Good e-Guidance Stories

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our upgraded Moodle course, designed for managers and practitioners navigating the evolving realm of vocational education and training (VET) and IAG services.

The Digital Imperative: In today’s fast-paced world, the transformation of VET and IAG services into e-services is not just a trend—it’s an imperative. The European Commission underscores the significance of bridging the digital skills gap, positioning it as a top priority. It is within this context that our Moodle platform steps in.

Key Features:

Comprehensive Project Hub: Explore additional project-related materials housed on the GeGS website, providing a comprehensive hub for all project-related information.

Interactive Learning Experience: Experience our interactive Moodle platform. Students can create their accounts, fostering a personalized learning journey where they can trace their progress and actively engage with the course content.

CEDEFOP Clusters: Explore the essential competences and skills required in the field of IAG as outlined by CEDEFOP (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training). Our platform provides a dedicated section, “CEDEFOP – CLUSTERS OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCES,” where case studies are thoughtfully organized to align with these competency clusters.

Thematic Tracks: Begin a structured learning experience with our carefully designed thematic tracks. Delve into specialized topics, explore interconnected case studies, and deepen your knowledge in specific areas. These thematic tracks are tailored to meet the precise training needs of both practitioners and managers, offering a holistic and comprehensive learning experience.

Practical Learning with Case Studies: Our course also offers practical learning. Case studies serve as useful tools, enabling you to apply professional and digital skills in real-life scenarios. Tackle common challenges faced by guidance practitioners and develop effective solutions using your newfound knowledge and skills.

Navigating the Learning Path: Navigating through the learning materials is intuitive. In the “CEDEFOP – CLUSTERS OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCES” section, case studies are organized into three categories: Practitioner Skills & Values, Working with Clients, and Systems and Networks. Thematic Pathways cross-reference case studies, grouping them into tracks designed to cater to the specific training needs of practitioners and managers.

We are excited to accompany you on this journey of professional and digital development.

Join us in shaping the future of IAG services. Your learning adventure begins now!

Visit the new Moodle platform on this link: https://www.goodeguidance.cloud/

As part of the Erasmus+ project, Good e-Guidance Stories (GeGS), the gsub, together with the Berlin Senate Department for Labor, Social Affairs, Equality, Integration, Diversity and Anti-Discrimination (SenASGIVA), organized their Policy Practice Workshop: Policy meets Practice – Changes in Career and Vocational Guidance Services through Digital Transformation, on November 16, 2023, in Berlin.

The event aimed to facilitate a dialogue and exchange between the administrative and practitioner levels of Information, Advice, and Guidance (IAG) services on digitalization services in Berlin.

After Dubravko Gršić and Brigitte Franz welcomed all participants, Christine Richter (Leader of the department for vocational training of the SenASGIVA) gave the opening speech.

In the morning, Dubravko Gršić presented the GeGS project and Silke Kriwoluzky the initial outcomes of the first two field trials, aimed at testing a digital training offer for IAG practitioners. The second trial focused on evaluating the AI-supported digital job placement platform, Jobiri, involving local IAG practitioners. The second trial will conclude by the end of December 2023.

Mareike Sirman-Winkler then presented the findings of her working group at IAB on the “Acceptance of AI applications in public employment services”, which is based on a research project with Dr. Christopher Osiander.

In the afternoon, participants got together in working groups to discuss the status of digitalization in Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) services in Berlin, as well as the future development in this area. Key questions included assessing the present status of IAG services concerning digitalization, identifying necessary skills for practitioners in this evolving landscape, recognizing obstacles and opportunities in the digital transformation of IAG services, and envisioning the future of effective IAG services and the prerequisites for their realization. The working groups promoted exchanges between IAG practitioners, administrative staff from the Senate Department, job centres, and the Employment Agency, facilitating the sharing and discussion of mutual needs and requirements.

From the joint discussions, it became clear that practitioners wish for better digital tools that adhere to data protection standards, to outsource certain tasks to AI and therefore have more time in one-on-one consultations with clients. As digitalization and AI tools develop, practitioners need to develop an awareness of AI-generated content and advise their clients regarding its usage in job searches.

With around 40 participants from both the administrative level of the Berlin Senate as well as practitioners from a range of local IAG service providers and strong engagement from all attendees, the event was a great success.

Choosing Today and Tomorrow: Unveiling the Future of E-Guidance in European Vocational Training

In a rapidly evolving landscape driven by digital transition and profound shifts in labour markets, the Good E-Guidance Stories (GEGS) project presents an innovative approach to guidance in European Vocational Training. Funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme, this initiative aims to improve vocational training and active labour market policies across the European landscape.

The GEGS project revolves around the modernization of guidance, support, and preparation for work within vocational training and employment policies. Its strategic objectives are grounded in addressing the need for new approaches and updated digital tools and skills to effectively support students, workers, and jobseekers. In this transformative journey, the project has seen the collaboration of the Region of Sardinia, the Land of Berlin in Germany, and the Region of Thessaly in Greece among other European partners.

