PROFARM Influence Policy Plan in the Netherlands

Developing a different learning pathway in a different physical environment that is appropriate to the disabilities of the student.

What is your main goal in terms of policy innovation in the fields covered by the project? How do you think that present practices and procedures could improve thanks to the PROFARM project?

Innovative Learning Pathway (work based)

The major objective is to innovate the framework of secondary vocational educational training (MBO), maybe so at all levels on the location of a care farm in such a manner that students with a disability can acquire knowledge, skills and competences in order to be certified and graduated through offering this new learning pathway. The target group involves the students that as a College cannot be included to attend at regular pathways as school based education (BOL) or apprenticeship based training (BBL).

Learning environment appropriate to the learning demand

Developing a different learning pathway in a different physical environment that is appropriate to the disabilities of the student. This increases the chance the young person with a disability deserves to acquire the skills and competences necessary to enter the labour market. This will increase the chance of obtaining a (VET) qualification(s). In definition this involves students who are not indicated from Health Care (in the Netherlands we have 1 official organisation which is allowed to formally indicate), but from Education (this should be a new organisation).

This means that a student earns these skills and competences through a care company training path (work-based learning) within the framework and responsibility of a formal vocational training institute. The teachers should be trained as a trainee teacher.

Secondary Target

We want to focus  too on optimizing the current learning environment and teaching structure in the framework of a care farm, where the participants, indicated by Health Care, are better supported. These participants will also participate in the project. At the same time the vocational training ‘Health Care Company’ of  De GroeneWelle  Education Institute can be improved by reflecting this critically through the Profarm Project at glance

Several ways to Bridging the Worlds of Education and Work

We should aim that dually the Care farm / Social farm is the bridge between education and the world of work. It is clear that Social farming could be a safety and a working environment as well. A Work & Play Garden for the young person with a disability, so he is acknowledging and accepting his thresholds, to develop and accelerate on focusing on his/her talents and work skills which s/he can do. The innovation could be on top of that that the care farm is NOT the end station, but merely a temporary station, where they can grow and develop, with the main objective: Entering the labour market. Another innovation would be that the care farm (with indication) develops and/or becomes into a care farm which is self-supporting, selling products, making its own money, an entrepreneurial social farm. And what about a self-supporting social farm/(green) care community?

What are the main stakeholders to reach in order to ensure an impact at local/regional/national level?

At local / regional level: education, municipality and provinces, federation of care farms (‘de Zorgbedrijven’) and SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises).

At national level: the principal officers of education and cooperative care farms. Possibly Institutional Farms on EQF Level 1 till 4 and at Entrance Level (i.e. Certificate of Work Readiness).


How would you ensure their commitment?

Creating involvement and ownership of care farms in the implementation of the pilot is crucial. Thus, ensuring to address the right professionals in the project, with affinity for education and care and with a feel  to anticipate in a network of care farms. The Inspectorate of Education is an important partner because they have to give ‘GO – signal’ for students who do not follow a regular education route. Municipalities and counties should also be involved in the project because they monitor and follow a lot of  young people who have no qualifications and no work. Therefore it’s important that we will get into discussion with them to establish a firm cooperation. We aim to capture this in an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

GroeneWelle & St. Dutch Foundation of Innovation Welfare 2 Work, the Netherlands