Intellectual outputs

OER Platform

The ESSENCE project has created its own OER platform which has been translated into 7 languages to reach different international target groups

Mapping

Here it is intended to link soft skills with employability. Mapping the most desirable soft skills among employers within the EU countries.

Toolkit

Training content is available (short, easy to use for teachers and intuitive to manage for users) for each soft skill identified as relevant in the process of mapping.

Guidelines

They consists of two components: guidelines for the exploitation of the project results and a soft skills manifesto.

What is essence?

The ESSENCE project intends to improve employability opportunities for HE students by stimulating soft skills development. Project objective is to maximize their engagement in the labor market through offering professional development paths that go beyond formal HE trainings.

In order to meet the expectations of entrepreneurs and recruiters connected with the most desirable soft skills, the courses are based on the demand-driven employers’ perspective.

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News

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Sustainability and Multiplier Effect of the ESSENCE project: A commitment to new training opportunities for soft skills’ development

The main objective of ESSENCE’s project is to improve employability opportunities for HE students leveraging on the development (nurturing) of their soft skills. ESSSENCE is a transnational and cross-cultural project co-financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission. It includes seven organisations from seven different EU countries representing the many different interests included by the scale and scope of the project: third sector and civil society, private sector and employment, academia and research. 

One of the most important priorities of any Erasmus+ co-financed project is assuring for the sustainability and long-term effect of the given initiatives, meaning: its capacity to generate impacts and positive outcomes even after its formal conclusion. There are many ways is this objective is achievable. First and foremost, by communicating and mainstreaming to the general public, as well as specific targets of the project, the tangible results and deliverables produced by the project. 

But sterile communication means nothing if it is not followed-up by concrete means that help the target of these dissemination activities to leverage on partners’ experience – gained by them throughout implementation – and implement their own local, national and/or international initiatives that make use of ESSENCE’s resources or came up with brand new actions that stem from the one of reference. 

In order to ease this transfer of knowledge, expertise and know how beyond the organisations (and related staff) formally participating in the partnership, while designing the project partners envisioned a whole work package structured to provide clear, narrowly-focused and concrete guidelines on how to transfer and/or replicate ESSENCE’s results in different domain of practice.

This whole work package includes two formal deliverables: i.e., guiding documents aimed at practitioners of HR disciplines and university to capitalise on partners’ efforts and embed in their strategic planning, as well as daily training activities, the results from the project in the sense of: takeaways, lessons learnt and recommendations for the provision of new, experience-based and innovative capacity building opportunities. 


ESSENCE’s guidelines for uptake. On the basis of results and impacts achieved so far, each partner will compile  a formal document: lessons learned and key takeaways from all partners emerging from the piloting phase, and overall STKHs’ engagement practices (i.e., a wealth of knowledge on which other groups on interest can benefit from); guidelines for the adoption of the training resources, materials and tools and its transferability in other domains of practice
This is not a mere Validation Report, the document is conceived to provide: detailed instructions on operational and managerial features, including the delivery mechanisms and other operational aspects of the training; further guidance to other VET/HE institutions on the delivery means, structure of the workshops, recommendations on the blended learning capabilities and recommendations for the OER eLearning modalities; best practices and recommendations for the valorisation of EU funding means for education and training opportunities
ESSENCE’s Soft Skills Manifesto. This document collects the lessons learned and praxis occurred at implementation of the project, translating the results and impacts of IO1, 2 and 3 into a policy document that puts forward evidence for HEI in the domain of education, students’ empowerment for transition into the labour market, strengthening of training offer following markets and employers’ demand. 


Both documents represent the “institutional and operational memory” of the project, consolidating results, findings and strategic features experimented at implementation that are poised to inform new practices at formal and informal level; while putting out innovative ideas and inputs to relevant STKHs orbiting around the ecosystems of VET, HEI and employability.

