Report I ESSA Learning Programmes Pilots: Implementation and Evaluation

One of the key tasks of the ESSA project involves running pilot learning programmes across diverse target groups in selected partner countries, ensuring a blend of vocational education and training (VET) and higher education (HE), in collaboration with nine learning programme providing partners from public and private sectors, operating on EQF levels 4, 5, 6 and 7. The pilots aim at measuring effectiveness, gathering feedback and iterating and improving the learning programmes (including the ESSA developed materials) before a rollout across Europe.

The report discusses how these pilot programmes are being carried out in eight European countries (France, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia), from August 2023 to June 2024, evaluated, and serve as a key tool to experiment and optimise the materials developed by the ESSA Alliance.

Figure 1: Geographical representation of the pilots


Main results

The pilot phase of the ESSA project serves as a crucial testing ground for the training and pedagogical resources developed by the ESSA Alliance. The pilot phase is structured into three phases, allowing for thorough preparation at each stage to ensure effective implementation and evaluation:

PILOTS PREPARATION: The initial phase of the pilot of the learning programmes involved a comprehensive review of the available ESSA materials in collaboration with piloting partners.

PILOTS IMPLEMENTATION: The pilot phase of the ESSA project, involving 320 learners and 80 educational professionals across the eight countries, provides an opportunity to engage with learners and teachers. The implementation is flexible, taking place in various learning approaches, including VET providers, and universities.

PILOTS EVALUATION: The continuous monitoring and refining the pilot implementation is already an evaluation element and is complemented by post pilot evaluation. It aims to collect feedback from various stakeholders involved in the pilots, including students, trainers, and piloting partners.


The pilot phase is currently underway in the eight partner countries, guided by a well defined implementation plan and monitoring tools. The ESSA Alliance’s Educational Profiles and further related qualification resources, based on comprehensive research, aim to address evolving skills and employment needs in the ICT sector. The pilots involve experimentation, evaluation, and validation of these programmes and resources, with a focus on continuous improvement and future utilization. Evaluation, conducted with students, trainers, and partners, will yield a comprehensive analysis, and results will be presented at the end of the pilot phase, contributing to workforce development in the sector.

Use of this report

This report outlines the ongoing pilot phase of the ESSA learning programmes in the eight partner countries on EQF levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 and highlights the structured implementation plan with accompanying monitoringand evaluation tools. This document provides evidence of collaborative efforts in addressing skills gaps in the ICT sector and showcases how the ESSA Alliance’s needs analysis-driven educational profiles and related qualification resources are being tested and refined through the pilot phase. It will be used as a guide for analysing and concluding the results obtained by the pilot phase in 2024.