Title Retail Sector Competencies: Developing self and social competencies in vocational training for the retail sector
Project Number DE/11/LLP-LdV/TOI/147405
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
In many European countries, there are problems in the transition from the vocational training to the employment system, which result from deficits in self and social skills. This particularly affects low-skilled young people, who are right before the entry into professional life.
The primary objective of the project ReSeCo was to improve the quality of vocational training in the retail sector.
The primary objective of the project was a qualitative improvement of education in the retail sector, in order to come up with the subsequent tasks of the apprentices in professional practice. The attention was focused on personal and social skills, so that a (further) development of specific skills in this area was considered to be necessary.
The apprentices should be disposed for the training of personal and social skills as part of the teaching units, which are adapted to the operational needs of each country. At the same time, it provides trainers and teachers a tool to promote personal and social skills.
In context of the transferred project, the components team competency, criticism, self-evaluation of the own performance potential and time management are relevant. Thereby, the identification of apprentices with their activities alternatively with the company was a central task of the projects. This goal was achieved through a support of motivation and enthusiasm of the activity as well as a higher individual responsibility.
At the same time, an abortion of apprenticeships could be avoided and the opportunities in the labor market could be improved after the end of the apprenticeship.
Thus, a short-term goal of the project was to establish the adapted learning units within two years in the professional schools. A long term anchorage for the national training structures (retail sector) was provided.
Given the current difficult economic situation in Europe and the associated complex and challenging environment for young professionals, the project has improved the apprenticeship in the retail sector. Thereby, the greatest possible fit of vocational education of young people in the field of key competencies to the current requirements of the job market has been sought by implementing an adequate preparation and support regarding the personal and social skills.
The innovation transfer project was based on the already completed research project “SeSoko-fit”, which was developed for the eighth grade of secondary schools. Here, four teaching-learning arrangements (LLA) were developed, tested and evaluated to promote personal and social skills of eight graders (team competencies, criticism, time management, self-evaluation of ability).
The ReSeCo-project was a development in the European context.
In a first step, the four teaching-learning arrangements were translated from German into English. In addition to that, the general organization of the project and the coordination of the procedure took place. In the initial phase of the project there was a kick-off meeting in London, where all organizational things were discussed.
Afterwards, there were interviews (with open questions) in order to identify the specific needs of each country and of each social partner in regard to the four teaching-learning arrangements. Thus, the development and adaptation of the teaching-learning arrangements to the new target group (students working in retail or in the "retail sector") and country specific features took place.
The next step involved the adjustment of the teaching-learning arrangements based on the identified national and international needs of potential employers in the retail industry. Accordingly, the four teaching-learning arrangements were adapted on supranational level and then translated into local languages. At the same time a nationally specific fine-tuning was also necessary.
In a further step, the implementation and evaluation in pilot facilities (vocational schools, retail sector) of the partner countries took place. It was planned to implement the teaching-learning arrangements at least at three different institutions in each country. Therefore, the partners provided the necessary materials and took over the questioning of teachers and students. Only then, an optimization could be conducted.
The final step involved the analysis of the evaluation and the optimization of the results at national and international level. In addition to that, it included the dissemination of the program by a printed publication.
During the innovation transfer project the concepts for the improvement of self and social competencies were refined. In the long term those results shall be made available to the general public (teaching personal of all kinds of European vocational training institutions). The most important addressees are apprentices from the retail sector and their instructors.
A website with broad information about the project was installed to grant access to the information to any interested (expert) audience. Hereby the latest project information and resulting teaching material could be published during the project and even more important will be announced in the future.
The dissemination of the innovated and adapted teaching and learning arrangements on the national and international level is a central result of the project.
During the implementation and evaluation over 1000 students and about 40 teachers in all participating countries could be interviewed about the teaching material and its application. Three pilot institutions participated in each partner country. These numbers show that already quite a lot of students and teachers could make use of the developed material. It is assumed that further vocational schools in each country will make use of the material and this will lead to an exorbitant rise of the number of users. The published media help to permanently manifest the developed concepts in each of the vocational training systems.
Another important point to support the lasting impact of the project is the aim of a continuous correspondence between all participants and instances in each country. This will be realized for example with regular gatherings. In particular practitioners from schools and subject educationalists will be involved in these meetings to ensure a long-term success.
Each partner received a number of free copies which will be handed on to selected multipliers to obtain an expedient and permanent distribution.
Other Service Activities
Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles
material for open learning
Product information The final product consists of four enhanced teaching-learning arrangements that serve as a tool for teachers and trainers who promote personal and social skills in the retail sector and thus improve vocational training in the retail sector. In the long term these learning units will be embeded into national training structures.