SMART Grant Number: 2015-3-RO01-KA205-022891
Duration: 01.04.2016 – 31.03.2018
Key Action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
Action: Strategic Partnerships for youth
The SMART tool supports ICT-based teaching and learning as well as ICT-based assessment practices in the youth sector.
Promoting high-quality youth work is important due to the fact that young learners often need occupational orientation. Here, the SMART project with its aim to create an innovative multimedia skill matching and skill testing tool is a real chance for youth educators, youth workers and young learners to get a valuable, high quality assessment This high quality is guaranteed because all SMART results are available as OER which refer to the EU quality standards for OER as developed in the EU project EU-StORe. EU-StORe rates OER according to the standards and provide the information on a free and easy accessible database. All SMART result will go through the hard EU-StORe rating process and will be integrated in this platform and high quality OER database. The mentioned priorities were chosen out of the horizontal and field-specific priority catalogues as the idea behind the SMART project matches perfectly with them. SMART strengthens the profile of the “Teaching Professions” by supporting teachers and youth workers to deliver excellent instruction. In SMART the consortium partners are going to conceptualize, develop, implement, and evaluate an innovative web-based tool that matches theskill, trait, and interest profiles of young people with the requirements for jobs and apprenticeships. The idea is to recognize non-formally acquired skills and competencies, and therefore will be useful particularly for young, disadvantaged people or youths in the transitional system that have to face different obstacles and who are looking for employment. SMART enables disadvantaged young people, who often lack formal qualifications, to show their real strengths and to present themselves in the most beneficial way to potential employers. Thus, the tool is a step ahead of the common approach which focuses on standard qualifications and formally acquired competencies alone which is, unfortunately, is most typical in classical tools and approaches. SMART, in contrast, aims to provide youth workers, career counsellors, and other relevant parties all over Europe with a tool that helps them to improve their work , giving them access to an innovative approach that not only allows them to show their learners career opportunities but that matches their profiles with the profiles of vacant jobs from all over Europe. Furthermore, the method of assessing the informally acquired skills is based on theoretical but particularly practical oriented research, and the matching mechanism will consider different perspectives so that we can follow a comparatively idiographic approach that values individuality and individual differences. SMART will best help young people to find employment that matches their skills and interests easier, following an European approach. The matching mechanism is based on theoretical research, cutting edge approaches, and the expertise of employers themselves. The partners will conduct interviews with employers, allowing us to not only set new quality standards in this field but also bring practice and theory together in a very efficient and sustainable way, particularly because the database can be extended easily without any further development. If used by counsellors or youth workers in school on a local/ regional level, or by bigger organisations on a national/ European level, SMART will always be tailor-made. However, it is the innovative skill matching concept that will not only help young people to find orientation in the world of work and to find a job-description they might be suited best for, but it will help them to directly find employment and to become aware of themselves as they can analyze their profiles. The tool brings employers and young people together, based on the profile descriptions of the young people and the vacancies as well. The generic job skill model which will be developed, focuses on the assessment of generic skills that are relevant for nearly every job and furthermore, the non-formal more generic skills of the learners will be assessed by using different tasks that are bespoke to the developed skill model. These tasks will be developed by the Universities as didactical experts, and they will be revised by the youth related partners, that are highly experienced when it comes to the needs of them. Thus, SMART will focus on the very personal profiles of the learners to match them with job descriptions and vacancies that are described the same way. This makes it possible to focus on the individual.
Because the tool will be made available in the different partner languages, potential users the countries can benefit from the development, and this will allow young people to find employment in foreign countries also. Thus, the European perspective could not be fostered more.