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On Thursday, the 31st of March, the SkillsAct4VET multiplier event finally took place in Malaga. The location was magnificent and no less were the participants.
– Therefore, let’s retrace the whole day together!
The event represented the final conclusion of the skillsAct4VET project and was hosted by the famous restaurant “El Balneario, Baños del Carmen’, offering an incredible view of the east coast of the city.
Tribeka team was rady, despite the ugly weather, to hold the meeting presenting the project.
The SkillsAct4VET lasted more than two years, actually almost 3, considering the prolongation required after the Pandemic Breck out, which puted a strain on one of the key points of the project: the exchange mobility.
However, despite the difficulties it faced, it showed great results in terms of educational
scientific methodology bringing to the attention the student’s potential to activate soft skills during the mobility and identifying 4 tools as a possible solution to those problems:
In other words, the aim of the project was to provide students, teachers and employers with new non-formal educational tools to help them facing the traineeship experience abroad.
That also means get the actors involved to act as a whole not only during the mobility but also before and after. Students hold an incredibly challenging experience and teachers should be prepared to guide and support them during the entire process.
To that purpose, both students and teachers must develop new specific skills and be able to activate them during the mobility.
That is the vision SkillsAct4VET aims to promote!
Moreover our next goal is to keep spreading and promoting the result as far as it’s possible!
We strongly believe in the potential and utility of this methodology. Likewise, we want to offer everyone the same opportunity to get involved.
From that point of view the SkillsAct4VET Multiplier event was a real success!
It was a pleasure for our team to receive the participation of so many people interested and answer their questions. Thanks to the participation of students, teachers, local ambassadors, companies and associations who join the event.
Among the most repeated feedback we received, we can mention the suggestions to continue the project, transferring the SkillsAct4Vet methodology to a different educative sector, or widening the range of Softskills and professional fields included in the tools.
In the end, our goal is helping you and enjoying our time together! In fact, the event was also an opportunity to have fun taking pictures and enjoying the appetizer together!
What about you? Wanna be part of our network!?
Then enjoy and share our project #SkillsAct4VET
This week the SkillsAct4Vet project will be presented in Malaga, during the official Multiplier Event, attended by local and international Vet teachers, Vet students, trainers, host companies tutors, host families and Vet providers.
While defining all the details for the event, we cannot help to remind some details of this long project life.
The kind of details that you don’t show on social media, but are part of the path that led to the final result:
- the meeting from the airport, when no other slot was available in the agenda, but the urgency for mutual understanding with partners was crucial;
- the meetings from the living room (they went on line, actually), during the first and second lock down;
- the long, long excel documents, to collect hundreds of data to be analysed in the testing phases;
- the meeting just to define the use of one or two different adverbs, for the #TasksMap’s grids;
And also, the calling to define the transnational meeting dates, postponed once, and once more;
the checking and double checking to realize what restrictions are in place, or have been lifted;
and finally the reality of a meeting in presence again, the students in Malaga to test the general #SkillsAct methodology and the assessment tools during the internships, the results on line, the feedback from the teachers to improve the learning platform, the growing network and new proposal to continue working on #softskillsactivation.
The prove, during the different presentations on radios, tvs, meeting in person, webinar, that the tools work, and can be used not only by Vet actors.
#SkillsAct4Vet is close to its closure, and it’s ready to start it’s impact.
On Tuesday 29, we had the pleasure to take part in a radio program at radioimmaginaria!
During the interview, Giulia Scavone, Agency coordinator e Training manager of Tribeka, briefly describes the SkillsACT4VET project talking about “soft skills”.
Radio Immaginaria is based in Italy, in a small town near Bologna. The entire project is developed by students of secondary schools. It’s a growing student’s network! They speak up for themselves about different topics they consider (to be) relevant. They are open to deal with the adult world through constant dialogue showing expertise and interest in different fields.
We would like to say how pleasing it was for our team to reach such a young audience!
The students are the protagonists of SkilsAct4VET. Make us known by students it’s an important part of our job. It’s a challenge we face everyday and getting them involved is part of our goals.
- Speaking about soft skills
The student’s interest is a proof of the validity and the current impact of our project. New emerging topics about the working world need to be addressed. Often it’s not clear what people refer to when talking about “soft skills”, despite it represents a main issue for youngsters.
What are soft skills? What are they important for students? Which are the most requested skills today? How do we get and evaluate these competences ?
