structures, which means that Tim's educational material is certainly translated into Flemish, Walloon and German. According to Rina Hulsbosch, teacher and education manager of the Thomas More university in Geel, this is a way to join forces and serve the agricultural mechanisation in every way. “The sector requires more specialised technicians. There are 700 vacancies across Belgium in this sector that companies find difficult to fill in. A co-operation with Tim Netherlands, or soon Tim Europe, will raise awareness of the sector and stimulates young people to opt for education in agricultural mechanisation”, Rina explains. 

Intensive collaboration with Tim Netherlands
Rina is Tim Europe's contact for the schools in Belgium and she sees mainly advantages of the cooperation. “Translating the text books costs some money, but it is so much more efficiently than if you have to develop good teaching material starting from scratch. We will start this up independently of the decision on the Erasmus+ project. Apart from making translations, we are going to collaborate more intensively with the Netherlands. Meetings have already been planned to discuss this in more detail and we will also be organising a Professionalisation Day for teachers together with Tim, in Belgium”, says Rina.
Hasty for translating teaching materials
Belgium is in a bit in a hurry for the Erasmus+ project. The project's approval (or rejection) will be in July of this year. Rina: “I see this decision rosy. I assume it will be approved. In any case, we must speed up the translation of the books. We hope to present the textbooks at the next edition of Agribex. So, before December 2021. That gives Tim Europe a lot of publicity and in a short time a lot of exposure among schools and in the sector.” Agribex 2021, the place to be for Tim. Nearly 100,000 visitors will soon be acquainted with Tech in Motion! 

A unique opportunity
“We see the collaboration with Tim as a unique opportunity for the sector and for education in Belgium and Europe. Appealing to more young people, more influx of personnel with - in the long term - a financial structure that can cover the costs. The four-year subsidy already gives us an enormous boost to make agricultural engineering education even more in line with practice”, Rina concludes enthusiastically.