News

Gender+ will promote gender inclusion in VET

Gender Sofia partners

The Business Foundation for Education hosted the kick-off meeting of the Gender+, which took place in Sofia on 14-15 January 2019. The 2-year Erasmus+ initiative is implemented by the partnership lead by the Aspire-igen (UK), Business Foundation for Education (Bulgaria), CIAPE (Italy), CSI (Cyprus), Learnmera (Finland) and LUNG (Slovenia). 

The project looks to: 

  • develop governance and benchmarking tools for use by VET professionals in order to understand and improve their current approach to gender inclusion; 
  • tackle underrepresentation of minority gender groups in VET, in particular for certain courses which continue to split down traditional gender lines; 
  • develop a complementary ‘top down’ approach which allows VET institutions to fully understand how different gender identities fit into their services, and so develop approaches which are fully inclusive to all. 

Gender Sofia objectives

The following intellectual outputs will be produced:

  • Gender+ Charter which will set out the minimum requirements an organisation needs to conform to in order to consider its provisions gender positive. This will be achieved through desk and field research into current best practices and emergent trends across Europe.
  • Interactive digital benchmarking tool which VET practitioners will be able to use to assess their current services and then track their improvement. This will be achieved through incentivised guidance and support which will highlight how VET organisations can evidence and improve provisions to meet the Charter’s minimum requirements. Each organisation’s score against the Charter will form a ‘Gender Footprint’, with those organisations scoring highly awarded a Gender+ quality mark.
  • Skills profile and resources for the development of a Gender Champion role. Through this the project will demonstrate the value for VET organisations in dedicating permanent time and resource to gender issues.

For more current information, follow the  Gender+ Facebook page  

Gender Sofia discussion 1

This project is funded with the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. Project No: 2018-1-UK01-KA202-048039. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
 

Gender logo number funding

The WINGS project will help entrepreneurs develop competences to run business internationally

WINGS kick-off

The internationalization of companies is an important issue for EU and in the recent years. Nevertheless there is a lack of internationalization spirit and knowledge to ensure that a company will have success abroad with a certain stability ensured. So, there is a gap between the need for knowledge and the knowledge that is needed to ensure an internalization company success. By developing internationalization abilities among SMEs, start-ups, potential entrepreneurs, providing them with the necessary knowledge we seek to fill that gap.

 The WINGS project - "INternationalization serious Game for Start-ups and entrepreneurs" - is an Erasmus+ funded initiative aiming to identify core and innovative learning methods that best encourage success in international activities for start-ups and entrepreneurs. The specific project aim is to embed strategic management Virtual Games (VG) within business education by enhancing trainers' competencies to create virtual reality contents and use it on strategic management training.

 The project involves 6 organizations: the University of Cyprus, Danmar Consulting - Poland, FyG Consultores - Spain, INOVA+ Portugal, the Business Foundation for Education - Bulgaria and Bitz - Czech Republic. The kick-off meeting took place in Nicosia in December 2018. 

 In the next 2 years the partnership will produce 3 main outputs: 

  • Competence framework on Start-ups and entrepreneurs internationalization report;
  • Online training course for developing the skills and competences for starting and running a successful international company;
  • and a set of 6 serious on-line game cases that will allow entrepreneurs to practically train the skills necessary to develop and expand their own businesses abroad.

 

 
 

The FUTURE Time Traveller turns one year!

12 months ago our multinational team started a future-looking initiative, aiming to transform career guidance of generation Z through an innovative, games-based scenario approach and to prepare the next generation for the jobs of the future.

future-meeting 2

  • Our primary goal is to foster a future-oriented mindset. Our innovative career exploration game in 3D virtual world will help young people explore the future world, understanding the LM trends , emerging job and skills and develop an ownership of their own future.
  • Secondly, we want to enhance the capacity of career guidance practitioners for delivering future-oriented career services. For this purpose we will produce practical guidelines, workshops, contest and best practices e-book, supporting innovative career guidance.
  • In the end, we hope to give impetus to innovation and future-oriented policy with our study "Future-looking career guidance" and impact assessment report, which will summarize the results and produce evidence of how these methods work.

This one year has been a very productive time, full of inspiration and successful activities:

  • We conducted a survey to identify how prepared are young people for the jobs of the future; how equipped are career guidance practitioners with the skills to guide them; and what kind of support will policy makers need to offer.
  • We produced a policy roadmap report Future-Looking Career Guidance Agenda.
  • We elaborated the methodology and scenarios of our Future Time Traveller career game and started the development of the 3D virtual world platform, in which the game will take place.
  • We launched the project website http://future-time-traveller.eu and its Facebook page, which already has more than 270 followers.
  • The results produced so far have been presented during seminars for policy makers.