At the heart of GEGS lie two aspects: an interactive professional development curriculum for guidance professionals in the VET sector and a digital platform using artificial intelligence. The platform was developed by Jobiri and adapted to specific local needs in different countries.

 

Conference Highlights: Tackling Structural Challenges

The mid-term conference titled “Choosing Today and Tomorrow” marked an important moment in the GEGS journey, aimed to analyse the experimentation phase. During the two days, representatives including policymakers, managers, enterprises, and guidance practitioners from six European countries worked together to address challenges that came up during the first project phase and to develop collective solutions.

Alessandra Zedda, Councillor for Labour, Vocational Training, Cooperation, and Social Security, expressed the Region’s commitment to digital transition and emphasized the necessity for a unified vocational system. The conference provided a platform for comparison and mutual exchange among European partners, aligning strategies with emerging priorities in different contexts.

 

E-Guidance in Action: Insights from the Field

Elena Grilli, the project coordinator, highlighted the increased significance of digitization during the COVID-19 pandemic. The collaboration among key regions—Sardinia, Berlin, and Thessaly—signifies a concerted effort to sustain long-term innovation and mainstream effective methodologies in guidance functions within VET.

The project’s impact on regional strategies was further explored with a focus on Sardinia’s GOAL programme—a significant milestone in reshaping active labour market policies. With ambitious targets and a focus on digitalizing skills, GOAL aims to standardize services and cater to diverse user clusters, acknowledging the digital skills gap prevalent in Italy.

 

Round Table Insights: Concrete Testimonies

The Round Table session provided concrete insights from practitioners and stakeholders operating within the region. A stakeholder from the Chamber of Commerce of Cagliari showcased the institution’s role in offering guidance services linked to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Similarly, ASPAL, the Sardinian Agency for Active Labour Market Policies, highlighted its extensive network and services for final users.

The involvement of private sector entities such as COSPES and INSIGNIA highlighted the importance of tailored approaches and collaboration with local companies to deliver high-quality guidance services. Furthermore, the discussion emphasized the role of innovative digital tools, with Jobiri’s AI-based platform representing a transformative approach in facilitating dialogue between students and employers.

 

Moving Forward: Progress and Anticipations

Representatives from various project partners shared progress updates and anticipated outcomes. Testimonies from RINOVA and SOESTRA focused on recent training processes and field trials, offering insights into practitioners’ needs and competence evaluations.  Dubravko Grsic projected a post-project scenario, drawing inspiration from projects like JOBBROKER to enhance methodological and implementation aspects sustainably.

 

Towards a Synergistic Future: Workshop Insights and Conclusions

The concluding workshop explored synergies between VET and guidance, dissecting policies and practices while offering recommendations to shape the future of e-guidance. The Conference and Workshops have paved the way for a dynamic future, emphasizing the need for evolving guidance methodologies and digital tools to address the needs in the shifting landscapes of vocational training and active labour markets in Europe. As the GEGS project continues its journey, it promotes e-guidance to allow for inclusive, skill-centric, and futureproof employment ecosystems.

We are thrilled to share the progress we’ve made in our mission to transform Europe’s Vocational and Educational Training (VET) systems.

Recently, during a productive TPM session in the sunny city of Rome, our project partners gathered to reflect on their GeGS journey and discuss the exciting future that lies ahead. GeGS is all about modernizing Information, Advice, and Guidance (IAG) services through the integration of cutting-edge digital training programs and AI-based e-guidance tools.

As we continue to empower professionals, elevate VET systems, and enhance the efficiency of e-guidance services, we invite you to be a part of this transformative initiative. Share your GeGS success stories, and stay connected for upcoming updates and events.

Explore the video to get an in-depth look at the GeGS project’s progress and impact.

Identified as a response to an ever-changing labour market resulting from accelerated automation, digital transition, and the COVID-19 pandemic; the GeGS project aims to modernise Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) services with a digital approach to the provision of IAG services and offering professional training online and AI-based tools for e-Guidance. By employing a case study methodology, the partners, peer expert group, and digital leadership group have developed a curriculum that embeds the use of case studies as learning tools and means to facilitate continuing professional development.

Read the second newsletter here!

The Good e-Guidance Stories research report compiled by our partners captures the response of the information, advice, and guidance IAG services in the UK, Italy, France, Germany, and Greece to the Covid19 Pandemic. The methodological approach implemented in this report included both desk research and a qualitative inquiry, which was composed of interviews with IAG service managers and focus groups which targeted guidance practitioners and beneficiaries.

     ‘‘It is becoming increasingly obvious that the covid 19 pandemic has required us all to think differently about jobs – whether that requires working from home or a complete re-think about job prospects, we’ve needed to think outside the box.’’ (UK).