Our team of 14 experts has been trying to provide an answer to those questions through the SkillsAct4VET project. After two years of analysis we came up with the solution of 5 essential skills. At the end of the evaluation we developed two new informal tools for students and teachers: an evaluation skills test and an online course to improve the soft skills approach and methodology of teachers.
Do you want to know your skill level?
You only need to be curious about the topic. Don’t waste the chance to know more!
Enjoy the interview here https://www.spreaker.com/user/ariaimmaginaria/intervista-skillsAct4Vet , read about our results on our website and get your evaluation test! The online course is also free and available on our website.
If you are a student, share your results with your friends and your teachers. They might be interested in deepening the topic… and why not in going abroad for your Erasmus+!
The material has just arrived for the #multiplierevent of @skillsact4vet, which will take place this Thursday, 31st March in Malaga.
The project, which we have been working on for almost 3 years, is coming to an end, which is when it really begins its course.
The idea behind the #SkillsAct4Vet actually comes from 2018 when, in the ETN working groups, we started to ask ourselves what we could focus on to improve the mobility experiences of our thousands of students.
Much was already being done to facilitate the acquisition of language skills.
And the importance of offering effective placements had always been at the heart of our work.
Looking through the thousands of handbooks by students who had gone through our training agencies, we noticed that in their end-of-project comments, students referred to how they had gained ‘more autonomy’, felt ‘more self-confidence’, had made some decision about their future.
Even when the experience had only lasted a few weeks, and the time was not enough to actually learn the language, improvement at the more transversal level was always, always, very effective.
So we thought of focusing on how we, as mobility training professionals, could optimize the activation of the most relevant transversal competences in our field.
From there we designed the idea and created the very diverse consortium to carry out a project that seemed very ambitious at the time.
When the project was approved in 2019, we could not have imagined how ambitious and challenging its implementation could be.
We started the research among teachers, students and host companies to identify the 5 transversal competences. The research lasted 3 months and had to be interrupted with the arrival of the pandemic.
The rest is world history.
Next month we close the work, after having asked for an extension of 8 months, in order to be able to complete all the planned activities.
We have learned a lot, all of us:
the professionals who have implemented the activities, we have contaminated each other by bringing specific skills;
the schools that we have called upon to test the results;
the companies and pupils who are already using the tests;
We already have many ideas for future jobs: #softskills are the new #hardskills and our project has proved to be particularly useful, even in these years of profound changes for the labor market.
During the last Transnational Meeting held in Rome on the 28th of February and 1st of March, the SkillsAct4Vet consortium discussed the final steps of the project, which ends in April.
The most important moment of the meeting was the validation of the test (IO4) that, after the data collection based on the pilot version, has been scientifically validated by the team of Elidea-Psicologi Associati.
This validation assures a practical application of the tool and its ability to measure the soft skills activation of young students during short-term internships abroad.
Another important topic discussed during the meeting was the organization of the Multiplier Events, which will be organized by every partner in the five different project countries. The aim of the events is to disseminate the project, its outputs and the tools created for VET students, teachers and mobility experts.
Tribeka is organizing the Spanish ME, which is going to take place in Malaga on 31st of March.
If you are interested in participating in the event, you can subscribe through our Google form. For more information, contact us on Fb or IG page!
At the same moment in which the transnational mobility activities, which were so lacking in pupils and teachers, have regained new impetus, we have seen an increase in requests for contact, from scratch, by teachers, researchers, and trainers towards of our work for the #SkillsAct4Vet project.
Thanks to the dissemination of the project results, on the web page www.skillsact4vet.eu and on social networks, Facebook in the first place, we got in touch with many investigative realities, not only in the context of the Erasmus + program.
At this regard, It was especially interesting and profitable the meeting of our ‘SkillsAct4VET’ with EUSALP (EU Strategy for the Alpine region), the agreement signed in 2013 whose implementation takes place through the operation of 9 thematic Action groups, of which AG 3 is dedicated to the theme “Labor Market, Education and Training”.
The 2020-22 work program provides for the carrying out of a survey under the “Soft skills assessment method tool for WBL in Alpine Space” Action which envisages the development of a common framework and tools for observing and evaluating soft skills, through the acquisition of information and the identification and shared definition of a set of significant soft skills, also in order to facilitate the transnational exchange of experiences.