Policy mapping study

In the first months of the project we conducted an online survey among 159 young people (15-20 year old), 39 career guidance practitioners and 16 experts in the 7 partner countries - Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal and UK.
88% of the young people involved in the survey say it is important for them to be informed about the jobs of the future and the changes in the world of work, but half of them currently don't learn about them at school or informally. Only 1/3 of young people say they are aware of the LM trends and credible sources of information. In the same time, 58% feel informed or rather informed about future jobs, which is not the fact according to the majority of career practitioners and experts.

The survey confirms the importance of a wide spectrum of competences which young people need to possess, in order to be prepared for their future careers. Knowledge of labour market trends, self-awareness, flexibility and openness s to change are evaluated as the most important career skills for the future, all participants in the survey agree. Career planning and decision making skills are also very important for all groups. More than 90% of all respondents stress on the significance of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship spirit. Career guidance practitioners highlight positive attitude and analytical skills as crucial, while they are slightly less important.

future-survey

Career guidance practitioners also need to prepare better for the future of jobs, the survey shows. More than 1/3 say their ability to apply digital tools is either "fair" (28%) or "needs improvement" (10%). One in ten career advisors admits they need to further develop their knowledge of labour market trends and resources, of young people' needs, and ability to create new tools, designed for the new digital generation.
Currently, career guidance practitioners develop these competences through self-directed learning and on-the-go in their practice. Most respondents cannot identify specific web source of information and admit that "there is a lack of such a one-stop-platform, which adequately provides information on how to work with young people on this topic". Except for online platforms with useful information, more than half would also use good practice example, trainings and training tools and resources, that might be applied in their work. 1/3 think career guidance contest are also helpful. This is an important message to policy makers to increase the provision of relevant and up-to-date continuous education and training, in order to ensure the quality of services is adequate to young people needs and market realities.

The findings of the survey are presented in our Policy Report, which maps the road toward a future-looking career guidance. Technological developments, societal changes and labour market transformations are only part of the challenges for traditional approaches to career guidance. The Future calls for a new paradigm for young people, educators and leaders. It is not enough to show children HOW the world is changing. They need to understand WHY it is changing, WHAT kind of challenges and jobs it will bring, what type of SKILLS it will require. Career guidance services need to transform to GUIDANDE TO THE FUTURE and guidance and education policy - to LEADERSHIP FOR THE FUTURE.

future-report

The report contains articles on different topics, such as the Global trends that shape the future job market; the challenges and role of career guidance practitioners; the potential impact of virtual worlds learning environments and other technology on the development of career management and transversal skills. It provides many examples of innovative online career games and resources. The methodology behind the Future Time Traveller game is also explained.

The report is freely available in English and in all partner languages. Its results have been discussed with career guidance experts, key stakeholers and practitioners during national policy seminars. Here are some of the messages the participants shared after the event in Bulgaria:

  •  "As career consultants, we should not sit and wait for the future to come - we need to be the guides - guides to the future."
  •  "If we want our children to be complete individuals, adequate to the world, now is the time to invest effort to provide them with the opportunity to achieve it!"
  •  "Wonderful, up-to-date, innovative, fashionable and very useful to young generation Z project! It is necessary to actively and quickly update the digital skills of the career counselors themselves. It is very important for them to "speak" the new "mother tongue" of young people in order to be as useful as possible."
  • "Career counseling is obviously changing. There is a need to include career counselors in forms for maintaining qualifications."
  • "The future of our profession depends on our ability to keep up with all the trends. We must try to be informative for our clients. Game-based approach is the future of learning."
  • "This project proves that in Bulgaria today there are still people who think about the challenges of the future and do not spare efforts and energy to be part of it and fulfill their duty to future generations."

 

future-seminar

What will the FUTURE bring?
Next year, after testing and piloting, the platform and methodology will be presented in demonstration events and creative workshops on developing scenarios for innovative career guidance. We will organize a competition for innovative career guidance services and a Facebook contest for young people Time Capsule "Jobs of the Future".
In 2020 the best practices and ideas from the two contests will be collected in an E-book and the partners will elaborate a policy evidence report. The two products will complement the FUTURE Roadmap report which will help mainstream the project approach, methodology and policy messages. The project results will be presented in final events in all partner countries.

FUTURE needs you!

  • Join our Facebook community to stay tuned for news and grab inspiration!
  • Spread the word, so that more young people and career guidance practitioners can benefit from the innovative project results!
  • Lead the change in re-thinking career guidance and support innovation!

Future Erasmus logo

PROJECT N° 590221-EPP-1-2017-1-BG-EPPKA3-PI-FORWARD

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

 

Contacts

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Address
Business Foundation for Education
7 San Stefano Str., ap. 4
1504 Sofia, Bulgaria

Phone: +359 2 42 63 759

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