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
3) Negotiation
4) Collaboration
5) Reliability
6) Respectfulness
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 Consortium

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:

 

 

In Conclusion

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!

 

The present connected society is full of promises but the online world also brings dangers related to cyberbullying, social exclusion, fraud, false information, and many other potential problems. In general population is aware of these risks, as outlined but a recent study from European Parliament on Cybersecurity, where an 86 % of Europeans feel increasingly exposed to the risk of falling victim to cybercrime. The same document states that, in some Member States, 50% of all committed crimes are cybercrimes.


Pegaso Online University has created the School of Urban and Environmental Regeneration, with the aim of training professionals in the field of planning and management actions related to the intervention on the city, the environment and the territory, with particular attention to the issues of sustainability and regeneration. The development of today's cities, with their problems of degraded neighborhoods, under-utilized areas and abandoned buildings, is closely linked to the ability to reinvent the use of space, connecting different interests and opportunities but also involving specialized and diversified skills. There is an increasing demand of these skills, both in the field of professions and in public and private organisations.

It is almost impossible to imagine our world today without the thousands of images that reach us daily. From an advertising spot to ad on the street, or even a photo on Facebook or Instagram, audiovisual communication invades us in different formats and through all kinds of channels. Every day we receive memes on our mobile phones, download videos or use podcasts, without even being aware that we are using a new language that has entered fully into our lives and that, most importantly, is here to stay.

But are we able of generating our own audiovisual content? Do we know how to create, share or understand how these messages work? Are we trained to extract all their potential?

Smartphones, tablets, notebooks, computers… are tools that can provide and support people to live their lives better, but there are skills and competences needed to really seize all their potential. There are some illustrative statistics, outlining that:

  • 80% of Internet traffic is video consume,
  • 10 million videos are watched in Snapchat every day,
  • more and more companies, public bodies and other institutions are basing their communication and marketing actions on audiovisual elements (videos, infographics, images, illustrations…),
  • but not only them, but also people make their own creations (videos, gifs, memes….) to express their ideas, enjoy or even ask for a job (e.g. through video curriculums or infographicCVs).


Empowering European adults to understand, create and share audiovisual messages and stories

The Com ON project seeks to provide a training programme to empower European adults to unleash their potential and be active part of this reality. The Com ON training will make them able to understand, create and share audiovisual messages and stories by:

  • offering an integrated and innovative programme that boosts adult collective digital socialization and inclusion,
  • favouring the developement of a social competence (communication as basic soft-skill), but also creativity and critical thinking,
  • promoting digital literacy skills, corresponding to the EC DIGCOMP framework for digital competences. More precisely, the project results take into account this reference on the area of Digital Content Creation (Area 3), and 2 of the key competences included in this area: to create and edit digital content in different formats, to express oneself through digital means; Integrating and re-elaborating digital content: to modify, refine, improve and integrate information and content into an existing body of knowledge to create new, original and relevant content and knowledge,
  • reducing the existing inequalities for this target group to access and actively participate from the new technologies in non-formal education.


The ability to understand, in a critical and informed way, as well as to express oneself and share audiovisual messages, is directly related to media literacy and the ability to actively participate in the digital world. And Com ON partners want to support adult learners in Europe to do so.

 

Com ON is an ERASMUS PLUS KA2 action, supported by the European Commission.

More information about the project can be found at www.comon-project.eu

Follow us in social media to support our initiative.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectComON

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/comonedu

 

A major policy and social challenge in the European Union is the ageing of the population, and the need to ensure quality Long Term Care for the increasing numbers of dependent young and older citizens. A family caregiver is “anyone, women or men, who is not a professional caregiver but, by default or choice, cares for a dependent person in his/her immediate circle” (European Charter for Family Carers). Family carers across the EU provide over 80% of all care, with women providing approximately two thirds of care, often at the expense of their own personal, family and/or work life (European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Vienna, 2010).

“Adult learning: it is never too late to learn” communication from the EC outlined that adult learning is a key issue to handle as the “essential contribution of adult learning, through the acquisition of key competences by all, to employability and mobility. Aligned with this idea, Eurostat recent data1 on “Adult Learning Statistics” remarks the fact that “adults with a low level of educational attainment and a lack of skills are more likely to earn lower than average wages and are more vulnerable to the precarious nature of the labour market. These individuals often suffer from a lack of basic skills that are increasingly considered as essential for a modern-day economy: literacy, numeracy and technological skills (‘digital literacy’).”

