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SME COUNSELLING - Development of a Front-Line Advice-Guidance-Counselling scheme for SME's' employees

As an incentive to the development of a learning culture within SME's and to further stimulate demand for learning, the project aims to improve access to vocational guidance and counselling by SME employees, in particular by the ageing workforce. The project will develop an innovative approach to training, to complement (or replace) public or private guidance and counselling provision, aimed specifically at SME managers and senior staff. This new approach will focus upon the training of these identified groups in the new role of learning facilitator or front-line guidance counsellor, as a part of an overall Quality Management (QM) system. This experimental project will initially survey training needs within SME's and will identify best practice examples of QM across the participating partner countries. On that basis, the project will develop a scheme, (to include strategic guidelines) for the development of the role of the learning facilitator in the context of QM. The pilot phase will test a range of practical applications of these guidelines across the participating countries, each involving the training of trainers, groups of SME managers and SME's and each further piloting the developed training materials. End products will include a project website; a guide for front-line counsellors; an outline training programme; a training of trainers guide and a range of validated training materials. Dissemination will focus upon publicising the project results, promotion of the developed approach (to SME's and other stakeholders within national VET systems) and distribution of the end products, in the national language of the participating partners.
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