BEST (Vienna, Austria)
The institute was founded in 1990 as an independent vocational qualification institute. Its main activities comprise vocational guidance of unemployed people and labour market related qualification and training of key qualifications for re-integration into the labour market.
The institute offers training facilities for 200 people at the own premises and up to 250 people at temporarily adopted training facilities. The training methods include own pedagogic and didactic methods, especially for integration and motivation, and are constantly being updated. A modular system with integrated ODL modules enables the customers to select their individual qualification scheme.
Provision of training contents varies according to the different learning approach of different target groups, e.g. SMEs, woman job returners, long-term unemployed or disadvantadged people, taking into account their various levels of learning speed, motivation and endurance.
As one of the first qualification institutes in Austria, BEST has been certified according to the ISO 9001 quality maintenance regulations.
As co-ordinator of the Socrates project „Face to Face – Potentials and Limits of Interactive Telelearning Systems Combined with Videoconferencing”, BEST has developed distance learning modules for transfer of key competences.
As co-ordinator of the LdV project “Best Selection of Vocational Guidance Methods”, BEST has access to Europe wide methods and strategies in this field and their approach towards gender, social and cultural aspects and will contribute these resources to the project.
As co-ordinator of the LEONARDO project “Soft Skills – Integration of Employment Skills into Vocational Qualification in EU Preaccession Coutries”, and after several other bilateral projects between 1991 and 2001, BEST has collected considerable experience in qualifying people of various professional level in former socialist countries, including their social aspects, learning approach and other factors which have to be taken into consideration for designing efficient learning environments.
VFFR (Association for Promotion of Women Employment) promotes the integration of women into the labour market by carrying out counselling and qualification activities. VFFR has specialised in designing of qualification offers which allow for compatibility of family and profession and of concepts which lead to higher proportion of women in areas with traditionally low women employment rates. A large part of its qualification activities involves migrants, and VFFR has developed special courses where different cultural and social background is taken into consideration. It is this field where VFFR contributes to the project its longstanding experience and indicates the requirements working with people from other social and cultural backgrounds (mostly from East European countries or countries from the former Soviet Union).
IRFA Sud is a major institute for counselling and reintegration of people who are disadvantaged at the labour market, especially for young people and migrants from the Maghreb countries. It belongs to the Group IRFA (25.000 trainees per year) is active member in the Association Multimedia and Teletraining Languedoc-Roussillon. IRFA Sud has developed internet based learning materials for acquisition of basic skills and french language for people with low qualifications. The materials have a dynamic and playful character and dispose, as „learning tools“, at the same time a valuable dimension for getting in touch with ICT. The experiences from this project will be contributed to aspects how to address and how to guide people who have initially low motivations through a learning process.
SpaziOrienta is a Documentation Centre offering vocational guidance services. Founded by Fondazione Idis - Cittą della Scienza, its services are available to education and training establishments at a local and regional level and also to the public.
SURT, Women’s association for the labour insertion begins in 1993 with the intention to create and develop initiatives and proposals to facilitate the socio-labour integration of women belonging to collectives at risk of social exclusion.
The association is a non-profit organisation founded by women from different fields of expertise that shared experiences, interests and activities in the feminist movement in Barcelona.
The work developed by SURT has stressed the importance of developing and encouraging the personal skills and resources within the woman’s general project of life and work, facilitating in this way an integral development where women themselves are active actors and decision-makers of their own process of labour integration and improvement of life conditions.
The design of the projects and actions carried out by SURT has taken into account the following aspects:
· The training orientated for a labour integration of the women at risk of social exclusion has to stress the development of personal skills and resources, facilitating the processes of self-learning and transfer of competencies acquired and developed in other personal and familiar fields different from the labour market.
· A key aspect of the training process must be the recognition of the processes of self-esteem, self-knowledge and self-evaluation, understood from a gender perspective. This implies the valuation of specific skills and experiences of women, the reflection upon the gender roles socially imposed and the valuation of the domestic work as something socially needed. The conclusion will be the valorisation of their skills as important and transferable to the labour field.
Cambridge Training and Development (CTAD) was formed in April 1984 when two companies, Basic Skills Unit Ltd (BSU) and Cambridge Training Associates Ltd (CTA) merged to pool their talents to develop and produce high-quality learning systems. BSU had specialised in developing learning materials and resources; CTA was a direct training organisation working with both public programmes (e.g. unemployed people) and for major employers in the private and public sectors.
Cambridge Training and Development Ltd is committed to learning in all its forms. It combines almost 20 years of experience of designing and delivering training and education programmes of all kinds with technical knowledge and expertise in multimedia, print and hypertext. This combination enables CTAD to produce innovative, effective training solutions that really work.
· The New ReadingDisc: product developed in 1996; won the National Association for Special Educational Needs prize and the British Education and Training Technology awards in 1997; many daughter products in French, Dutch, US English and Irish English, and customisations for special groups including the homeless, young street sleepers and alcoholics.
· The Numbers Disc: a best-selling numeracy product for people who struggle with number, used in all UK post 16 institutions of further education
· Basic skills on line: a suite of training modules delivered via elearning for people wanting to develop their understanding of basic skills and how to teach it, especially using technology and elearning
· Target Skills: a suite of learning CD-ROM and elearning programmes for adult literacy, language and numeracy, delivered via a mix of CD-ROM and elearning, with a web-based tracking system; this product was nominated for an EMMA award in 2001. It’s initial assessment component has been distributed free (by the government) to all the pioneering projects (Pathfinders) working to deliver the UK’s adult basic skills strategy.
· Projects for learndirect: we are the developers of five basic skills products and one product for basic skills tutors published by learndirect (the University for Industry)
· Consultancy projects: we are working with 11 Learning and Skills Councils developing various strategies including one for building workplace provision, several for building capacity in the teaching workforce and three involving baseline surveys to update the current estimates of numbers
This expertise makes CTAD an important partner in the proposed project, especially for receiving the needs and requirements of the partners who work with special target groups and for indicating which are the possibilities for “translating” these requirements into the development and the production of eLearning materials which care for gender aspects, social context and cultural diversity.
The National Employment Agency (NEA) is responsible for the design and the implementation of the active labour policy in Bulgaria. Together with BEST, NEA has been collaborating in two bilateral Austro-Bulgarian qualification projects for young people and in the LEONARDO DA VINCI project “Soft Skills – Integration of Employment Skills into Vocational Qualification in EU Pre-accession Countries”. In all projects, special attention has or is being paid to integrating personal competences into the quailification scheme and to train labour office counsellors in these skills.The experience from these projects enables the NEA to assess the state of literacy in Bulgaria and to disseminate the project results among counselling and qualification measures. Also, NEA acts as relay partner for approaching other Bulgarian vocational guidance and training institutes.
District Labour Office Znojmo (UPZ) is corresponding partner to the Czech National Training Fund and participates in activities to integrate European dimension into national structures of vocational training and guidance. It has been actively involved in the design of vocational qualification measures in South Bohemia and participated in two LdV pilot projects „Best Selection of Vocational Guidance Methods“ and „Soft Skills - Integration of Employment Skills into Vocational Qualification in EU Preaccession Countries“ where it has compiled training courses for personal competences for counsellors . It will be therefore a valuable partner to assess the learning needs in Central European candidate countries and indicate requirements for adapting learning materials to fit these target groups.