Network F Supporting the adaptability of firms and employees to structural economic changes and the use of information technology and other new technologies.
Project name Idea for Success
Project number F0016

Project description

The key objective of the Project is to help the employees to keep their jobs by adjusting their qualifications to the market requirements using modern continuing development methods based on the latest information and communication technologies. Over the past years the residents of the Western Subregion of Śląskie Voivodship witnessed a significant impoverishment, mainly due to a rise in the rate of unemployment. The restructuring in coal mining industry affected considerably small and medium enterprises form that sector in the region. For many of them, the withdrawal of orders from the coal mining industry or payment defaults have brought growth to a halt or led to the bankruptcy of small and medium enterprise. The sector of services is often perceived as an alternative source of jobs. The keeping of jobs in the service industry will necessitate the provision of innovative courses to the employees so that they are prepared for meeting the requirements of the modern ICT-based market. ICT training courses are increasingly in demand due to recent advances in science, emergence of new specialty areas and expiry of several job certificates. Since training events are not expected to divert employees from their duties, the Development Partnership has opted for application of e-learning, in addition to traditional training methods. A survey of several hundreds of local businesses made it possible to identify target service sectors (automotive, construction, power supply and food processing) of the Partnership. The main reason behind focusing on these sectors is that they employ the largest number of people aged over 50 years, i.e. those that are in danger of exclusion from the labour market. The employees of that age face difficult access to specialised training, continuing education programmes or language courses. Consequently, they are at a disadvantage when attempting to get new or keep their existing jobs. In addition, they are reluctant to start education at that age for fear of learning problems or being ridiculed in front of others. The skills of employees aged over 50 years, gained at a time when information and communication technologies were in their infancy, are lagging behind the requirements of the fast changing labour market. The decision to focus on those aged over 50 was supported by specific situation faced by the societies of today: the aging of working population and labour market discrimination of older workers.

Development Partnership's activities are targeted at 65 final beneficiaries from the Western Subregion of Śląskie Voivodship, who are in danger of discrimination due to age, gender or education, aged 50 or more years (30 women and 35 men). Indirect beneficiaries are teachers and training providers who will be trained in practical aspects of e-learning methods. Final beneficiaries were selected to the Project in close cooperation with employers. In the first step of induction to the Project, employees and employers have been prepared for training and acquainted themselves with the basics of e-learning, i.e. transfer of knowledge and learning over the Internet. E-learning language and vocational courses are delivered at beneficiaries' workplaces. Such training arrangements save time and money of the beneficiaries who are not required to commute to training centres. E-learning makes it possible to adjust the pace of learning to actual needs of individual beneficiaries so that training is delivered on a more interactive basis. The beneficiaries are given an opportunity to improve their vocational skills and receive a special certificate. By completing the courses under the Project the beneficiaries will see their occupational status improved due to their new skills, updated knowledge and enhanced competence in the area of information and communication technologies. Thanks to a close cooperation with employees and employers, learning tools developed under the Project will meet the needs of the beneficiaries and those of the labour market. The participation in the Project will affect favourably competitiveness of the enterprises involved by improving skills and better use of knowledge and experience of older employers. Employers will get more insight into vocational skills of their employees and better plan for development of skills in their enterprises. The e-learning training model will enable more workers to benefit from access to knowledge, thus complementing the traditional training offer. The model will be made available to other training providers. In order to do so, Development Partnership will undertake comprehensive dissemination activities to promote its achievements in the area of continuing development and the use of information and communication technologies. The partners will attempt to reach local authorities, non-government and business support organisations, entrepreneurs, schools and universities, i.e. to contact all those who may benefit from e-learning arrangements.