In Romania, due to local conditions we ended up carrying out two workshops, one as a pilot in which participants were unemployed middle aged adults, and the second, the main workshop, for young people in their last year of pre-university education in a vocational highschool. After that we had an evaluation seminar for career guidance specialists.

The following video briefly illustrates moments from the 2 workshops and the seminar.

The participants in the pilot workshop were 8 middle aged unemployed persons interested in the project with the aim of improving their employability, given that in Romania the chance for a person above 45 to get an employment is rather slim, irrespective of the level of education and the work experience. 4 of them actually finished the course and completed their presentations.

 

 

The design of the course was based in a constructivist approach, following the project method model, every element of the learning activities being useful in a direct or indirect way to the elaboration of the digital narratives by the participants, following a pathway with cornerstones commonly identified by the project team, that oriented not only the contents and thematics of the workshop, but also the didactics applied:
– getting to know [awareness about] and identifying ones’ own strengths and reflection on where those can be used;
– transfer of their state of knowledge to knowledge that can be applied;
– getting to know the expectations and obligations of the labour market, or the list of requirements of future employers.
The general aim of the workshop was common for both versions, directly translating the one defined at transnational level: Improving vocational preparation of young people by supporting features such as
– Self-development
– Authorship
– Collaboration
– Communication
– Multimodality (related to diverse modes of interacting with media, materials, modes of access and perspectives)
– Digital presence
Specific goals and thematics were derived from this general aim
– Self-presentation / self-marketing = creating and promoting a certain self-image (clarification of the personal/professional life objectives, reflection on one’s owns qualities and abilities, analysis of the learning experiences), using:
– effective communication techniques
– posture, expresivity
– tailoring communication on the audience’s features = reflection on others’ expectations and on interpretation codes from different angles that one’s own one
– Organisational culture/ specific professional profiles associated to the targetted professional domain
– Requirements on the labour market: abilities, attitudes, disponibility
– Digital job seeking techniques.

Here is one of the digital biographies produced by a participant in the pilot workshop:

For the participants in the pilot group, mature adults with a rather high level of professional competences and a long record of professional experience, the self-evaluation and reflection process occasioned by the workshop brought a significant improvement in self-esteem and a positive change in their career planning and job seeking strategies. To these attitudinal changes, very important to long term unemployed, improvement in digital skills and confidence in using IT is also to be considered, since computer literacy and social networking is by far lower in mature adults than in youngsters.