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Counselling via Social Media
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Aug 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Career guidance is expected to address a variety of issues related to the labor market, always with the intention of improving labor market outcomes and efficiency, as well as supporting development goals. The role and tasks of the career professionals are very complex, given the fact that they are called to address specific labor market shortages and mismatches, foster lifelong learning and motivate adults to participate in learning and training activities, promote professional mobility, contribute to the stabilisation of the labor market, address the issue of an ageing society and contribute to job seekers undertaken by OECD and CEDEFOP that a lot of career advisors and professionals have found it very difficult to deliver career information and guidance in the remoter regions, and that ICT represents a very powerful tool for overcoming such barriers. This is particularly true if, rather than just providing information on the nature of occupations and on vacancies, the software allows self-exploration, self-assessment of vocational interests and abilities and interactive sessions with counsellors, with the internet providing a portal into a broad and flexible network of interlinked services. Bearing in mind the aforementioned, the consortium intends to develop a set of tools for career advisors and counsellors which will be available through social media and which aim at decreasing the workload they need to carry out, as well as facilitate access to their services for people who live in remote regions or face other problems that make it difficult for them to visit a career advisor on a regular basis. In addition to the tools, the partners will develop a training course, targeted to help them use effectively the tools developed, while at the same time enhancing a range of skills that are mostly important for promoting motivation, engagement, mobility and decision making process of the job seekers. In specific, the partners will carry out an analysis in order to be in the position to summaries what exactly is intended at policy level in the participating countries when it comes to the profession of career advisors. Through the analysis, the partners will also aim to register their learning opportunities and frequency, their overall satisfaction level, as well as their computer literacy. Following the data analysis and the compilation of the report, the partners will develop the set of tools, meant to be available through social media, given their integration level to the lives of people, with the intention of reducing the amount of time each career advisor will need to dedicate in filling out forms and questionnaires and reinforcing the motivation, empowerment and decision making of their clients. A blended training course will also support the use of the tools, while enhancing the relevant skills of the career professionals to carry out their tasks in a most efficient and successful way. The project results include: a set of tools to be used through social media, a training course on how to use the tools developed and enhance the skills mentioned above, an e-Learning platform to support the course, making it easier for career professionals to attend and policy recommendations drafted by each partner at national level, based on the outputs of the analysis carried out at the beginning of the project and the results of the project, which will suggest the changes that need to be made at policy level in order to promote the role of career professionals and identify ways to facilitate them. It is expected that a total number of over 200 career advisors and counsellors will be involved in core project activities, giving valuable feedback and information on the quality and usability of the project results. Moreover, over 100 job seekers (with priority to disadvantaged groups), as members of the indirect target group, will be asked to assess the tools through their career advisor. Local, national and international stakeholders will be let known about the outcomes of the project and their importance in the role and tasks of career professionals. Project sustainability will be pursued through all available media (website, platform, social media, emailing lists, international/ national conferences) and the partners will make sure that the policy recommendations drafted will increase significantly the impact of the project.
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