Title Soufflearning - Learning by prompting: On-the-job Training and Qualification for small and very small companies
Project Number DE/10/LLP-LdV/TOI/147321
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Soufflearning: Effective training for small enterprises on the work place.
Many small enterprises and organizations cannot send their employees to advanced training in any institute because the offered trainings often literally are too far away from the everyday business. With Soufflearning the coaches and trainers come to the company or organization and partner them in developing a custom tailored training concept. Based on experiences in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany, this project initiated cooperative networks of SMEs, vocational training institutes and trainers. By means of workshops, conferences and a website with online-forum best practice, funding possibilities and guidelines for the implementation of a SME oriented training concept was introduced and imparted to the relevant stakeholders.
The participation of SMEs in training and qualification is below average. One of the reasons is that SMEs usually cannot afford to send their few staff to external seminars. Thus, a training concept for SMEs besides considering company's requests also has to be tailored to the necessities of the staff that needs to be trained.
The Soufflearning methodology was developed and tested in a regional project in Germany and now was transferred to partner organisations in France, the Czech Republic, Italy and an additional region in Germany. The SMEs participating in the pilot trainings improved their cost effectiveness and operating results by updating and enhancing staff proficiency. Staff's disposition to engage in further training and to continue VET was increased and the involved processual trainers attained additional professional and social competences. The experiences made were presented to relevant stakeholders with the aim to continue with trainings in SMEs with additional training institutes after the end of the project. Thus also collaborative sub-networks on a national level between SMEs, VET institutes and trainers were tried to established to foster the transfer of innovation and disseminate the Soufflearning training concept.
The transfer of innovation was performed in the following steps:
1. In the participating countries workshops were organized by the partners to present the Soufflearning concept to VET organisations, trainers and SMEs
2. Existing training material was reviewed, translated where necessary and adapted to the specific country needs.
3. Funding possibilities for SME specific vocational training were researched and presented
4. Starting with two pilot companies the Soufflearning methodology was proved in new national contexts, in other words company specific needs were determined, suitable trainers chosen and training plans arranged.
5. The evaluation in the pilot period allowed the adaptation of the training concept to country specific needs
6. A project accompanying website with online forum was set up and now allows the exchange between VET organisations, SMEs and trainers on national and international levels. In addition a FAQ list was edited to guarantee a low-friction transfer.
7. In four additional pilot companies the transfer of innovation was continued and the Soufflearning methodology was proved in new national contexts.
8. A continuos coaching of project partners was offered by the coordinator and an additional German partner
9. Final workshops presented the experiences made in a broader respective national context.
All partner organizations have expressed their interest to continue Soufflearnings.
Funding organizations from France signed contracts with the French partner to support the strategies of learning in SMEs. In Italy, support has been promised by a national organization to promote training in SMEs. Partners from France, Czech Republic and Germany want to continue to use the developed website. It was also agreed that a certificate will be given to the trainers, who attended train-the-trainer workshops. All partners may award the certificates.
The consortium agreed to continue the exchange of experience after the completion of the project. It was agreed that each partner should decide how to link names, methodology and organization. There will be no concerted international registry for the protection of the term Soufflearning.
The opportunity for trainers to network on professional networking services (such as LinkedIn or Xing for Germany) is considered by all partners.
The consortium has exchanged ideas on the development of a new project for the valorisation of the Soufflearning project results. A request for follow-up project to transfer the method to new countries (Spain, Greece and Bulgaria) was submitted in January 2013. Several VET organizations from different countries have shown interest in the methodology. A future extension of the application of this workplace and work process-oriented methodology can be expected.
Utilization and distribution of results
Administrative and Support Service Activities
Accommodation and Food Service Activities
Human Health and Social Work Activities
Other Service Activities
Information and Communication
Within the scope of the project the following products were developed and offered:
• Workshops for the introduction of the Soufflearning concept
• Workshops for the presentation of gained experiences
• A manual for Soufflearning (guidelines, procedures, quality standards) as basis for a quality management
• A website and an online forum to support the Soufflearning approach in VET organizations and trainers. This included the editing of FAQs
• Two newsletters