The process of Globalisation has had a profound impact on the countries and regions as
‘local’ economic and cultural structures and organisations adapt to the influence of global
pressures. From an economic perspective, increased competitive pressure requires
adjustment of economic structures and the moving of resources between firms and
Supplying the education and training that organisations require to remain competitive
means more opportunities for employment and growth. Education for employment can be
viewed as upskilling, providing individuals with new skills and knowledge or reskilling,
supporting the transference of existing skills and knowledge to new fields.
The purpose of this project is to develop MOOCs and programs of associated activities designed to benefit less advantaged individuals, specifically work-seekers who require upskilling in areas that will help them take that first step in securing employment. By targeting work-seekers the project actively seeks to engage with European Youth Policy, as typically, young people starting their career make up a disproportionately large number of this group. As an approach, MOOCs fit well with the policy of establishing cross-sectoral approaches to empower young people to face challenges around education, employment and social inclusion.
The project itself can be broken into three clear phases of activity.
Investigate current situation of MOOCs, work-seekers and local labour markets.
Create initial phase of MOOCs, supporting activities e.g. Study Clubs and learning
pathways based on the results of the initial investigation.
3. Review, revise and run second phase of MOOCs based on learning from phase 1.
Today we shall be summarising phase 1 in order to demonstrate the current impact of MOOCs and how work-seekers and local labour markets could benefit from the introduction of MOOc learning environments.
Greece, Slovenia, Spain and the UK all reported growth in their job sectors, however this
was usually against the backdrop of several years of continuous decline. All countries
reported that there were jobs available, however the main areas where it was difficult to fill
posts were in low skill/low pay jobs and high skill/high experience jobs.
The specific circumstances for the individual countries and sectors were:
Greece – the impact of migration due to Greece’s on-going economic problems has produced a local skills shortage.
Spain – the financial crisis led to changes in the Spanish economy.
Slovenia – in the job markets there have been slight increases in manufacturing &
production, transport & storage and accommodation & food; and slight decreases in the
public sector, scientific and technical and finance and insurance.
UK – There are clear differences between the health and the social care sectors: the health workforce is more skilled and better qualified than the national average, whereas care workers are on average lower paid and less qualified.
From an employer point of view, unsurprisingly the main issue in filling vacancies is finding
the appropriate technical/professional skills and knowledge. Soft skills also appear to be
important requirements for employers, however, a report suggests that employers often feel little responsibility for developing these types of skills and competencies.
To discover in-depth details of the findings specific to each country and sector, head to the Final Summative Report here.
The education in professional competencies and skills, e.g. power electronics and
automation, is a key area of improvement. This may be due to “brain-drain” as
the most capable individuals seek to improve their situation during Greece’s difficulties by
pursuing opportunities in other countries.
Business & Finance (Spain):
Employers look for combinations of both professional and transversal skills when selecting
employees, but attitude is also an important factor. In general, possession of the relevant
professional skills are usually considered as being most important, but transversal skill and
attitude often provide the deciding factor during the final selection. The importance of
these different factors varies based on the type of role.
There are still difficulties in filling vacancies within the tourism sector. Attitude is a key factor for employees in the tourism sector. Quality of service is vital to ensure continued business. Quality of service was linked to employees actively engaging with customers, rather than just learning how to act.
Health & Care (UK):
The care sector is in the process of developing a curriculum, but there are currently no
formal qualifications required for entry. The National Skills Academy wants to supply
information on pathways and qualifications on-line and is currently looking for providers to
support this initiative. The development of MOOCs could be a potential to address this
We will be following up with the activities and results of phases two and three throughout the rest of this week.
Destiny © 2015
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