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.