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Ok Skills!
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In Italy the system of vocational education and training still tends to be considered as a suitable option in situations of particular social, cultural, economic and learning difficulty. This means that most of our students are disadvantaged in terms of experiences abroad and therefore have little awareness of how today's local and national plans are intrinsically linked to a European horizon. Ok School Academy is therefore investing much of its energy in training professionals of the beauty sector, not only able to be high quality work holders, but also to create through innovation. Vocational education and training in the field of wellness is called to a difficult task: training young people to enter the labor market in 3/4 years. Due to a lack of time, the focus is often on practical learning rather than the development of more complex processes (soft skills, problem-solving, developing of a proactive mindset) that would allow the students to acquire real marketable competences.The increase of economical standards and a different relationship between leisure and work time have fostered the growth and evolution of the wellness sector. Today in Brescia and Lombardia the sector mainly includes individual or micro enterprises with 1 or 2 employees, very often related to a localized market. Workers are required to possess proper competences to cover the entire range of available services. Sector growth with more and specific demands and the increasing competition with the arrival on the market of new entrepreneurs (especially Chinese) causes the need for an organization development with prospects for growth both in size and in the specialization and valorization of workers.The new consumption patterns highlight the trend of customers to deal with a single supplier for the satisfaction of an integrated set of requirements; in order to accommodate the growing demand for "integrated" services it is essential to train the new professional resources in a proper way, aiming at complementing traditional technical skills with cross and management competences useful for the full participation of workers in business strategies.Through Erasmus+ 50 students and 8 teachers will be able to observe the wellness market, in 2017-18, in two countries, UK and France, considered as leading countries in hairdressing and beauty, going through innovation processes.The participants will carry out 3 weeks internships, supported and guided by the partner organizations, South Cheshire College in the UK and the Regional Chamber of Crafts and Small Enterprises of the Midi-Pyrenees in France.Another project partner is Cooperativa Tempo Libero of Brescia, whose cooperation concerns the pre-departure training and the evaluation phase of the skills acquired by the students.Thanks to the project, the students will develop, in line with their curriculum, an attitude that will ensure more employment opportunities both in Brescia and in the entire European system. Thanks to the comparison with a professional and cultural context different from their usual one, the students will strengthen their methodological approach, increasing that openness necessary for learning to learn and for the flexibility required by today's labor market. While until now their work and life expectations were strongly bound to a local professional and cultural context, the mobility experience will show the several possibilities offered by primarily considering themselves as European citizens.
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