5-day seminar on “Inclusive Education” in ECTE

Education plays a pivotal role in shaping one’s opportunities for a successful life, particularly as the world transitions from the fourth to the fifth industrial revolution. The significance of this has become more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, as there is an increasing demand for complex digital and technological skills, with ongoing developments in new capabilities. However, the access to quality education and skills development varies widely across Europe. Disparities in educational access, experiences, and outcomes are apparent across different social groups (e.g., based on gender, ethnicity, migration history, religion, disability, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation), as well as in relation to urban and rural locations and access to digital infrastructure.

It’s worth noting that providing inclusive curricula hinges on having a diverse set of educators and school staff who are equipped with the necessary training and development. The same applies to fostering an inclusive school environment that actively combats inequity. Recognizing the evolving nature of diversity, addressing issues of discrimination and disadvantage, and challenging the assumptions and attitudes of staff are critical elements in creating educational settings that encourage a stronger sense of belonging and inclusion among students.

In such context and within the Staff Mobility Training Programme, ECTE organised a 5-day seminar with teachers from Lithuania on “Inclusive Education” (see details on our Seminars page at the following link: https://www.ecte.gr/courses/).

The theoretical part was conducted by Prof. Elias Kourkoutas (University of Crete) who gave a lecture on “Emotional reactions of teachers in critical situations and strategies to cope with difficult students” and Mr. Konstantinos Flouris who implemented a workshop with the participants on “Developing Emotional Intelligence at class and at school environment”.

The seminar was enriched by a visit to the 2nd General Lyceum of Rethymno, in which participants had the chance to meet and exchnage ideas and experiences with the teaching staff.

Empowering Youth: Unlocking Stress Management through a Transformative Workshop


In today’s fast-paced world, stress has become an integral part of the lives of many young people. Academic pressures, social expectations, and the ever-increasing demands of a digitally connected society can take a toll on their mental well-being. Recognizing the need to address this issue proactively, a transformative workshop on stress management for youth was organized, providing participants with essential tools to navigate and overcome stress effectively. The workshop was implemented by the European Center in Training for Employment, department of social innovation,  in the context of the “Art for Mental Health – Time to Breath” Erasmus+ project. The approaches that were used included:

Understanding Stress

Stress is a natural response to challenging situations, but when left unmanaged, it can adversely affect an individual’s physical and mental health. The workshop began by providing a comprehensive understanding of stress, its causes, and the impact it has on one’s overall well-being. Participants learned that stress is not an enemy but a signal that they need to address certain aspects of their lives.

Holistic Approaches

The workshop aimed to equip young individuals with various holistic approaches to managing stress. Through interactive sessions, participants explored various techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and physical activities like yoga and tai chi. These practices helped them develop a heightened sense of self-awareness and enabled them to approach stressful situations with a calm and focused mindset.

Cognitive Restructuring

Challenging negative thought patterns and replacing them with positive and constructive thinking is a crucial aspect of stress management. The workshop introduced cognitive restructuring techniques, enabling participants to identify and reframe negative thoughts that contribute to stress. Through guided exercises and group discussions, attendees learned to cultivate a positive mindset, enhancing their resilience and ability to cope with stressful circumstances.

Building a Support Network

A key takeaway from the workshop was the importance of seeking support from others. Participants learned the significance of building a strong support network comprising friends, family, and mentors who can provide guidance, empathy, and encouragement during challenging times. Group activities and discussions fostered a sense of camaraderie among the attendees, facilitating the creation of lasting connections and relationships.

Developing Resilience

Resilience, the ability to bounce back from adversity, was a focal point of the workshop. Participants were encouraged to develop resilience by reframing setbacks as opportunities for growth, cultivating a positive mindset, and maintaining a balanced perspective. They were introduced to inspiring stories of individuals who had overcome significant challenges, illustrating the power of resilience in conquering stress and achieving success.


The stress management workshop for youth provided a transformative experience, empowering participants with valuable tools and strategies to navigate the challenges of life. By fostering self-awareness, teaching holistic approaches, promoting positive thinking, and emphasizing the importance of building a support network, the workshop equipped young individuals with the skills necessary to manage stress effectively. With these newfound abilities, participants are better equipped to lead balanced, fulfilling lives, and contribute positively to society.


The online trainer: Enhancing online training Effectiveness

An online training course is onboard by ECTE, for trainers subjected to digital training methods in the context of the Erasmus plus DIGI ENERGY project. The course aims to enhance training effectiveness by embracing technological advancements and leveraging innovative approaches. It is accessible through the DIGI Energy training platform, is spanning 30 hours of learning, over four weeks. The attendance is flexible since the course is in ubiquitous form.


The course emphasizes the importance of blended learning, microlearning, gamification, and collaborative learning in creating engaging and personalized learning experiences.  In a pilot testing phase, four trainers highlighted the benefits of e-learning, including flexibility and the ability to leverage face-to-face interactions. Microlearning, with its small, easily accessible modules, is recognized as effective for learners with limited attention spans and busy schedules. Gamification techniques, such as serious games, are explored as means to increase engagement, motivation, and knowledge retention. The trainers stressed the value of collaborative learning environments and discussed the integration of online discussion forums, group projects, and virtual breakout rooms to foster peer interaction and knowledge sharing.

The KEY TAKEAWAYS from the course include:

-The importance of adapting training methodologies to incorporate digital elements and cater to diverse learning preferences.

