About SoftComInVET project
Learning mobility is one of the fundamental actions which help individuals, particularly young people, to strengthen their personal & professional development and future employability.
It makes education & training institution more accessible; promotes the building of a knowledge-intensive society; enhance the sense of European identity and citizenship and boosts the exchange of knowledge and good practices which is the key to Europe’s knowledge-based future.
According to European Commission statistics, published on 28.01.20, in 2018 more than 850 000 EU citizens participated in mobility projects (Erasmus + Annual Report 2018). 23 500 projects were implemented with a budget of almost EUR 2.8 bil..
In this regard assuring the high quality of the VET- service has become even more important and challenging task for the European community.
“SMEs are important players in VET and lifelong learning and need targeted support. Support measures should help SMEs to overcome external and internal barriers and compensate for the limited capacity of SMEs to identify and respond to their learning needs, where competence development of those who train others in the workplace can be part”. (Guiding principles on professional development of trainers in VET, European Commission).
SMEs represent the trainee’s “practical handbook” in the world of work. The success of the placements abroad depends a lot on the extent to which the trainee gets in contact with the mentors. In this personal and intercultural process the role of the coaches is central.
The mentors in SMEs, providing mobility placements, represent the backbone of the quality service.
Nowadays they face a number of challenges – not only must they quickly respond to the labor market dynamics, the ICT rapid progress and the changes in the VET methodology, but they also need to develop their empathy, communication and social competences – their soft skills.
In the organisations these employees are not just mentors – they are managers, operational specialists, etc. While there are a lot of developed courses aimed to boost the practical and technical expertise, there is no clear approach created, directly related to the in-company trainers’ soft skills enhancement.
The international workplace has evolved an interpersonal dynamic that can’t be ignored. ESF Transnational Cooperation publication “How to boost soft skills recognition” states that nowadays “soft skills are becoming as important as hard skills”. On the EU level the soft skills competences has become not just a hot topic, but important and vital necessity to the present and future mentors in SMEs.
In this regard the SoftComInVET project focuses the scope on this specific subject.
PROJECT AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The main aim of the project is to enhance the knowledge capacity of training mentors in EU SMEs companies, providing work placements for VET learners, and to improve their ability to cope with the challenges they face by equipping them with a specific set of tools for soft skills development focused on ensuring high-quality work placements and efficient conveying of their practical knowledge to VET learners.
Specific objectives of SoftComInVET:
TRANSNATIONAL ADDED VALUE
Mentors in SMEs, providing mobility placements, have been identified as important actors in ensuring quality of work-based learning and VET in general, and need to be supported and empowered transnationally (CEDEFOP).
The international cooperation will enable taking advantage of institutional complementarities; ensure broad dissemination of project results and will reach much larger representation of the target group thus multiplying the impact of the project in geographical perspective.
The language diversity of the IOs will allow easy transfer to other countries and usability for people fluent in some of the partner languages.