Background

For many people, digital working became a reality, especially last year through on-the-job training during the pandemic. Students were home-schooled, companies and offices operated in distance working. However, unemployed (young) people, school leavers at the transition to work, not embedded in a supportive institutional framework, widely missed this capacity building opportunity. They now need to become familiarised with forms of new digital professional life, as dealing with these new digital job realities is assumed by potential employers.

Objectives

This project aims to close the gap of digital divide during job onboarding for vulnerable target groups, especially young unemployed people without academic educational backgrounds. Together with partners from Cyprus, Finland, Italy and Czech Republic the Austrian lead FH JOANNEUM, University of Applied Sciences, plans to develop a training program and evaluate its application within the frame of work-related sustainability projects. The work – related projects, having both strong relations to sustainability, digitalisation and innovation, will be defined by the participants during the training under the supervision of the Italian partner Fondazione Fenice.

These projects are an important part of the training for several reasons:

  1. To practice what learned in the course modules
  2. To support self-management and independent and team work
  3. As basic sustainability knowledge is now also a „must have“ in every job profile

Implementation

The foreseen activities in the project were:

  1. Study to get the big picture about the situation in the partner countries.
  2. Development of a training course to make young people fit for the digital job market.
  3. Run the training with at least 40-60 participants.
  4. Conduct five multiplier events to inform our target groups including multipliers.
  5. Dissemination of information and discussions about the project in our national and international networks, offline and online.
  6. Secure long-term use of project results by anchoring them in several ways also beyond the consortium and the partner countries.

Results

The following major results were achieved:

  1. A study on (new) digital professional life and the current situation at working places, the needs of employers and employees was created. It is available for download as White Paper in the Publications section of this website.
  2. Curricula and content for a training programme targeted especially at the 18- to 25-year-old unemployed youth, based on the insights gained from the study and consisting of 5 modules:
    a. Digital Tools
    b. New forms of work and work organisation
    c. Personal work life
    d. Professional social responsibility in social media
    e. Security aspects.
    The project partners contributed expertise based on their individual fields of know-how for this innovative, multi-disciplinary, combined approach, that is not only focusing on the technical digital skills, but aiming to support a smart and “healthy” digital transformation. Healthy for humans and for the planet, with a view on all relevant aspects: the technology, the context, self-management, legal and ethical and security aspects, sustainability, theory and practice.
  3. Implementation of the training programme in the form of eLearning with links to physical learning (blended learning), suitable for learning at home but also in the context of the workplace. The Moodle platform, that was set up and configured to host the content of the training programme created as part of the second project results was provided for the initial run of the training programme, as described below.
  4. The training programme was planned to be applied with 10–15 young people in four partner countries during 12-16 weeks work-related sustainability projects with a weekly workload of 10–15 hours. At the end of the project we are proud to report that a total of 139 young people in all five partner countries participated in the training course and over 100 experienced the practice projects as part of the training programme.
    The training programme is available for free on dj.fh-joanneum.at.

    Finally dissemination measures such as a website and platform, social media activities, multiplier events, networking and publications as well as conference participation could further expand the number of people informed about the results.