In March and April 2023 five community engagement events in four partner countries (Austria, Germany, Italy and Netherlands) with in sum 55 participants took place. Events were the opportunity for local networks consisting of CGC professionals, enterprises and further training providers, to come together and discuss about digital competences and counselling networks.
In CGC-DigiTrans project local networks are set up to gather feedback from practitioners enriching products and methodology. Furthermore the network is invited to join workshops and to test the methodology in their daily work.
In the following our project partners provide information about their community engagement events and the most important insights:
The first community engagement event in Austria took place on the 14th April 2023 at the University for Further Education Krems with seven experts from different backgrounds, including training providers, the chamber of commerce, CGC-networks in Vienna and Lower Austria and the public employment service.
In the discussion the experts shared their experiences in supporting clients (employees, job seekers, companies) to improve their digital competencies. Specific attention was given to the challenges CGC practitioners face in their work.
Missing transversal skills of clients– experts pointed you that especially clients with no or low digital competencies often lack the willingness to accept change or the ability to cope with it that is necessary to build up their competencies by training activities.
Identifying digital competence requirements for specific positions as well as assessing the current competencies of clients before the background of more and more rapidly changing digital competence requirements.
Lack of suitable training offers – especially in remote regions it is hard to find training offers for clients with no or low digital competencies that are close to their place of living. Online offers could help to offer trainings also in remote areas but for clients with no or low digital skills this offers are not suitable.
Data privacy – different organisations have different views and rules on the topic of data privacy, which makes it hard to use a common digital infrastructure to support the work of CGC practitioners in networks.
Which digital competences are particularly important? How are needs for digital competences identified in my organisation? What is the importance of counselling in networks to promote digital competences in my organisation?
On Friday, 31 March 2023, and Friday 28 April a total of 29 network partners discussed these and other questions on site and in hybrid form at the first network meeting. Peter Weber, Bettina Siecke and Jenny Schulz had invited the German CGC-DigiTrans network to the University of Applied Labour Studies (HdBA) in Mannheim. Twelve practitioners from (vocational) counselling, corporate management/human resources and continuing education gladly accepted the invitation. A further 13 participants joined virtually. The participants received information about the project and the project goals in two kick-off events before the actual network meeting.
In addition to the exchange of information on the topics of assessing and promoting digital competences and advice on promoting competences in networks, the networking aspect between the participants was clearly in the foreground. The face-to-face participants took advantage of this opportunity during and after the event with coffee and snacks. The virtual participants were also able to exchange ideas freely during a short break.
The workshop participants particularly praised the relaxed atmosphere in which exchange and the development of ideas were possible. They reported that the topic of digital transformation and the opportunity to participate in the development of a new counselling methodology motivated them to join the network.
The network will remain in contact in the future. The next meeting on the topic of “methodology development” will take place in summer/early autumn 2023. A LinkedIn group for further exchange will be created.
On the 31st of March 2023, the Italian partner’s Community Engagement Event took place at the University of Padova. Prof. Lea Ferrari and Prof. Teresa Maria Sgaramella proposed a hybrid format and welcomed eleven participants, mostly CGC professionals. The event started with a brief introduction to the DigiTrans project, followed by the participants’ presentation as well as the description of the organisation they work for.
The engagement activity then started. Participants answered some questions individually and discussed their answers in three groups, two in presence and one online. Finally each group shared the reflections with the whole group. The main results are summarised below:
the actual implementation to support the digital competencies of their target group includes one to one coaching, classroom training (both online and in-presence), working groups for the definition and fine-tuning of tools with monitoring moments;
the identification of the needs of digital competencies takes place through online surveys, interviews on digital tool management practices, practical tests on how the digital tools are used, observation of how services work;
counseling importance in the network emerged from some participants who discussed, for example, the potential role that counselors could have as mediators between the workers and the company to highlight the real need for digital competence.
The Italian partner is very thankful for the interest demonstrated by the professionals in participating in the DigiTrans network and is looking forward to the events that will follow in the project.
The Lectoraat Employability Transition researchteam at Saxion University of Applied Sciences is part of the European researchteam ‘Digitrans’. Together with partners from Italy, Austria, Mannheim and Lithuania, we are researching which digital skills are important to structurally retain work and to find work in the European labour market. In the Netherlands, we therefore conducted various in-depth interviews in April and May 2023 with organizations that deal with this (daily). They have provided us with tips for now and in the future to help our target group develop the necessary digital skills. With many thanks to James Loopbaan, Leerwerkloket Twente, Leerwerkloket Stedenvierkant, Gemeente Zwolle, Superpeople company, Lucrato, Media Jungle and the Library in Deventer. The next step is to organize a partner event where we discuss all of our outcomes in a group setting. This will take place in june.