Within this context, the App4Skills project was designed to contribute to the development of adult learners´ basic skills (mainly numeracy, literacy and digital skills) through the implementation of a set of proposed activities. The core approach of App4Skills has to do with the use of a webapp that offers adult learners the opportunity to engage on leisure activities in three specific areas: cooking, gardening and environment protection, and DIY – “do it yourself” and handcraft.

More than 60 activities on those areas are published, based on 3 levels of difficulty. Each activity is explained in a step-by-step format, and includes reference to the specific area, competence(s) addressed, language, difficulty level, additional examples and estimated implementation time. Users can select the preferred area, language and activity, and respond to the proposed challenges to gain points in an international competition. The best performers are listed in the leaderboard section. But App4Skills counts on also with some interesting features. Users can rate activities, share them through the social media, take the challenge or add their own activities. The webapp is a very versatile tool that can be used both by the professionals that work in adult education, who can use it to reinforce in a playful way the knowledge and competences they work with in their classes; as well as for those adults who wish to improve their basic skills on their own. App4Skills webapp contributes to:

  • Improve creativity, solve real problems in different contexts and develop in students the ability to create new activities and share relevant ideas.
  • Improve the perception of adults towards the learning of math, improve their literacy skills and promote their digital skills.
  • Prepare adults for continuous and autonomous learning, developing critical thinking, and promoting equity, social cohesion and an active citizenship.

The tool, which is free, was tested by more than 30 adult trainers and more than 120 adult learners in the project partners´ countries. This testing phase provided very useful feedback, so improvements are implemented in the final version. App4skills final webapp is available in 5 languages (English, Spanish, Italian, Finish, Turkish and Polish) at http://app4skills.fundacionjuandelostoyos.org from August 2019.

Get to know the project and follow the social media for news and updates:

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Migration in the EU has been rapidly growing in recent times, especially in light of the troubled political situation in the Middle East and Asia. Thus, it is of great importance to provide tools to support the integration of migrants and refugees arriving in Europe. Language learning is one of the key priorities of successful integration. Mobile applications are an effective educational source that can be specifically targeted at migrants and refugees, as a considerable percentage of them are digitally literate, own smartphones and are looking for new opportunities online in their host countries.

Linguistic adaptation is a central theme in the different stages of education, but especially in secondary education and initial vocational training. Improving the linguistic adaptation process of immigrant students can contribute to improving not only academic outcomes but also social inclusion, both within and outside the center. However, it requires the design of suitable environments and teachers prepared to face the challenges of multilingualism, which are summarized in:

mercredi, 27 décembre 2017 15:54

DQ-SKILLS for Digital Citizenship

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In the last decades we have seen a transformation of our reality, each day more and more influenced and linked to the digital world. No one doubts that we are experiencing a profound change that, supported by new technologies in a massive way, offers us great opportunities and challenges.

We could say that mobile devices and the internet have been the two key elements that - as the printing appearance caused, or later other mass media, such as radio or television - reaches absolutely all the spheres of our lives: communication, information, entertainment, commerce, the provision of education, health and government services, and the production systems themselves. These elements not only provide new tools, but also influence our position in the world, in our role as citizens.

Thus, although the concept of "digital citizen" was initially created to define those people who were active on the Internet and who used it to interact with their public administrations or collaborate with social and political entities, this idea become obsolete, and it is now clear that digital citizenship is no longer a matter of choice, but there is a digital space in which all citizens must be present.

EILEEN stands for Enhancing Intercultural Learning in European Enterprises. EILEEN is a 2-year project funded by ERASMUS+, which seeks to promote intercultural competences and a welcome culture in enterprises. The EU is making significant efforts to eliminate the barriers to labour mobility. However, most of the enterprises in European countries do not necessarily have the essential intercultural know-how for receiving employers with a different cultural background. At the same time, often the foreign employees are not ready to face the challenge of working in a different country, and encounter difficulties in identifying the new cultural paradigms, accepting the differences and acquiring cultural knowledge.

