Title FREE - fostering return to employment through entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity
Project Number 2009-1-PT1-LEO05-03245
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text The Leonardo da Vinci Project “FREE – Fostering return to employment through entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity” aims at providing a tool to councilors, tutors, trainers and other professionals working with unemployed people to develop a set of hard skills (entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation) and soft skills (those required to support people who want to start a business and also exercises/techniques to promote creativity and innovation).
The global crisis has triggered a serious slowdown in world economic growth – enterprises have stopped hiring and many are laying off workers in considerable numbers. According to the 2009 Global Employment Trends Report, the actual financial crisis should result in 20 million new unemployed by the end of 2009. Older workers with low qualifications and young unemployed workers face special difficulties in finding a new job.
In this context, the creation of new businesses and their growth are crucial factors for economic vitality and productivity. Councilors, tutors, trainers and other professionals that work with unemployed people must have proper preparation and tools to provide the necessary support and help citizens evaluating their professional alternatives, namely, the creation of new and sustainable businesses that will constitute valuable contributions to the society and to the economy.
The Leonardo da Vinci Project “FREE – Fostering return to employment through entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity” aims at providing a tool to councilors, tutors, trainers and other professionals working with unemployed people to develop a set of hard skills (entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation) and soft skills (those required to support people who want to start a business and also exercises/techniques to promote creativity and innovation). The FREE Project involves the adaptation and integration of already existing contents and techniques in one interactive multilingual tool adapted to the target group’s needs, contributing not only to a better preparation of the target group to the current challenges of the society and economy, but also to foster exchange of resources and experiences (business tools, case studies, etc.) at a European level. By improving their skills in these 3 areas, councilors, tutors and trainers will be able to provide better support to unemployed people, namely by supporting them in the reintegration into the labour market by starting new businesses.
The FREE project aims to provide councilors, tutors, trainers and other professionals working with unemployed people (target group) with a web-based interactive tool to be able to improve skills of unemployed people, especially young unemployed individuals (-25) and older (+45) unemployed individuals with lower qualifications (beneficiaries).
Through the FREE tool, hard skills (knowledge) of the unemployed in areas of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, as well as their soft skills (competences) in the above areas can be fostered. This approach is unique and addresses the need for a tool that integrates these two aspects (hard skills and soft skills).
As described above, there is a lack of training offer for the target groups to foster knowledge in entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation among the unemployed and at the same time promote their entrepreneurial attitudes and creative and innovative thinking. In addition, support and training for unemployed in related areas are rather scarce or limited (providing knowledge in some business areas without fostering entrepreneurial attitudes and creative and innovative thinking at the same time). FREE, apart from addressing Priority 4, Develop Vocational Skills considering the labour market needs through fostering the integration of learning with working life among the project’s target group, clearly addresses Priority 5: Raising competence levels of groups at risk.
FREE focuses on the development of a tool that will prepare the target groups to provide better assistance to unemployed people, especially those with particular difficulties in (re)integrating the labour market, due to the age, lack of qualifications, lack of experience, among other factors.
In order to attain this objective, the following specific aims will be accomplished:
- Measure the target group´s needs through an analysis related to the skills to be promoted about entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation;
- Adapt and complete the interactive tool of the EVEC project, based on the results of the needs analysis;
- Develop a web-based interactive tool (FREE tool) that integrates different types of resources;
- Test the FREE tool, improve it and validate it;
- Disseminate and exploit the project and its results through specific tools including the project website, project brochures and international seminar;
- Monitor and evaluate the quality of the project and its results.
Open and distance learning
Access for disadvantaged
open and distance learning
material for open learning
The project results that will be available at the end of the project will be:
i) Project website available at www.spi.pt/free - will contain all the relevant project information, achievements and outcomes. It will be possible for the visitors to access a download area where they can find several informative and dissemination documents and also relevant outcomes such as the public project reports. Through the website, it will also be possible to access to the FREE interactive tool and support handbook. The website intends to be the major tool to raise awareness about the project and its activities.
ii)Project Brochure - A brochure will be produced with all the relevant information about FREE Project: name and objectives; partners involved; main activities; outcomes description; methodology, information of the website. The project brochure aims to raise awareness about the project - it will be available in all national languages, in a paper version and also in an electronic version on the project website.
iii) Report on training needs - Document that will gather the conclusions of the training needs assessment to inform about the training needs of the target group regarding hard skills and soft skills in innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity. The information contained in this report will serve as basis for the activities in WP4 and WP5.
iv) List of innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity tools per country - Document organized per area (entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity) containing a list of tools already available in each country that could potentially be integrated/mentioned in the interactive tool, so that the target group and beneficiaries would have access to them. Part of the tools included in this list will be integrated and/or divulged in the interactive tool.
v) Case Studies - The case studies will be developed in multimedia format (powerpoint integrating image and audio files) with photos and statements of people that started their own businesses. Each partner will develop a minimum of 2 case studies in their national languages. Case studies will be integrated in the interactive tool to be developed in WP5.
vi) Report on content adaptation - Document containing the main conclusions of WP4, providing the basic structure and initial content of the FREE interactive tool, namely: a)Specific topics that need to be addressed in order to meet the needs of the target group in entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity; b)Parts of the EVEC tool can be used to meet the needs detected; c)Tools already in each country that can be used to meet the target group’s needs; d)New content that will have to be developed by the partners in order to meet the target group’s needs.
vii)Interactive tool - This tool will comprise the following main sections: a) Hard skills: training resources and information about innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. The information contained here should be taken out from sources identified by the partners in WP3 and WP4; b) Business tools, e.g. financial forms, business plans: Also the tools of this section should be taken out from sources identified in WP3 and WP4; c)Case studies: the case studies developed in WP3 should be an inspiration for people who are unemployed and want to start their own businesses; d)How to provide a better support? (soft skills): this section will contain resources that clarify the importance of the role of the target group in the current situation to foster the reintegration of unemployed people into the labour market. Among other aspects this section will provide a guidance methodology for councilors to support people who want to start a business and also exercises/techniques to promote creativity and innovation.
viii) Support Handbook - Document that works as connecting element of all the components of the interactive platform and clarifies the purpose of all the materials that are included there. This handbook will provide an explanation of the purpose of the tool and the different ways how the different sections can be used.
ix)International Seminar - Seminar held in the UK with representatives of the target groups of different countries, in order to present the FREE interactive tool and support handbook and the results of the project in general. Aims to maximize the project impact on the target groups and will gather both national and international participants from the target audiences (each partner from outside the UK will be able to bring 1 representative of the target group to attend the seminar). This seminar will enhance the transfer of the project results to the target group and the availability of the project website will guarantee easy access to the FREE tool and Support Handbook during and beyond project duration