Both documents will be available in free version for consultation in October 2022 via the official Open Education resource Platform of the project: https://projectessence.eu/index.php 

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The ESSENCE training curricula on soft skills for employability

The main objective of ESSENCE’s project is to improve employability opportunities for HE students leveraging on the development (nurturing) of their soft skills. ESSSENCE is a transnational and cross-cultural project co-financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission. It includes seven organisations from seven different EU countries representing the many different interests’ included by the scale and scope of the project: third sector and civil society, private sector and employment, academia and research. Since the official launch of the project, two of the key deliverables assured by partners’ efforts have been represented by:


The transnational and cross-sectorial assessment of soft skills for employability – formal deliverable of the second intellectual output of the project “Mapping soft skills with employability – The most desirable soft skills among job applicants”, which identifies the current state of play of soft skills-centred development programmes for young people at formal, informal and non-formal level (available at: https://projectessence.eu/mapping.php), the most sought after soft skills by the labour market for fresh graduates’ employment, gaps and lags in the provision of target-centred capacity building programmes 
[based on the evidences emerging from the above] training curricula which include seven modules, one per each identified skill, further elaborated in sub-didactic units – so as to better facilitate targets’ learning process and the delivery of the material for coaches, professors and teachers. Every participating organisation has been involved in the process of development of training modules: roles, responsibilities and workload have been shared based on the specific know-how, expertise, background and experience detained by involved staff members.


All training material has been developed in ENG – the common working language of the partnership – and later translated in all national languages represented by the countries participating in the project. This is to ease the dissemination and valorisation of the training resources even among non-proficient English speakers. Each training module is also integrated with a series of related case studies, best practices and self-assessment quizzes. This is to assure a balanced provision of technical / theoretical references and operative / practical-centred insights and inputs to empower learners on that given skill.

During the last development phase, the whole ESSENCE training curricula has been deployed in pilot version to 150 targets’ representatives (i.e., university students, fresh graduates, as well as employers and professionals of HR) for evaluation, assessment and monitoring of partners’ satisfaction with the content, impacts and takeaways of the training. The whole piloting process has been coordinated by the lead institution of the partnership (University of Information Technology and Management in Rzeszow), their responsibility was to provide for harmony and common understanding upon each activity leading to the implementation of this specific project task. The validation of the training curricula has been anticipated by the sharing among all partners of a detailed internal plan (i.e., Test and Validation Plan) designed to provide for guidance and support references for all partners.  

All in all, based on the internal reporting shared by partners after completion of their piloting sessions, all institutions managed to exceed the expectation of targets, which recognised the impact that an ESSENCE-like initiatives can generate for their personal (and professional) development, and more in general, in the case of professionals, at ecosystem level for the benefits of EU labour market.

The results coming out from the Validation phase will nurture a cluster of takeaways, recommendations and lessons learnt that partners will compile in another formal deliverable of this project – the Guidelines for exploitation – conceived and designed to sustain the replicability of the project, or similar initiative inspired by its scale and scope, in related fields of education and training. 

To know more about the project, please visit: https://projectessence.eu/index.php 

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ESSENCE (Enhance Soft Skills to Nurture Competitiveness and Employability) Consortium Organised 3rd Transnational Project Meeting

In May 2022, the ESSENCE consortium organised the third transnational project meeting. The meeting, originally planned to take place in Riga (Latvia), was conducted in online mode based on an agenda developed jointly by all partners. The ESSENCE project consortium includes seven partners from seven different countries (Bulgaria, Belgium, Croatia, Italy, Latvia, Poland and Spain).



At the meeting, the partners analysed the status of the project implementation. The main objective of the meeting was to present the toolkit and training content, including a detailed analysis of each partner. The partners also focused on discussing the testing and validation (T&V) process of the project results and related activities, as the T&V activities will provide valuable insight from the users' perspective. Feedback from students, academics, and institutions representing different sectors of the business community will provide valuable information on the quality of materials produced during project implementation.

In the coming months, the ESSENCE consortium will develop a soft skills manifesto for universities. All resources will be uploaded to the project platform and will remain available after the end of the project implementation. Information about the project, as well as the ESSENCE innovative Open Educational Platform containing tailored educational solutions can be found at ESSENCE website and on social media:

Sitio web: https://projectessence.eu

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Essence-107956864669490/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBkiHG_WcmI0x7lBCknLwPA

 

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