In this context, the I.R.E.S. Institute of Economic and Social Research of Friuli Venezia Giulia Social Enterprise, will carry out a survey on the tools and methodologies available for the observation and validation of the most significant soft skills, with reference to those related to work-based learning and the most significant for the transformation processes of the Alpine economies.
In this regard, the “Skill ACt 4 Vet” 2019-1-ES01-KA202-065610 ” project was of great interest, and the materials created within this project will be enhanced in the context of bibliographic analysis and best practices that is under construction.
“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly”
Henri Louis Bergson
As part of the European project #skills act 4 vet, following a preliminary investigation, we have developed a model that defines and explains the 5 transversal skills that VET (vocational education and training) students use the most during an internship in a foreign country. Based on this theoretical model, we have built a tool capable of giving young people an evaluation of these soft skills. After data collection, on the basis of a pilot version of the test, we have validated the test in order to make it scientifically validated and of assured practical application.
Nonetheless, the life of a test is not as simple and linear as one may think.
Just like the apprenticeship of young people entering the workforce, a test must pass through several challenges, several stages of growth. Step-by-Step it must mature and learn to be considered a professional capable of achieving its goals.
In fact, to be considered as such, a test must proceed by trial and error, maintaining an approach of openness to new analyses that can lead it to increasingly precise revisions. Maturity, in all its meanings, both for young people at their first steps in work and for tests, can only be achieved by experimenting, without the fear of not reaching one’s goal or of undermining the previous models used (theoretical or behavioral).
But what are these goals we are talking about?
First of all a test must be reliable. This means being self-consistent, that is, returning evaluations that are constant at different times. For a young person just entering the workforce, it means being reliable, always available and willing to help.
This point is a necessary but not sufficient condition.
In fact, for professionals to be considered as such, they not only need to be consistent and reliable. They must also prove themselves proficient at achieving their assigned goals. In the case of a test, we speak of validity, that is the degree to which the instrument is capable of assessing the construct (the skill or psychological dimension, such as motivation or personality traits) it is intended to measure.
The question to be asked is: “do the results reflect true differences by responders? Or are they simply due to coincidence?”
To answer this question, we must refer to the different types of validity that a test must demonstrate it can manage.
Content validity: related to how (and whether) the identified items are able to effectively explore the construct that the instrument is intended to detect. In other words, whether all the micro-activities identified are capable of leading to the achievement of the final goal. Growing and maturing means to select, among all the activities one has experienced, those that are most functional and able to fully satisfy one’s needs and motivations.
Criterion validity: it verifies how the test in consideration is linked to instruments already in use and considered unchangeable and true. Our test must be compared with the adult world if it wants to be taken seriously, in other words it must pass the scrutiny of its more expert “colleagues”. It is also in relation to the others and to the context that we can evaluate the growth path of each of us, especially during the construction of a professionalism.
Face validity: this refers to the external perception of the test, of how it is viewed by responders. It is about learning to inspire a sense of confidence and professionalism in others. In fact, an important indicator of maturity is your capacity to understand the context and your ability to respond effectively to it. In our model we have called this competence Context Reading and Adaptability, and it refers precisely to the ability to act in a way that is consistent with the specific characteristics of the environment in which one finds oneself. It presupposes, therefore, the ability to recognize the values, beliefs, resources and limitations of the context and of the individuals who are part of it.
Construct validity: does the empirical analysis obtained converge with the initial theoretical formulation? Has the hypothesis that the test was intended to prove been confirmed or should it be revised and refined? Often we are led, falling into the trap of cognitive bias, to try to corroborate in all ways our initial model, remaining firmly anchored to it despite external evidence against it. This perceptive distortion is the enemy of an open, mature and driven to the improvement of its theoretical assumptions mindset. Just as when a psychological tool is validated, its construct validity must be honestly measured, in the same way a young person who wants to learn a job must honestly evaluate its results: are they aligned with the demands made by their boss?
As we can see, a psychological tool, as well as a new employee, must go through a long journey before being considered ready and mature, no longer an adolescent in search of its own identity but a rational and productive adult.
