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