Creating engaging interactive content, such as videos, quizzes, and simulations, was emphasized to enhance learner participation and motivation.

Exploring emerging technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and gamification to revolutionize training experiences and make them more immersive and effective.

Regular assessment of learner progress through data analytics was highlighted as a means to identify areas for improvement and personalize training approaches.

By leveraging these insights and takeaways, trainers can stay ahead in the evolving digital landscape, equip learners with the necessary skills, and enhance training effectiveness in their respective industries.


SMEs readiness for Remote Management

The Re.Ma project aims to promote the acquisition of competences of SME managers, in the adoption of remote management strategies and the use of related tools. A survey was conducted among SMEs to assess their current practices, technological capabilities, and attitudes toward remote work and management. The findings provide insights into the preparedness of SMEs for remote work and highlight areas for improvement. SMEs with strong IT infrastructure, organizational culture, employee skills and training, and management practices are more prepared for remote management.

To enable remote work and management, SMEs should invest in technological infrastructure, encourage a culture of trust, autonomy, and open communication, provide skills development, and modify management procedures. The COVID-19 epidemic has compelled SMEs to reevaluate their management tactics, with remote work and management techniques becoming increasingly common. The survey was conducted using an online questionnaire distributed to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the partners’ regions. The data collected from the survey was then analyzed to identify trends, patterns, and insights related to SMEs’ business readiness and remote management readiness. The survey aimed to assess industry representation, team structure, cultural readiness, technical readiness, strategies for equipping and educating team members, documentation of remote working procedures, and use of project management platforms.

The findings aim to inform organizations, policymakers, and other stakeholders about the current state of remote work preparedness and highlight areas where support and improvement are needed. The survey participants represented a variety of industries, including IT, business/consulting, education, retail, pharma, car leasing, toys & gaming, agrifood, renewables, and printing services. Most organizations were in Greece (43%), followed by Czechia (33%), Germany (13%), Malta (7%), and Belgium (3%). Staff size was the most common range, with 20 or more employees accounting for 57% of the responses. The current team structure was “Hybrid” (23%), followed by “Remote first” (23%), “Remote only” (20%), and “Remote allowed” (17%).

Cultural readiness for remote work was divided into four categories:

  • transparency of management/ownership with their team,
  • environment of trust,
  • transparency in communication and documentation, and
  • willingness of management/ownership to gather feedback from remote workers.

Organizations reported varying levels of readiness for remote work across four dimensions:

  • Technical readiness for remote work was assessed across three dimensions:
  • digital communication tools,
  • secure access to sensitive information, and
  • remote IT infrastructure.

Strategies for equipping and educating team members included online calls, videos, documentation, hosting better virtual meetings, setting clear expectations and goals, providing regular feedback, conducting effective training schedules, online orientation, regular check-ins or meetings, seminars, training, direct communication, access to digital collaboration tools, workshops, provision of hardware, bringing in external support, determining training needs based on team input, hands-on exercises, better documentation, face-to-face individual training, workshops, and investing in training time if allowed. The survey data from three major locations, Greece, Czechia, and Germany, revealed varying levels of response to the survey questions.

Greece had the highest representation of organizations in the survey, with 50% coming from Greece. Czechia had the highest percentage of organizations following a physical/no remote structure, while Greece had the highest percentage of organizations embracing a remote first structure. Greece had the highest percentage of organizations characterizing their cultural readiness for remote work as strong, while Germany had the highest percentage of organizations characterizing their technical readiness as strong. These findings emphasize the importance of considering regional context and differences when designing policies and support mechanisms to enhance remote work readiness among SMEs. The survey data showed that the IT industry had the highest percentage of organizations following a remote first-team structure, while the Business/Consulting industry had a more diverse distribution.

The IT industry had the highest percentage of organizations characterizing their cultural readiness for remote work as strong, while the Business/Consulting industry had a more balanced distribution. The “Other” category displayed varied responses in cultural readiness. The survey analysis revealed that SMEs in the partners’ regions exhibit a range of readiness levels for remote work. The IT industry stands out as a leader in terms of embracing remote work structures and demonstrating strong cultural and technical readiness, while the Business/Consulting industry shows a more diverse landscape with organizations adopting different team structures and exhibiting a range of readiness levels. There is room for improvement in areas such as transparency, trust, communication, documentation, and equipping team members.

Art Connects Mental Health: Workshop and Multiplier Event on Art and Mental Health

The European Centre in Training for Employment (ECTE) in cooperation with the Laboratory of Psychology & E.A. and the KEME of the University of Crete in the framework of the ERASMUS+ project “Art Connects Mental Health: a Time to Breathe”, organizes a Workshop and Multiplier Event on Art and Mental Health with the aim of training and raising awareness of those who work (teachers, social workers, psychologists, mental health specialists, special educators) with young people, adolescents and children on issues of Mental Health and Emotional Well-being.

The Workshop and Multiplier Event will take place at the Student Center “Xenia”, on 04/05/2023 at 17:30


1. “Art Connects Mental Health: a Time to Breathe”, Project Presentation: Kostas Androulakis, ECTE
2. Art-based interventions for Children & Adolescents with Psychosocial Difficulties: Indicative Interventions & Data Elias E. Kourkoutas
3. Stress Management and Enhancing Mental Resilience in Children and Adolescents, Kostis Flouris, Mental Health Counsellor

Participation is free of charge.
A certificate of participation will be issued.