The financial crisis of the last decade, along with the current COVID-19 pandemic have turned job find to a challenging riddle by constantly creating new obstacles. At the same, the ever increasing qualification of the candidates, generates high competition that demands, especially from the youth, constant alert and update: The best ally of young people amidst this situation, is not other than the development of their soft skills.
Soft vs Hard Skills
At this point, we should clarify the difference between “hard” and “soft” skills.
- Hard skills derive from highly specialised knowledge which is acquired through academic courses. Such skills may include medical and legal practices, mechanics, informatics, architecture and practically anything that requires a degree. Therefore, a person with no official certification on such skill, is automatically put out of competition in comparison to those who do.
- Soft skills on the other hand refer to inherent human capabilities which are whether inherited or developed through practice, instead of being acquired in an academic setting. Such skills may include communication, problem solving, teamwork, negotiation, decision making etc. For these skills, no official certification is required and practically everyone can “get into the game” and develop them.
Overview of the project
The See First project aims at the development of soft skills focusing on people aged mainly 18 to 28 who are recent graduates and seek their first employment. Through this upskilling, the aspiring job seekers are expected to significantly increase their competitiveness in the job market and stand out both during an interview, as well as in their future work environment. Of course, the project can also benefit people who already have a job but still want to upgrade their soft skills in order to evolve professionally. Finally, it recommended for adult educators who can incorporate the project’s methodology and learning tools into their curricula.
Transversal Skills Genie
The project’s main output will be an online learning platform through which learners will be able to:
- Discover through a targeted assessment quiz their current soft skills level and the skills that they need to improve the most.
- Access a free e-learning programme which, based on the results of the assessment quiz, offers a tailor made curriculum.
- Benefit from the practical and fun activities of the material which through targeted gamification methods will offer a successful job find thanks to the learner’s upgraded soft skills.
The Transversal Skills Genie will be completely free of charge for all interested parties and will also be accompanied by a research on the most popular soft skills jn today’s job market.
The training material
After the project’s consortium conducted a survey on more than 150 job seeking graduates and more than 200 company representatives, it was found out that 9 soft skills stood out clearly as the most important ones, according to the aspect of both sides. The SEE FIRST project will therefore will focus on the upgrade of these 9 soft skills which are:
1) Verbal Communication
2) Active Listening
7) Decision Making
8) Logical Thinking
9) Attention to Detail
The project’s training material will be more focused on practice than theory, and will consist of activities, called Goal Cards, which through fun and original practical games will train the learner’s soft skills, providing a first hand experience on how it feels to control them to your advantage. Goal Cards will cover a wide range of activities such as:
- Choose your own adventure scenarios
- Role Playing games
- Challenge based tasks
- Dialogue based interactions
- Self-reflection missions for everyday life
- Daily tasks
- Team games
- Ethical dilemmas
Each Goal Card will be whether for one or multiple learners and ideal both for an official classroom setting as well as for unofficial learning with friends. You can find more details about the learning material by checking the project’s latest newsletter here.
The pilot testing
In order for the consortium to ensure the highest possible quality level for the project’s material before it officially comes out, it will conduct a pilot testing first. During this testing, the participants will try all the Goal Cards and will provide their feedback on their strong and weak points, after which the consortium will proceed into necessary adjustments to the Cards for maximising their impact for the learner.
The participants will be selected through an open call on the basis of a questionnaire which candidates will fill.
Through this, the consortium will spot the ones that fit best into the specifications of the project’s target group, and therefoer will possess the following traits:
- Aged between 18 and 28
- Recent high school or university graduates
- First time job seekers
There will also be given extra priority to vulnerable social groups such as migrants, disadvantaged and disabled individuals. The Pilot phase is expected to begin during May and will take place entirely online due to the pandemic’s restrictions. If you wish to take part or learn more, please contact the partner of your country.
The projects is a part of the Erasmus+ initiative and is co-funded by the European Union. Its consortium consists of 6 partner organisations coming from 5 EU countries, namely:
- Asserted Knowledge (Greece, also the leader)
- FEUZ – Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain)
- IDEC S.A. (Greece)
- CIVIC Computing Limited (UK)
- DLEARN - European Digital Learning Network (Italy)
- Emphasys Interactive Solutions Ltd (Cyprus)
If hard skills are regarded the basis of job inclusion, then soft skills are without doubt the passport for standing out in your professional sector and skyrocketing your potentials into the highest possible levels. If you want to discover more about the project, visit its website and Facebook page in order to.. see first what it has to offer you!