Reports appear fairly regularly in the media concerning the lack of tradesmen in the Netherlands and how the education system here appears to be incapable of reacting to this sufficiently rapidly.
The Flemish government recognises this issue and is now tackling the problem actively at its roots. In November 2015 the Flemish Minister of Education, Hilde Crevits, has established a framework with targets for technical education among young children.
Flanders has chosen the best product in this field via a public tender: ToolKid!
We are pleased to be able to refer you to the following press report:
“The Flemish government opts for the quality, safety and pleasure of children’s tools”
The Flemish Community Commission (VGC) in Brussels has selected the Dutch brand ToolKid for its professional children’s tools for woodwork, via an extensive public tender process. The tools are suitable for children from the age of 5 upwards and are the only brand in the world which satisfies all the stringent requirements which are set for use by this young age group. Furthermore ToolKid satisfies the strict European standards for toys in terms of materials and user safety, following thorough testing by TÜV Rheinland.
In developing ToolKid, just like in the case of quality tools for adults, attention was paid to grip, weight, form and dimensions. And – also importantly – design, 100% ergonomically designed to suit children aged from 5 to 12 years. With ToolKid, children learn while they play how to saw, drill, sand, build and screw. All reasons for the Flemish Community Commission (VGC) to finally place an order for ToolKid, via Baert NV (“Everything for the young learner”).
VGC is a government body responsible for cultural, educational and people-related materials within Brussels capital region. Its task is to develop and support an open Dutch language network of services and facilities in the fields of culture, education, health and welfare.
So the VGC undertakes initiatives, subsidises and invests in its own educational institutions, school buildings and playgrounds, community centres, youth and sports facilities, welfare work, health care, youth care and child care facilities. The first ToolKid tools will be put to use at 26 playgrounds in Brussels. These playgrounds offer maximum development opportunities for all Brussels resident children and young people. Playing and fun are combined with active stimulation for the development of language, social skills and talents.
A key priority of VGC is equal opportunity in discovering talent for everyone in the Brussels capital region. Children and young people are born to investigate things. They specialise in continually exploring their world. If an aptitude for science and technology is detected then the Flemish government follows the internationally recognised STEM methodology. That stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM also recognises this natural motivation and guides them towards further depth of knowledge, insights and quite possibly towards a future ‘STEM’ career.
And this goes further than engineers and programmers. For example it also means new techniques in agriculture and horticulture, modern apparatus in hospitals, sustainability, mobility and energy. Society needs people with a gift for mathematics, the exact sciences, engineering and technology.
In order to stimulate careers in these subjects the Flemish government is developing the STEM action plan, which the tools from ToolKid are perfectly suited for, just like for example the Techniekpact in the Netherlands. ToolKid is the ideal set of tools for getting children interested in engineering at a young age. By learning skills at a young age children will discover their talents in that area more quickly and will be inspired to choose to learn a trade. “Simple, but highly effective!”