The “Combat Bullying: A Whole School Program” (ComBuS) project aims to promote learning (face-to-face plus online and mobile methodologies, tools and activities) on how to combat bullying and create healthy and safe school communities for students, teachers, school staff, school leaders and parents.

The project is aimed to define an European pathway on rural women entrepreneurs that improves entrepreneurial skills and competences empowering women of rural areas.

Europe has achieved gender parity in education attainment, but women still remain under-represented in key, growth-enhancing fields of education such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Labour markets also exhibit many “gender gaps”. Women are less likely to work for pay, and are more likely to have lower hourly earnings, do more unpaid housework than men. The proportion of female entrepreneurs, at 33% (Labour Survey 2013) (30% in start-ups), is some way short of optimum and most women still do not consider entrepreneurship as a relevant career option. The implementation of European directive on self-employed women should remove a major barrier to female entrepreneurship. But the difference still.

LLWINGS aims at promoting a new vision of school as the bridge to lifelong learning and active citizenship, through a focus on learning-to-learn competences and joy to learn as the very WINGS for lifelong learning.

LLWings in particular aims to support teachers as the leading actors of bottom-up school innovation in translating the "learning to Learn" goal into practice and daily enhance joy and motivation to learn among their students. This was done by identifying and promoting those teacher competences which are key to transform school in a learning environment built around the learner and open to the territory and its non-formal and informal learning opportunities, so to make the learning process meaningful and relevant, and its sense "owned" by the student.

This project aimed at organisations from the Employability sector and the Adult Education/Training sectors. The project provided information on how to engage with and support Ethnic Minority groups and Migrants into employment through job shadowing, work placement, employer engagement and vocational language training and employability skills development. The results included a Research Report from each partner country detailing target groups and employment sectors; examples of the transferred materials from the project (Skills Audit Toolkit, Vocational Language Course, Study Skills Course, Empowerment Course and Equipped For the Future Course);feedback from beneficiaries and trainers. The products from the project will be integrated into core activities of partner organisations.

The REINICIAL project offers tools for supporting unemployed people +45 years old and educational resources for training professionals who work in outplacement, job insertion and training programs devoted to this collective. The project’s aim is to transfer best practices about labour insertion for workers and professionals over 45 years old that have lost their job: the so called “senior” group.

The project takes as starting point what have been learnt in previous experiences to outplace unemployed senior professional and workers to build on a methodological approach grounded on knowledge about the problems and needs to be addressed in the process of outplace the group of Senior people

vendredi, 27 novembre 2015 13:26

InRuTou | Innovation in Rural Tourism

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InRuTou aims at developing and testing a set of tools and innovative models for facilitating the development of sustainable tourism in rural areas, specifically in mountainous regions, by fostering a community consultation process, and for training selected opinion leaders to act as multipliers in enhancing community tourism planning via training existing and new local tourism operators, with various degrees of experience, professional and educational background.

Farm Inc. addresses the issue of competiveness at farm level and aims to strengthen the competitiveness of agricultural SMEs as well as to improve the quality of continuous vocational training and the acquisition of skills for the agricultural sector. More specifically, Farm Inc. introduces the concept of an innovative marketing strategy to the agricultural community (farmers and farmer associations) in order to increase the bargaining power of small producers in the existing food chain and to open new market possibilities.

mercredi, 14 octobre 2015 12:24

Bazaar - Learn and Exchange at the Market Place

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The main aim of Bazaar is to promote language learning and at the same time the exchange experiences, knowledge and ideas amongst adult learners with a migrant background. Bazaar stands for ‘Learn and Exchange at the Market Place’ and is co-funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission.

The educational approach is based on the key concepts of learner centricity; informal learning; learning embedded in everyday contexts; social inclusion, community and citizenship. By these means Bazaar tries:

The PLENTIS project is developing a set of online educational minigames on the topic of agricultural entrepreneurship, in order to develop the entrepreneurial skills and competences of vocational students.

According to the Lisbon Strategy, one of the 8 key competences is the ability for entrepreneurship. As entrepreneurship cannot be identified as one competence, but as a set of competences, the PLENTIS project aims to develop an online educational platform, which is basically a gamified competence development land (literally), with actual content (knowledge base) and individual games to help teachers and students develop those skills and competences essential for entrepreneurship.

