For the past few years unemployment is both a concern and a challenge across Europe. The consequences hitting masses of people, a lot of them middle aged. Increased lay-offs in the service sector and the industry are leaving professionals and trained workers in the middle of their career both out of job and without prospects. At the same time technical/traditional vocations that are being abandoned can be seen as job opportunities, especially through small-scale social entrepreneurial activities.

Vocational education and training are important means for addressing these issues; however, their success presupposes vocational orientation and guidance. Up to now lifelong learning programs have been giving emphasis in the logic of “go ahead rather than to get by, which does not match the emphasis on the low-skilled” and the participation of the lower skilled who are the ones that would benefit the most is significantly low (Education and Training Monitor 2013, p.68), while orientation and guidance practices target mostly young people. Now the need arises for the relevant tools and methods to be adjusted to an older age group, addressing profession or career change. The same need arises as far as the integration in the labor market of newly arrived refugees/ migrants in the EU countries is concerned.

An adequate response to these challenges is the strengthening of knowledge and the offer of relevant and effective (re)orientation tools to coaches/trainers/counselors to use in their immediate work with beneficiaries. Our Project’s objective is to provide for them the contextual framework and the educational material to address the needs of their diverse (and steadily more diversified) group of beneficiaries along with easy to use materials and tools for vocational re-orientation of adults and vulnerable groups.

Our partnership joins forces in order to provide an innovative approach to strengthen the VET effectiveness and indirectly aid in combating unemployment through VET means: enhancing access to training and qualification for all, with special attention to low skilled; providing efficient and integrated guidance services; introducing opportunities for professional development of VET trainers/coaches/counselors; developing effective, open and innovative education techniques through the use of ICT. 

Project targets trainers/coaches/counselors and VET providers, aiming at upgrading their skills to enhance clients/beneficiaries’ chances in the labor market. For this, it creates an innovative methodology and the complementary ICT educational materials to support it, in the context of vocational re-orientation, technical orientation and up- & re-skilling.

Approx. 150 trainers, coaches, counselors will be trained within the partnership. 16 of them will participate in the short-term Joint Staff Training Event in Lisbon. Given the Project’s objectives and target group, we have decided to apply to all its educational activities the liberal adult learning approach: its main characteristics adopted in the Project’s activities and embedded in its outcomes, are self-assessment, critical thinking, relying on the participants professional and/or life experiences and previous knowledge on a learner-centered basis and group work.  

The project’s development follows three complementary steps:


Re-drafting and re-design of orientation materials and tools for unemployed people including refugees/immigrants that need to re-focus their vocational orientation;



Creating educational material for trainers / coaches / counselors and VET providers with the use of ICT in the form of a Virtual Reality Space for the beneficiaries to try out different vocations along with;



A collection of videos by artisans explaining their profession and techniques offering to beneficiaries a virtual hands-on experience and better guidance at technical vocational training.


Target group members will be actively involved in the Project’s development through focus groups and piloting, so that the final products reflect their experience and enhance their knowledge, offering practical help in their everyday work.

The activities conclude in the creation of the re-orientation material for adults, the guide and the Electronic re-orientation kit. The OER platform offering to trainers/coaches/counselors the use of the Project’s materials at any time and place, also beyond its life cycle. The Partnership is particularly interested in gaining insights and a strong basis for future development of ECVET curricula on technical vocations reflecting the needs of the labor market and the unemployed.



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