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sustainable integration into the labour market

TRIAS: Guidance in the workplace

Our project „TRIAS: Guidance in the workplace” has the main goal to develop an innovative approach to educational and vocational guidance happening in the workplace. To achieve this, the project activities will focus on strengthening the capacities and competences of guidance practitioners for providing guidance to the employed in their workplace. In this context, particular regard will be placed on low-qualified persons as one of the most important target groups in adult education.

Workplace guidance is a highly promising approach to outreach education and guidance work, because it can help to improve access to guidance for employed adults, since only a small percentage of the workforce has access to some form of guidance (or even considers guidance relevant and/or necessary for their career planning.

Since continuing education and training are more important than ever in the current labour market, outreach guidance work in the workplace has to step up and take an active role in raising awareness for the subject (also for lifelong learning in general), and provide easily accessible services for the employees directly where vocational and educational choices matter the most – in the workplace.
The TRIAS project follows and develops an innovative approach, where companies are contacted and guidance is offered to their employees. This way, the company is included in the guidance process as a relevant actor (thus, the “TRIAS” of guidance practitioners, employees and employers). By doing this, a balanced guidance process in ensured, where the clients’ needs (of the employees) and the organizational needs (of the company) are both taken into account.

 

Project Information / Concept

The following points illustrate the importance and relevance of the TRIAS project, and the concept(s) used in the design and implementation.

 

  • Improved guidance: Low-take-up rate of existing guidance offers for (employed) adults has been one of the main challenges encountered by guidance practitioners. One main branch of guidance offers (by PES) is aimed at unemployed persons, another focus is set on youth and young adults (via career counselling), and from the company side, the existing offers are often focusing on human resource development or on training on managerial level. In this context, TRIAS aims to further access of employed persons to guidance offers at company level, thereby supporting the EU strategies to promote LLL throughout society.
  • Increased importance of CVET and workplace learning: Current trends in the labour market (like aging societies and longer working lives have increased the need for continuing vocational education and training. Technological changes and new socio-economic developments have also led to a further demand in changing and adapting skills, which requires employees to keep training and educating themselves. High quality and successful careers do not only depend on a high initial skill level, but on further training as well as work environments that are permissive for learning and skill expansion. Guidance in the workplace can play an important part In promoting such work-based CVET offers.
  • Focus on low-qualified: The low-qualified segment of the workforce has the lowest participation rates for further qualification and training activities, and is more often employed in jobs which do not provide learning possibilities. This low rate of LLL enrolment further adds to social and economic exclusion trends. This group is also most difficult to reach with “office-based” guidance offers, and they most likely encounter such services once they become unemployed. Guidance in the workplace can therefore considered as a preventive approach, since a continuing education career can help people to keep a job or to re-enter the labour market and avoid long-term unemployment.
  • Guidance services for high-risk groups: The TRIAS project aims at providing a range of low-threshold guidance services which especially target groups at risk of social and economic exclusion. Outreach strategies to increase awareness and motivation for education and training among these groups can be very effective. This way, new target groups who would not on their own seek contact with guidance offers, could be brought into the fold. In the CVET context, the most efficient way to do so is in the workplace.
  • Added value: Guidance provision in the workplace has added value for the employees, the employers and the policy-makers. Employees are enabled to maintain and improve their employability by training courses which are presented to them during guidance. It can also help them to re-assess their competencies and to move from one to another (better) job easier. Employers can profit from workplace guidance, because they can maintain a high level of productivity for their workforce, motivate and retain their employees and match the staff skill profile with the current and future needs. Guidance can also help companies in improving their training schemes in order to better adapt to changes in technology and the business environment. Policy makers can benefit from increased workplace guidance indirectly, because the competitiveness of the workforce is improved by such measures to upskill workers, foster workplace adaptability and sustainability and support workforce re-integration goals.

The TRIAS project is carried out by ÖSB Consulting (Austria), together with Peter Plant (Denmark), bbb Büro für berufliche Bildungsplanung (Germany), AZM-LU Maribor (Slovenia) and ERUDICIO (Czech Republic), and is funded by the European Union in the framework of the “ERASMUS+ Programme”.