In many countries, (initial and continuing) vocational education and training systems cannot adapt in time to the demand for particular specialisations and skills, as these are rapidly changing due to the development of technology, digital transformation, and the green transition of enterprises. This inability to adapt causes shortfalls in specialisations and skills, which are in some cases covered by private sector initiatives. Many of these are integrated initiatives that start from diagnosing corporate needs, continue into the development of soft and technical skills, and professional development, and conclude with employment. Examples of such initiatives include Volvo and AstraZeneca in Sweden; Nestlé, SAP, and Sonae in Portugal; and Iberdrola, SAP, and Telefónica in Spain.
This problem is even more acute in Greece, as: a) initial vocational education and training cannot meet the demand for certain specialisations, and b) the skills acquired by students do not reflect technological advancements and the needs of modern enterprises.
SEV has recently launched a series of integrated initiatives (Skills4Jobs), aiming to:
In this context, SEV, in collaboration with ReGeneration, is implementing two pilot initiatives in the region of Attica, namely ‘Skills4Jobs for Electrical Automation Technicians’ and ‘Skills4Jobs for Information Technology Application Technicians’. These specialisations were identified following a survey of member-enterprises. These are initiatives aimed at young people who have recently graduated from technological and technical training in related specialisations (Electricians and IT Application Technicians) and who have little professional experience. Participants were selected in two stages: Game-based assessments and interviews with business executives.
These initiatives include:
The Skills4Jobs initiatives
1. Αre comprehensive, as they include all stages of the training-employment chain. They always start from diagnosing the specialisation needs of SEV member-enterprises on a local level. Besides developing technical skills – using training programmes adapted to enterprises’ needs – they also develop soft skills (teamwork, project management, presentation skills, etc.). These soft skills are very important in the modern workplace and production environment, but they are not sufficiently developed by technical and technological training systems.
At the same time, participants attend programmes that help them manage their careers (such as drafting CVs, creating a LinkedIn profile, preparing for interviews, etc.), while at the same time business executives offer professional guidance and information on the profession the participants are pursuing (prospects, functions, advantages and disadvantages of a profession, etc.).
During training, participants also visit enterprises to come into contact with modern production and work environments, and to see how the knowledge they acquire is implemented in practice.
Lastly, these initiatives will result in jobs for participants in high-quality, full-time positions within the scope of their training.
2. A link between technical and technological training and the job market. Participants who successfully complete the Skills4Jobs programmes will have developed the knowledge and skills needed by modern businesses, but not offered by the technical and technological training system. More specifically, the Skills4Jobs training programmes for both IT Application Technicians and Electrical Automation Technicians were designed through a process during which: a) the knowledge of the participants was taken into account, based on the curriculum of their specialisation training, and b) the training providers (IVEPE/SEV for Electrical Automation Technicians, and the Vocational Training and Lifelong Learning Centre/AUEB for Information Technology Applications Technicians) created the training programmes in collaboration with personnel of enterprises with these specialisations, in order to meet the needs of modern production (see here for the IT Application Technician training programme and here for the Electrical Automation Technician training programme). The Skills4Jobs initiatives thus came to fill the gap between the knowledge provided by the technical and technological training system and what modern enterprises actually need. In this way, these programmes contribute to technical upskilling and the acquisition of new skills (soft skills, etc.), functioning as the link between technical and technological training and the labour market.
3. They are geographically focused in order to take into account, during their design, both enterprise needs in particular specialisations, as well as the specific characteristics of the human resources available in these specialisations at a local level. The first pilot initiatives are being implemented in the wider region of Attica, while similar initiatives are being planned in other regions.
4. They are designed, implemented, and financed by the enterprises themselves, which have a key role:
4.1 In the design of the initiatives:
4.2 In the implementation of the initiatives, as:
4.3 In the financing of the pilot initiatives
The pilot initiatives are funded by SEV, its sponsors, and member-enterprises.
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