On 12 June LifeOnline -LifeOnLine Developing life and employability competences through mobility, held its final Conference at the Basque Country Delegation to the EU in Brussels. 

Marta Martin, Delegate of the Basque Country to the EU, on behalf of the Basque Country, expressed how important the development of high quality VET was a key priority for the Basque Government.  The Delegation representative reinforced the importance of reforms in VET converting qualifications in to competency based programmes focused on learning outcomes. Ms.Martin also emphasised the importance of key competences necessary to prepare young people for work. The Basque Government reforms of VET were outlined recognising that Basque Country are moving a pace to implement new qualifications and approaches incorporating a shift toward more Work Based Learning and in deed introducing higher level VET to meet the skills needs of Businesses. Moreover, the Basque Government were actively supporting and encouraging translational mobility for young people in VET and at the forefront of the drive to raise the profile of VET as a pathway to success.

Peter Hodgson,(former President, EfVET) offered a brief introduction to LifeOnLine – how it started in 2015, explaining the importance of Key Competences, particularly, the need to prepare young people for a world of work which is changing rapidly and will continue apace. LifeOnLine was created in order to better prepare learners for the labour market of tomorrow.  LifeOnLine concentrated on improving the acquisition of employability and entrepreneurship skills through the development of an OnLine learning methodology to offer a stimulating and highly motivating, dynamic approach to teaching learning these important skill sets.

Mr.Hodgson explained that EfVET was a key contributor to the policy developments.  EfVET is a leading member, alongside 5 other European VET networks acting an Advisory Board to DG Employ. and sits on several key working groups supporting ET2020 including ECVET, EQAVET and the working party on VET.  In addition, EfVET is working on the themed working groups assisting CEDEFOP in the implementation of support tools and development and expansion of issues like Transnational mobility. He linked the contribution of LifeOnLIne to the policy arena and shared with delegates the value of synergy with other projects with similar projects innovations such as VET-GPS – creating learning resources to supporting soft skills and draw people attention to previous project outcomes and results which were the base from which LifeOnLine was born.

Following this, Jonathan Harding (Bridgwater and Taunton College, UK), introduced the project, final products, outcomes and results. His presentation led people through the project e-learning platform and talked about each module and how they were developed, piloted and tested through transnational mobility with students from the partner institutions.  His primary focus was on how the project had elicited the advice and help from learners (the end users) at all stages of the LifeOnLine development process.  He described how the course was piloted and tested before, during and after the transitional mobility using ECVET principles and how the project gathered evaluations and feedback from the learners and staff throughout the process.  In deed he emphasised how learners had contributed to the titles and logos for each module of the Master your Future learning programme.

Whilst the courses were tested within a transnational mobility context, it was noted that the course could be introduced as an effective delivery model, with its of resources, tasks and assignments to raise the importance go Employability and Entrepreneurship within existing curricula or in deed was a standalone resource.

Policy discussion

Panel discussion on policy developments invited Mr. Steve Bainbridge (CEDEFOP), Anna Barbeiri  (European Commission, DG Employment, Unit 3) and Francesco Losappio and Nuria Moyers (ESCO).

Starting by Mr. Steve Bainbridge, he set LifeOnLine within the context of employment and the future of jobs – reinforcing the importance of meeting employer needs.  Moreover, he emphasised how employment and jobs in the future would impact on both society and economics as a whole.  He gave an excellent overview of the challenges facing society and employers alike and linked the need for soft skills/ key competences as those expressed within LifeOnLine were important for the future employment prospects of VET.  His main thrust was VET is the future and gave an excellent rationale as to why.

Anna Barbiere presented an overview about the future developments in VET mobility and excellence by the European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. Barbieri introduced the last updates of the European Vocational Skills week which will take place from 5 to 9 of November in Vienna. This year’s edition will include meetings on the future of VET, Employer’s day, Ambassadors Awards and events around Europe covering the period from September to December 2018. She linked LifeOnLine with the priorities of European VET Policy and the importance of such key skills within the context of current and future skills needs.

Finally, Francesco Losappio, shared with participants the ESCO initiative and tools to support Skills / competences to Occupational skills required in the work place – he demonstrated how the tool could be used to put those seeking employment in to contact with the sectors of industry and commerce they were interested in.

A wide ranging session of questions and answers followed linking LifeOnLine and the importance of key competences and skills to meet the needs of the labour market in to the future.

Presentations

  • Jonathan Harding, introduction to LifeOnline – Download
  • Padraic Murphy, Apprenticeships alliances.eu- Download
  • Anna Barbieri, the future developments in VET mobility and excellence – Download
  • Francesco Losappio, ESCO – Download