DeuSComp training for Creative and Cultural professionals

DeuS, an Erasmus+ pilot project on Vocational Educational Training that has been focusing on how to unlock the potential of the Creative and Cultural Sector, is ready to share its innovative response to this challenge.

The aim of this 2-year project launched in January 2020, is to co-create a European-wide learning and training solution in critical thinking and entrepreneurship that specifically responds to the needs of Cultural and Creative Professionals across Europe. And not only, the resulting DeuSComp training methodology and programme is also designed to support DeuS Living Labs in the identification of creative and original solutions to local multisectoral economic and societal challenges. The process highlights how an injection of creative thinking and creative skills can drive real solutions to real problems.

The DeuS project is shaped around the unique Open Design School, a pillar project of Matera 2019 (Italy), European Capital of Culture and now New European Bauhaus partner. A design laboratory that uses a peer-to-peer, interdisciplinary challenged based approach, transforming applied research into the real domain.

So, what is the DeuSComp training approach? What makes it different?

A training programme that responds to real needs

A European-wide study has highlighted that Creative and Cultural professionals don’t like to waste time upskilling in competencies they don’t really need. Training needs to be relevant.

The skills gaps identified focus on a mixture of entrepreneurial, digital and marketing competencies, intertwined with an ever-growing awareness of how fundamental soft skills are to be productive such as: self-awareness, adaptability, emotional intelligence and how to network and communicate.

DeuSComp has created a training structure consisting of a single module that facilitates a fluid and overlapping approach to the identified thematic areas with transversal ‘soft skills’ embedded into the delivery of all lessons.

DeuSComp responds to the training needs of the Creative and Cultural professional, a bespoke mixture of the European competence frameworks EntreComp, DigComp and LifeComp.

An innovative training methodology

Preferred learning modes highlighted in the study also confirm that the DeuSComp training methodology needed to break the traditional paradigm of ‘talk and chalk’ teaching in a classroom. The DeuS partnership was ready to respond.

Rita Orlando, DeuS Coordinator for lead partner Matera 2019 Foundation, believes that ‘Artistic freedom should be complementary to Academic freedom in the educational system’.

Key Cultural and Creative learner preferences identified during research include action-based learning (learning by doing) and peer-to-peer learning. The DeuS training draws upon the Open Design School methodology and is structured to facilitate multidisciplinary team working, workshops, group critiques, and challenge-based approaches.

A mentoring and a tutorial-based approach has been identified as a useful tool to personalise the training allowing the educator to draw out the learner’s self-reflective observations on their own progress and relevance of training to practice and be a useful counterpoint to group activities.

“Pick and mix” training pathways

When it comes to assessment and qualifications not every CCI professional needs the same thing.  Some learners (and employers) express an interest in feedback and assessment; and others reject the notion of formal assessment.  Furthermore, some learners prefer a buffet-style approach to lessons as opposed to the whole training programme, or rather, the ‘set menu’.

The DeusComp training has developed 3 pathways that respond to the needs of every learner.

Validation of DeuSComp is in its final stage across Europe and will continue on the DeuS Creative Knowledge Platform, designed as a one-stop shop for the cultural and creative industries, and where we welcome users to test and share their experience.