Science education is a key factor for European economy and society’s future competitiveness.
The tourism sector accounts for almost 25 million jobs in Europe (around 11% of the total employment). The sector provides employment both to highly qualified, as well as to low-skilled workers. It offers job opportunities to both workers who enter the job market for the first time and to people re-entering the job market. It is the largest employer of migrant workers, part-time workers, as well as female workers, and young people.
However skills mismatch is among the fundamental problems hampering the competitiveness of the tourism industry. The competences acquired by tourism professionals at all levels of the skills spectrum during education and training often do not match the expected performance.
VET providers have a limited understanding of the requirements of employers and expectations of travellers in terms of the service provided.
At the same time, youth unemployment in the European Union remains unacceptably high, while many tourism enterprises are missing out on the best talent.
European institutions and VET stakeholders and policy makers have a convergent consensus on enhancing the effectiveness of Work based learning approaches as crucial for addressing and solving labour market imbalances.
Target Groups and Related Needs
Within the above described Rational the following common challenges and related NEEDS:
- VET providers need to ameliorate the cooperation between them and companies to provide a market oriented training offer and driving learning paths to VET students to turn the kills mismatch into competitiveness of the tourism industry and to give a high quality, innovative and customized service for a wide range on target group including seniors or travellers with special needs.
- VET providers needs to increase the engagement of companies of the tourism sector and to involve companies manager that do not have enough time resources to be fully involved in training activities and therefore VET providers have to rely on less qualified companies’ staff.
- VET providers needs to provide VET students with enhanced Work Based Learning methods and tools based on the full exploitation of ICT and multimedia communication potential. WBL experiences (internships, apprenticeships and dual paths) are usually related to a small (or anyway insufficient) number of companies and as a consequence they lack in effectiveness for the trainees. Also they do not address enough the international dimension which, at the contrary, is a key issue for the qualification of tourism and gastronomy within a globalized market.
In order to answer to the above mentioned needs the project AIMS to:
- Improve the cooperation between VET providers and companies so as to provide a market oriented training offer and business driven learning paths to the VET students of Tourism and Eno-Gastronomy.
- Offer work based learning opportunities (internships, apprenticeships and dual paths) to VET students and improve their effectiveness.
- Improve the accessibility and internationalization of VET training offer and of work based learning approaches through the exploitation of ICT in order to match the needs of the companies and the expectations of the trainees.
The SWOT project expects to achieve the following results:
- Motivate VET students specially students at risk of dropping out , by providing them with enhanced Work Based Learning methods and tools based on the full exploitation of ICT and multimedia communication potential.
- Provide VET students with an improved awareness of the importance for companies that human resources they are going to select, have both the technical and professional skills to perform the specific task and the basic and transversal skills that can be acquired only by completing VET education.
Creation of a transnational network of VET providers, companies and social partners cooperating for:
- Enhance the participation of managers and responsible of Tourism and Eno-Gastronomy companies in the training of the future human resources, through the use of the communication potential of Media and ICT
- Making available a market oriented training offer and business driven learning paths, based on the full implementation of work based learning approaches, to the VET students of Tourism and Eno-Gastronomy sector.
- Sharing best practices in organising local, regional, national and international WBL experiences
In order to achieve the above mentioned results the project will develop 3 Intellectual Outputs:
Intellectual Output 1 – On line platform for promoting WBL in the Tourism and Eno-Gastronomy fields
The online platform will be organized in 4 different sections:
1. International WBL Database
It will contain:
- Profiles of companies operating in Tourism and Eno-Gastronomy sectors and that are interested in hosting VET students for WBL experience.
- Profiles of VET students that are interested to carry out their placement at local, regional, national or international level through a mobility WBL experience.
- Online tool to be used by the companies for contacting the VET trainee and offer them a WBL experience.
2. Repository of e-learning based video didactic interviews in the fields of tourism and Eno-Gastronomy
The idea of the interviews is to prepare the VET students for local, regional, national and international WBL experience, acquiring the specific requirements that are necessary to work in the different countries represented within the project partnership (e.g. how to promote a rural house and how to organize activities for it in Italy or Romania).
3. Repository of video testimonials and interviews
VET students and entrepreneurs that have participated in WBL experience in the tourism and Eno-Gastronomy sector will highlight the benefits, the skills acquired, the impact in terms of employability and the benefits they received.
Intellectual Output 2 – Guidelines for the organization of WBL local, regional, national and international initiatives in the fields of tourism and eno-gastronomy
The package will be organised in 5 set of Guidelines and operative tools, each specifically designed for the different target groups.
Each set will be composed by a Guideline outlining indications, hints, strategies and benchmarks and at least 10 tools to be used to put into practices the indications outlined in the Guideline.
- Guidelines and operative tools for policy makers to assess the impact of learning mobility.
- Guidelines and operative tools for VET directors and administrative staff on funding tools to support work based learning mobility.
- Guidelines and operative tools for VET students providing access to a set of guidelines and formats on how to select the appropriate placement.
- Guidelines and operative tools to VET providers trainers and administrative staff providing access to a set of guidelines on how to: establish a fruitful cooperation with companies for organising the placements.
- Guidelines and operative tools for companies interested in hosting VET students for WBL experiences.