Project introduction and background information:
Digitalization of VET and career guidance received major attention in the research literature long before the COVID19 (CEDEFOP, 2016). The pandemic emphasized the need for digitalization, but also contributed to rising youth unemployment. Currently, 3.1 million young people in Europe aged 15-24 are unable to find a job. The number of NEETS (not in education, employment or training) aged 15-29 is 9.6 million. NEETS might experience that they cannot contribute in society because of low self-esteem, low motivation, low level of developing working skills and lack of mastery in school and in daily life (AFI, 2014). At the same time, youth already participating in education and training do not always receive adequate information about possible career choices. To include these groups in the working life or training programs, innovative solutions are needed. Research in digital career guidance emphasized online communication, video, chat, and other tools. Immersive technologies have been used in VET in several contexts, their use in career guidance is not explored.
The project proposes a new approach to VET and career guidance by applying VR to allow active and engaging exploration of professions and introductory training. This approach can give young job seekers a more realistic picture of different jobs and a vital learning experience that is needed for decision-making learning competence (Krumboltz, 2014). The project will contribute to developing innovative digital career guidance methods, including young people with mental health and other employability challenges, supported by studies (Ward & Esposito 2018; Smith et at. 2017). The project will develop competence, counseling techniques for VET trainers and career advisors, boosting their digital competencies, aligning with EU Youth Guarantee and Bridge to Jobs initiative.
- Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
- THK - TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE KOLN
- NAV Trøndelag (Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration)
- TRFK - TRØNDELAG FYLKESKOMMUNE (Trøndelag County Council)
- BZB - Bildungszentren des Baugewerbes e.V.
- TCR - Techniek College Rotterdam
Objective and expected outcomes:
We identified four major goals that include specific and measurable objectives. The objectives are achievable in the timeframe of the project unless specified otherwise.
Goal 1. Improving employability of youth
Obj. 1.1 To make VET and career guidance a more engaging and interactive experience with original and innovative VR training and demonstration materials
Obj. 1.2 To reach out and collaborate with VET and career guidance stakeholders during and after the project to facilitate the adoption of the new VR resources
Goal 2. Innovating VET and career guidance with a new type of VR training
Obj. 2.1 To create a pedagogical approach for VET and career guidance based on active participation in realistic workplace scenarios and developing a sense of mastery in the participants
Obj. 2.2 To create a design methodology with processes for developing scenarios, content and VR interaction applicable to any profession
Obj. 2.3 To set up and maintain a technical infrastructure for a sustainable open-source development process enabling in-kind contribution by interested community members during and after the project
Obj. 2.4 To develop prefabricated resources and building blocks, so that the development process is simplified, and the resultant VR apps are consistent
Goal 3. Innovating HE via customer-driven and multidisciplinary project-based learning
Obj. 3.1 To design educational projects for HE students following student-active learning and project-based learning approaches and enabling their participation in the development of the VR apps
Obj. 3.2 To attract HE students from different relevant study programs to multidisciplinary and international teams
Goal 4. Facilitating the capacity building of VET and career guidance organizations:
Obj. 4.1 To design a course and training materials on VR for VET
Obj. 4.2 To design and evaluate an replicable course model on VR for VET
Obj. 4.3 To organize three trainer workshops aiming at the participants to become proficient users of VR for VET