The reports main findings related to IAG services, and the process of digitalisation in each partner countries emphasises the following: IAG services in France are very digitally orientated with 70 % of public administration services already digitalised and the rest to be updated by 2022. In Italy, the National Recovery and Resilience Plan foresees a reform of IAG service including the introduction of guidance training modules targeted at 4th and 5th grades of secondary school to support students in making choices on their studies as well as further vocational training and preparatory modules for those willing to enter the world of work. In the case of Greece, there are several e-learning courses in the field of career guidance offered by Lifelong Learning Centres of the Universities in the sectors of education, social work, and even Medicine. In Germany (Düsseldorf) new emerging target groups were reported, including many with vocational training and university degrees, recently unemployed due to the pandemic, young EU foreigners and those who find it difficult to access face-to-face counselling due to time restraints. In this way, it was highlighted that ‘’online counselling can offer advantages especially for people with limited mobility, for people who cannot/would not leave the house (for example due to mental or physical illness” (Germany). In the UK, areas of improvement were identified for career guidance service including better quality e-resources and digital provisions for service users, more interactive IAG online provisions for youth and increasing funded training opportunities and support for IAG practitioners. Moreover, it was highlighted that ‘‘there are challenges in accessing young people most in need as some have become disengaged, here partnership working is vital for engagement and follow up’’ (UK)

The main conclusions of this report are that the pandemic has accelerated the process of digitalisation of IAG services, the digital gap has become a determining factor in job search and career development, and with respect to the organisation of services it emerges that all accredited public and private agencies responsible for IAG services have reorganised the services to adapt to the need for remote access. For the full report and conclusions see the link to the PDF in our library GeGS-Report-desk-research.pdf (goodeguidance.eu).

We are delighted that our mid-term conference “CHOOSING TODAY AND TOMORROWhas been approved to be an official partner of the European Vocational Skills Week 2022!

The European Vocational Skills Week, which in 2022 coincides with the European Year of Youth, is dedicated to celebrating all the very best practices in Vocational Education and Training (VET), welcoming events by local, regional, national organisations and other VET partners. Launched in 2016, the European Commission initiative brings all stakeholders – teachers, organisations, students, and trainers – together under one umbrella to showcase the many benefits VET offers young people and adults alike. With an eye to the future skillsets that will be required and the other on the realities of the current labour market, VET aims to equip everyone with the necessary quality skills to unleash their true potential.

Following the great success of the first five European Vocational Skills Weeks, the European Commission has organised the sixth Week to continue raising awareness of VET. The sixth edition of the Week was held as an online event due to COVID-19 safety measures. It took place from 16 to 20 May 2022 in Brussels and simultaneously online. In addition, hundreds of VET-related events and activities associated with the Week will be organised across Europe throughout the year.

Our event is now featured on the Week 2022 website and will shortly be seen on the map.

The Transnational Meeting of GEGS took place in Larissa, Greece, on the 11th and 12th of April 2022. It was the first face-to-face meeting of the partnership, and everyone was happy and excited to see each other and discuss the project process.

The event started with a short presentation about the regions of Thessaly and Larissa by our host and partner, Dimitra. Next on the agenda was the topic “context and relevance of GEGS from 2022 onwards “. Those partners, who are piloting the field trial in their country, presented their process, implementation, and the challenges they faced so far. Partners involved are Ballymun Job Centre, Ciofs-FP. Dimitra, gsub mbH, Eurocircle, and Rinova Ltd.

Afterwards, the ministries that lead the project strategically, presented policy measures in their respective region. Firstly, SenIAS provided a perspective from Berlin, including updates on labour market policy, digitalisation, and migration. Secondly, the Region of Thessaly talked about social characteristics, strategic objectives, and the social welfare sector in their region. Lastly, the Autonomous Region of Sardinia contributed to the discussion sharing updates  on policy and practice in terms of new digital guidance systems in Sardinia.

Next on the agenda was an update by our technical partner Jobiri about their platform adapation for the German, Greek and Italian job market. They expect to launch the platform in September 2022, so watch this space to find out more.

Söstra GmbH, who is responsible for the external evaluation, shared results from their research and evaluation. The feedback from the partners on the project was positive, scoring mainly between “good” and “very good”. At the end of the first day of the meeting, participants worked in three groups to elaborate on points from the previous discussions on the field trial and subsequently presented them to the rest.

The second day started with a discussion on project management, followed by a presentation on the dissemination and exploitation strategy. For that, participants worked in two groups; the ministries and selected partners joined the policy peer expert group, whilst the rest worked on dissemination.

To sum up, it was a very productive meeting providing new input for the next 1,5 years. More than that, everyone appreciated the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas in person.

We are looking forward to the next meeting in October which will take place in Cagliari, Sardinia.

Meet our digital leadership group. Today we introduce three participants from the Ballymun Job Centre Co-op Society Ltd.

I have gained a greater understanding of the use of digital technology and how it can play a part in the delivery of a quality employment service” (Mick).

Read on to find out more about Mick, Ruth and Tomás.

Here is Tomás full profile!

Here is Ruth’s full profile!

Here is Mick’s full profile!

We are proud to launch the GeGS Case Study Training Framework developed by the partners of the Good e-Guidance Stories project, encompassing the IAG Practitioners Competencies outlined by CEDEFOP including Foundation (Practitioners skills and values), Client Interaction (Working with clients) and Supporting (Systems and networks) competences and informed in the conceptual knowledge and learning resources developed across the past years reflected in the curriculum.

 

 

Read the full article here!