The Basque Government has quickly reacted to the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the VET system is highly involved in the strategy against the virus: reinforcing the educational system, supporting the SMEs and the health sector, and using the potential of the international cooperation.
The European Commission has already highlighted the Basque VET proactivity and commitment under a report published by the European Commission.
In cooperation with the region's VET centres, TKNIKA, the Basque VET Research Centre, is producing protective masks in response to the call by the Basque Health Service to help health workers to better protect themselves. Based on a prototype developed by the Basque working group COVID-19, VET centres are making use of modern 3-D printing technologies to make the masks in record time.
The Basque VET system is also working on designing an Arduino-controlled ventilator prototype and using 3D printing for it to be used in the hospitals’ intensive care units. These kind of initiatives are possible thanks to the European Commission's agreement to make freely available European standards for medical supplies to facilitate the increase of production.
Also, the Basque vocational education & training centres are supporting their productive environment, mainly of SMEs and MicroSMEs, in terms of their production and productive processes.
Furthermore, the Basque VET centres are handing over their healthcare material (used for VET healthcare courses and specialisation), to different hospitals, and the Basque VET Department has also received a request from the Chilean Ministry of Education to support the training of 50 teachers in remote teaching and learning.