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Key competences and solutions for the effectiveness of Internships
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

KEY 4 Key Competencies and Solutions for the Effectiveness of Internships is aimed at developing methodological solutions, promoting cultural approaches to learning in professional contexts and at developing key competencies (KC). The partnership reunites Italian organizations involved in the local management and promotion of internships, Finnish and Austrian organizations with a trustworthy experience in experiential learning that support the research and development which represent contexts where the connection between training and work and the use of work experiences as learning contexts are the most rock-solid in Europe. KEY 4 intends to contribute to raising the quality of internships (learning experiences) that are increasingly manifesting themselves in Italy but still suffer from an exclusive focus on formal aspects – which are nevertheless fundamental to argue against misuses of the internship. Internships still have critical improvement areas such as: 1) Loose and rather limited idea of work seen as a learning environment; 2) Low attention to the development and recognition of KC; 3) Tutors’ inadequate oversight of learning’s appraisal process; 4) The absence of internship management models able to address the application of qualitatively valid experiences in different sectoral contexts; 5) The absence of monitoring systems capable of returning qualitative analyzes on the proposed and implemented learning. The attention to the development of KC is also an area of interest and innovation for all partners and local areas involved in the project as they deem key competencies a crucial factor for the inclusion of people in professional contexts. For these reasons, KEY 4 aims at: a) defining and testing didactic devices and solutions to enhance transparency in the development, learning, assessment and recognition of professional and key competencies that can be acquired during internships; b) promoting the integration among the education, training and employment systems by defining and sharing common professional values necessary for a “work as a learning place” vision; c) identifying the variables that determine the quality of learning experiences during internships, such as monitoring indicators to be used to evaluate the service. The Strategic Partnership involves 3 Managing Bodies (VET Providers ITER, Fidia, ELFI), 2 Professional Associations and 1 Consortium of 3 areas (Umbria, Trentino and Lombardy) representative of 3 strategic sectors of the Italian economy: Confcommercio Perugia, ConSolida Trentino, Confartigianato Lombardy. The Italian part of the team is completed by a Province (PG) which represents promoter organisations and a technical organisation that provides methodological support to the partners (IF). At the European level there are 1 technical structures [3s (AT) and VET Provider [Sataedu (SF) expert in R&D solutions for learning in professional situations. In order to achieve its objectives KEY 4 is engaged in building and testing on field of the following activities: - Production of a Key Competencies Framework (KCF) containing the skills which are most requested by the production contexts, described in a progressive manner and divided into mastery indicators. The framework will be a reference to the co-design of training, learning assessment and a conscious development of people’s skills. The latter is promoted through the use of an APP connected to the KCF that traces the progressive development of learning by collecting endorsements and feedback from the learner’s community. - Development of Guidelines for co-design of experiential training paths that provide operational guidance for the best use of productive experiences and introduce specific activities to enhance the sought after competencies. - Building of a Values Charter as a means of cultural promotion for a “work as a learning place” vision. - The configuration of an indicators’ system linked to the KCF and guidelines to help tracking information regarding internship quality monitoring and evaluation. The work methodology relies on 3 essential principles: 1) bottom-up approach involving target in the early analysis and solutions development stages; 2) comparison with solutions and good practices tested at European levels in order to overcome a self-referencing tendency; 3) experimental application of defined innovations. In the light of what was described above the expected results/impacts are: 1. Devices that make of KC transparent and promote learning and awareness of their value to people, thus increasing employment opportunities; 2. Tools for experiential learning which also raise the co-design level between bodies belonging to different systems; 3. A shared vision of cultural on the job learning to promote the quality assurance system of internships. 4. An indicators package for the qualitative monitoring of internship trends that are integrated with the monitoring systems already in use in the areas of reference.
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