The Plentis project is funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus + programme. The project started in September 2014 and lasts for 2 years. The main field of the project is to develop an online game based learning platform and a supporting teachers’ handbook in the topic of agricultural entrepreneurship development.

The CommonS project aims at the development of Common Spaces, an international co-learning and e-mentoring Community of Practice (CoP) dedicated to improving the employability skills and work opportunities of participants and reducing the gap existing between the academic world and the labour market, by means of appropriately remixed and localised OERs, i.e. Open Educational Resources freely available to everyone.

vendredi, 17 avril 2015 14:47

NOBOMA - Competences of elderly care takers

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More transparency of qualifications / competences is an essential component in the efforts to adapt education systems in the EU to the need of the knowledge society as well as the necessity of more and better employment in the job market “Europe”.

jeudi, 09 avril 2015 13:18

TANDEM NOW

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In many European countries migrant youths or young people from ethnic minorities do not have any role models in future-oriented fields throughout their job careers, neither within their families nor in their social contexts. If at all, they tend to take up traditional job trainings and jobs, as they and their families do not consider other options for various reasons.

Therefore it is considered crucial to offer youngsters mentors from their own ethnic communities who accompany them on their way to a successful VET and job career. Mentors are meant to support these youngsters as a role model in the education and training phase which is vital for their future career. It is considered crucial to offer youngsters mentors from their own ethnic communities who accompany them on their way to a successful VET and job career.

Europe’s ageing population has a wealth of knowledge and experience that should be harnessed to benefit future generations; however this is at risk of being lost as older people face social exclusion. Part of Europe’s 2020 Strategy seeks to address this issue by focusing on the sustainability of knowledge and experience. This strategy is relevant to all sectors of our society.

European Public Employment Services (PES) are key agents in supporting Europe’s strategic goal of high levels of employability during a period of economic turbulence and demographic change. The increased demands on these public services have precipitated a need for transformation and continuous development. For managers and practitioners to perform successfully in their job and to support their own, and their clients’/claimants’, career adaptability and resilience, they each need to acquire a set of new transversal skills and competencies, as well as embed a professional culture of continuous improvement.

samedi, 14 février 2015 11:45

#Uptake_ICT2life-cycle

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The strategic partnership will promote actions, at a national and international scale with the purpose of building contents, digital instruments and analyzing the impact of ICT in a global world. It will pay special attention to learners that have never used the Internet and with disadvantaged backgrounds. It aims to help people facing the process of civilizational change (social, political, economic, and cultural) and, consequently, to shape the needs of future generations.

dimanche, 01 février 2015 11:32

EMPOWER Migrants

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The MIGRANTS+ project aims at developing lifelong learning opportunities for adult emigrants in basic skills, developing the skills of training staff, administrative staff, who frequently deal with migrants, support staff of NGOs how to facilitate personal development and enhance the learning opportunities of migrants, enhance active participation of migrants in the host societies as equal members and preventing their marginalisation.

MIGRANTS+ has adapted and further developed the software tool produced by the FIL Leonardo project, which detects learning needs in basic skills such as numeracy, ict, use of internet, communication skills, human relations, occupational health and proposes users individualised training curricula. It has developed tests (pools of questions and respective set of curricula) for further skills, as language literacy (CZ, DE, EL, FR, IT, PL, TR), legislation (civil rights, employment laws and social security), knowledge of the culture of hosting country.

dimanche, 01 février 2015 11:32

IDOL - International Development Officer

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An increasing number of VET teachers/trainers work as developers or project coordinators of transnational project work. They need more competence in the field of international projects planning, implementation and evaluation, but most of all a validation system recognising their competence and experience. A large part of this is acquired through non formal or informal learning. We seek to recognise and accredit this learning by creating an integrated European system.

mardi, 06 janvier 2015 11:32

New Teachers for New Competences

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Tools to help the teachers to develop, mobilize and valorize the transversal competences in their learners requested by the companies acquired through informal learning. The project aims to develop a teaching tool that should help teachers to transfer tacit competences to VET students in accordance with the requirements of the industry in order to facilitate their access to the labour market. The focus is made on transversal competences.