Employees and employers should not only find, but also retain each other as long as possible – that was why the representatives of six countries met and talked for two years as part of the Erasmus+ project called ‘VET to JOB’. This time, the participants from Békés County told us about their experiences.
An enormous amount of social problems could be solved by providing employment to every able person, ensuring them income and self-respect, as well as a chance to keep up their families and become useful citizens. This, however, takes more than matching a certain number of job-seekers with the same number of employers offering jobs; today it requires external help to make quality matches. It means that employees should have the very skills which employers need – and they should be able to demonstrate them, too.
To achieve this goal, the international partnership of six partners, headed by the Government Office for Békés County, has successfully implemented a project called ‘VET to Job – Supporting Employment through Vocational Education and Training’. The goal was – as in many other ERASMUS+ projects before – to help the participants (representatives of organisations engaged in increasing employment, professionals working in VET and career orientation) to exchange experience, or in other words, to teach each other established best practices. Solutions to the same problem may differ from country to country, and each one of them may bring an element which locals haven't thought of, although it might work.
The Department of Social Security and Employment (formerly Labour Centre) of the Government Office for Békés County has also brought a number of such elements home from foreign trips. According to Project Coordinator and labour market consultant Éva Vidovenyecz, their centre has implemented various projects since 2000, and now they have established project management processes, along with the necessary professional background and experienced staff.
"Each government office has its own activities specified by law. When any additional needs arise which our services or training offers can't satisfy, we rely on the opportunities provided by project applications. And when it comes to projects, it's mainly international programmes we can benefit a lot from. In these projects, we always look for methods focusing on the particular field." 'VET to JOB' was such a project, too. The Austrian, Spanish, Cyprian, Finnish and English partners were asked to present innovative techniques which did not only work in their respective countries, but could also be implemented in the given field of VET elsewhere. "At the meetings, they were able to present four or five of these methods at each location, and not only in theory, but very often in practice, too. We consider it important – and we ask our partners, too – to see the programme in question, as well as to talk to the participants”, Éva Vidovenyecz explains. Of course, there’s always something that you just can’t fully adapt to the Hungarian circumstances, but this time, due to the careful preparation, seventy percent of the programmes were found useful.
“The highest-standard services are provided in Austria and England. It was interesting to see, for example, that it was not necessarily the individual that visited the organisation, but in certain cases, the organisation visited the venue and provided customised service, tailored to the circumstances. For example, in England, when secondary school dropouts go skateboarding instead of school, they organise classes of the missed subjects at a venue located in the park. In Finland we found that – since some low-educated or unsuitably skilled groups are also often disadvantaged groups – in some cases, supplementary education is provided in Red Cross distribution centres. In Austria, they try to provide employment to the elderly by relying on their own life experiences. For example, they offer them gardening jobs or employ them as cooks in tourism."
According to the coordinator, the lion’s share of the programmes is mostly performed after returning home. This time, they also prepared a publication containing only the practices which they thought could also be implemented in Hungary. “So others can benefit from them, too, even at a later time”, she said. Another outcome of the project was a guide for consultants, employment professionals and instructors, which they sent to schools and organisations engaged in vocational education and training.
The professionals from the Government Office for Békés County first integrated the method of customised consulting in their offer, which they now regularly use at the career fair organised yearly, as well as in their ongoing consulting and mentoring work. Also, they provided local students an opportunity to meet companies and employers using innovative technologies in the county. “We're trying to base our training offer on employers' needs as much as possible. We used to have a broader offer; now we're targeting shortage occupations and remedial education for people with low levels of education, employed in community service. Currently, five international projects of our own are being implemented. I think you need continuous development in such a constantly changing field.”
A few of the best practices adopted due to the programme are:
>> The youth day organised weekly at employment agencies provides young people a lot of help applying for jobs more successfully. (United Kingdom – Head Start programme)
>> In order to train and employ young people, new, unusual venues and activities can also be included, where 16 to 18-year-old school dropouts and unskilled young people who need help can be reached. (United Kingdom – The Works programme)
>> Refreshing the skills of those who have a qualification, as well as their continuing education and IT and language training support integration in the labour market. (Austria – New Skills Tourism programme)
>> In community employment, ensuring a ‘job-like’ environment, the workplaces using a ‘learning by doing' principle contribute to the training of the unemployed by providing work experience and personal consulting. (Finland – Valtti school workshop model)
>> Training and helping higher education graduates or dropouts gain work experience contributes to finding employment later. (Spain – Cooperating with Spanish Private Enterprises – Posttigo method)
>> Providing internship for students between the ages of 14 and 18 who suspend their studies can prevent dropout and facilitate their employment. (Cyprus – Internship programme)
|More information, guidance and best practices: bekes.munka.hu > Nemzetközi projektek > VET to JOB|
Last modified: 19-06-2019