But the pitfalls are not yet over. The validation of the test must still pass through social desirability. This effect is capable of negatively influencing the results of the instrument, inducing respondents to give answers that they consider more acceptable in the context in which they are taking it. For example, during a personnel selection, the candidates will be led to answer in the way that they believe will bring them closer to the desired position. This leads to paradoxical results that contrast with the measurements observed up to that moment. It can happen, in fact, that in an attempt to give back the most positive image of themselves, the candidates, without fully knowing how the instrument works, can give back a profile so distorted that it becomes dysfunctional to the objective itself, leaving the recruiters to question the actual validity of the answers given to them and in the difficult role of interpreting a range of data made partial by untruthful answers.
Defending against these pretenders is the last step our test must take. Specific scales, created with the aim of measuring the truthfulness of answers (the famous Lie scales), can be included among the items in order to minimize the effect of social desirability, monitoring how the candidates tend to provide a falsely positive or negative profile of themselves.
Learning to defend oneself from these mystifications, in an attempt to return an authentic image of the person in question, free from attempts of manipulation, is central to the development of the test.
In our European project of SkillsAct4VET, we have now arrived at the final validation of our tool to assess these 5 transversal skills:
Context reading and adaptability.
At the end of an internship experience in another EU country, students between 14 and 18 years old were able to assess their soft skills giving us back valuable material that we used to measure reliability and validity of the instrument.
In conclusion, we have seen how the creation of a test is much more complex than we might expect.
We can learn how the process of growth is never a simple matter; on the contrary, it is often impervious and treacherous, marked by obstacles and difficulties. But, in the same way, we have seen how maturity is a universal striving, able to give us back an authentic and “scientifically reliable and valid” self, capable of providing accurate measurements and of achieving our goals, as well as many personal and professional satisfactions!
Thanks to the project Transversal Skills Activation for VET Mobility that allowed us to see our test born, grow and refine more and more, thus finally reaching adulthood!
In this short interview on Rai3 channel, the public broadcasting company of Italy, the Luciano Marino, ETN president talks about how pandemic affected the work in Training Agencies operating in the field of learning mobilities and how they had to adapt to the new situation by developing online courses for teachers and adult education.
SkillsAct4Vet project Manager, Giulia Scavone related about the idea behind Skillsact4Vet project as an innovative and efficient tool to support Vet Students to face the changing labor market.
Thorugh the optimization of the soft skills for VET students during their short-term internship abroad – this project not only helps the students to self-assess their skills during their internship but also in their future work.
Everyone who is working or is willing to work with the Erasmus + projects and also the students wishing to do their Erasmus internships abroad can probably relate with what has been said in this interview.
What inspires us daily commitment with the Skillsact4Vet Project and makes us work even harder is the great enthusiasm of the students who can not wait to return to traveling, exploring new cultures and to grow professionally, as well personally.
To sum it up with the simple but touching words of ETN president Luciano Marino: “La vita riprende aldilà del Covid”, which translates to: “Life is starting again, despite Covid.”
The Skills Act 4 Vet project is gaining momentum for its last phase of development. With many goals successfully achieved and several big challenges still ahead, we are getting ready for the grand finale of our soft skill-based project.
One of the main works in progress within the project is now the pilot testing of the Skills Act course for VET trainers. The platform was designed for professionals taking part in short-term internships abroad as accompanying teachers. Its aim is to prepare them, both theoretically and practically, to foster the successful development of crucial soft skills in their students before, during and after their internship abroad. The course is available for everybody interested here.
In order to adapt the course to the maximum to the real needs of its future users, we have sent its current version to teachers from different European countries asking for their feedback. The testing process is now coming to an end, with dozens of positive responds from all around Europe and many interesting suggestions to consider. We received some very enthusiastic comments, such as the one sent to us by Krzysztof Kurzeja, a VET teacher from Słupsk, Poland:
“Lots of information and very interesting forms of developing and testing soft skills. And a very different approach to the student than what is preferred here. I admit it. For me, the most important things had always been knowledge and professional skills, but now, after getting to know the course, I look at shaping students’ self-esteem, self-confidence or even cultural awareness in a different way. Now I feel differently about soft skills. I only regret that I did not have access to this course before I left for the internship with my students.”
With no better possible recommendation than this feedback, we invite all the VET teachers interested in the subject to get familiar with the course and share their opinion with us via our questionnaire.
Hugely motivated by the great response to our platform, we are ready to work tirelessly to close this phase and other tasks foreseen by the project schedule, each one of them bringing us closer to fruitful and successful outcomes.
Aleksandra Ineksiak, Tribeka training lab S.L.