The overall aim of Vocational Aqualabs was to improve VET systems in the European Aquaculture sector to ensure researchers receive continual professional development training in generic skills which would a) result in increasing the quality, attractiveness and security of research career pathways b) increase the relevancy of researchers and their research to the sector c) improve knowledge transfer to industry for exploitation contributing to a sustainable sector in Europe. 

Specific objectives

- To carry out a needs analysis of the sector in order to identify and prioritise generic skill training needs for researchers
- Define the skill gaps identified using the WAVE project methodology (competences + learning outcomes)
- Improve existing training material or develop new material where required
- Design skill delivery using a modular approach allowing adoptability within existing systems resulting in a multiplier effect
- Pilot skill delivery, assess impact and benchmark pilot training against existing national/international credit procedures 


The project was been broken down into clear tangible work packages with Work Package leaders and prescribed tasks assigned to partners in order to deliver on the overall aims and objectives of the project.

The project methodology can be summarised by the following:

  • Identifying and analysing any existing training provision and identifying targeted user requirements (Needs Analysis) (Work Package 1)
  • Selecting content to meet these requirements (Work Package 2)
  • Design Skill Delivery using a modular approach (Work Package 3)
  • Piloting skill delivery (Work Package 4)
  • Project management (Work Package 5)
  • Project promotion & dissemination (Work Package 6)

This implies:

  • Adopting WAVE methodology (i.e. using a competency and learning outcomes approach) to defining skill gaps including consultation and feedback from stakeholders.
  • Creating a new dimension to the WAVE master list of competences for Aquaculture by covering research skills compared to the existing list which is focused on the production sector.
  • Adopting and applying the findings of the EQF VALLA project (Validation of All Lifelong Learning in Aquaculture (Proj. Ref: 137860)) with regards to recognition and accreditation of lifelong learning.