ACTIVET – ACcess To Inclusive Vocational and Educational Training environments
As underlined by Cedefop (2019), in presence of a mismatch between the learners’ expectations and the reality of the profession, “work-based training can also be discouraging and lead to drop-out”. This situation could be comprehensibly more challenging for disabled individuals, that often find themselves in a condition of strong distress in the workplace. Following the recommendation of the European Disability Strategy 2010-20 of the European Commission, ACTIVET aims to tackle this issue, increasing disabled individuals’ participation in the workplace and their self-awareness of their competencies, through “information exchange and mutual learning”.
ACTIVET aims at providing a strategy for guaranteeing stronger access of disabled individuals to employment, thanks to the development of tailor-made educational and training pathways that respond directly to their specific needs and expectations. The quality of WBL schemes is even more relevant for people with disabilities, pushed away from the labour market because of their vulnerability. More specifically, ACTIVET recognised that even today’s disabled workers are forced to face transitions between jobs, organizations, and occupations more frequently than ever before.
This goal will be implemented thanks to the definition of a pathway to achieve the following objectives:
- Fostering the skills of trainers, mentors and job counsellors interested in the employability of vulnerable people. Through skills development, in-company tutors, VET trainers and job counsellors will be able to deliver customised WBL projects for disabled people, in order to compensate for their limited work capacity.
- Developing new disability Management Skills acquired through the project, including pedagogical and andragogical methods, will allow the design and management of tailored training schemes, supporting the effective match of individual abilities, skills and needs with the constraints of different workplaces.
- Design and test new activities aimed to foster the participation to WBL of individuals with different basic activity difficulties (cognitive, psychological, linguistic, regarding sight, hearing and motor disabilities), which will take part in the testing and will provide feedback to the entire realization of project outputs, thanks to an interactive platform that will enable them to communicate constantly their perception of the project-in-the-making ACTIVET plans to achieve these results through the development of the following outputs:
- a comprehensive multimedia product, composed of weblogs, creative contributions, video diaries and a portfolio that will set the basis for the whole project. The research will provide a transnational insight on the situation of WBL for individuals with disabilities, outlining a number of good practices that could provide a reference point; the video materials will be realized by disabled individuals, providing their ideas and insights concerning the main barriers that make employability difficult for them and what could be a strategy to overcome them;
- standardized training pathway for in-company coaches which will provide them with a set of skills to interact appropriately with disabled apprentices (eg: preparing learners for on-the-job experience, keeping them motivated, implementing effective accessibility, compensation or replacement strategies) and “training-employment organizations”(eg: ensuring effective cooperation to encourage integration and permanence in the workplace);
- a consistent piloting activity, that will be conducted by 10 trainers and 20 individuals with disabilities in each of the involved countries, for a total number of 60 trainers and 120 users.
- a handbook containing guidelines for the recognition and validation of informal and non-formal learning acquired in the framework of WBL schemes by disabled people. The handbook will also allow the exportability of the methodology used within the context of the project for the validation of nf/if competencies.
Furthermore, the project develops transnational multilateral partnerships involving social partners, VET/Tertiary Education providers, companies, associations promoting disabled people inclusion and job counsellors, thus contributing to promoting high-quality WBL experiences for disabled learners involving a wide European network.