Many people working in enterprises as highly valued employees have not completed formal training for what they do. The EU project RAFT offers them the opportunity to obtain proof of their competences in the fields of catering and gardening, simplifying job moves and helping future employers to properly gauge the competences of these individuals.
Can this person set a table? Can they greet guests in a friendly manner and escort them to their seats? Or: Do they know technical terms related to gardening? “The people supported by our project are often unaccustomed to learning and – for various reasons – have not completed any formal training. However, they often work in the catering industry or in garden centres, where they gain many professional skills. These include technical skills as well as soft skills such as working in a team or being punctual,” Monika Kastner, who coordinates the project at the University of Klagenfurt, explains. A standardised assessment procedure is used to determine what people are able to do and where there is a need for further learning.
Quite often these people, who are constantly learning, are employed by the same employer for many years. However, they face difficulties when they want to change jobs and have to prove their skills to a new employer. This is the challenge that RAFT (Reconnaître les Acquis en Formation par le Travail / Work-based learning recognition) seeks to address. The project partners include training providers in the subsidised labour market who offer relevant skills training to those affected. Monika Kastner elaborates further: “Formal educational partners such as schools or apprentice educators enjoy an element of trust. Non-formal training providers, by contrast, are at a disadvantage. The assessment frameworks are designed to promote trust in non-formal training providers through standardisation, transparency and the use of checks by means of a second set of eyes.”
Ultimately, those responsible for the project hope that individuals will have better prospects on the labour market due to being able to provide clear proof of their competences. As Monika Kastner states: “We hope to guide them towards a higher level of education, step by step. Some of them may even go on to complete an apprenticeship”.
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