All countries in Europe under-perform with regard to the percentage of persons with disabilities participating in employment. Good examples of supporting clients in the transition from education or from vocational education and training to employment that make innovative use of ICT exist, but they are not shared across Europe. BELVEDERE provides a platform to identify and collect good examples and to develop further ones, to share them and to develop accompanying tools (like courses, learning materials, guidelines, self-assessment tool) that help others to implement these practices in their context. The European scope avoids a too narrow view on processes and helps to benchmark own approaches against those of others.
The Aim of the project is to equip professionals who assist and support disadvantaged young people and adults at different stages in a qualification and placement process with the ICT skills needed both to increase the quality of their work as well as to empower their learners so that they are better prepared for working life. To achieve this, BELVEDERE aims at strengthening their digital literacy and provide them with relevant pedagogical, methodological and organisational strategies. Professionals will explore available tools and appropriate them to their specific requirements, will describe the use cases and develop teaching and training materials and courses for other professionals from a practitioner's point of view.
The target group of BELVEDERE is consisting of professionals who assist and support disadvantaged young people and adults (particularly people with disabilities) at different stages in a qualification and placement process, i.e: trainers, job coaches, integration assistants, work assistants, supported employment facilitators, vocational school teachers, employees from integration services, training preparation facilitators, educational facilitators, social workers, skilled workers in vocational preparation, employees in employment agencies/social ministry services, integration offices etc. Their needs are in the centre of the project.
The needs of the target group origin from three sources:
- Needs resulting from individual traits
There are no official statistics available with regard to the technology-preparedness of professionals who assist and support disadvantaged clients. Project partners believe that data referring to teachers’ technology-preparedness seems to largely identically reflect their situation. The TALIS survey of OECD shows that for the EU countries involved in the study a range from 37-75% of teachers were taught how to use ICT in their formal education and training. 40-77% of teachers had included this ICT use in their recent professional development activities. But still between 5-24% of teachers in EU-OECD countries are reporting a high level of need for professional development in ICT skills for teaching. Only 43% of teachers felt well or very well prepared when they completed initial education or training. [Source: OECD (2019). TALIS 2018 Results, OECD Publishing, Paris.] Project partners acknowledge these findings and report about a spread in their staff, ranging from openness towards ICT use, but with a clear need for practical training, until hesitation.
- Needs resulting from task-related requirements
While terminologies, administrative responsibilities, support requirements or legal claims differ from country to country, the project partners are convinced that a common understanding of high quality, inclusive and effective processes for guidance, training, and placement can be developed if the level of detail is appropriately abstracted. This process model, then shared by all partners, would describe different phases of guidance, training and placement. Each phase comes with specific requirements. These will be identified in BELVEDERE and will be used to screen ICT tools with potential. But they will also be used to derive requirements for suitable framework conditions, which must be granted in the organisation in order to be able to guarantee the necessary quality of the processes and results.
- Client-related requirements
While the ET2020 common EU objectives are important for all learners, the focus on clients who are disadvantaged, particularly clients with disabilities, comes with additional requirements that need to be taken on-board. The UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UN-CRPD) guarantees an inclusive education system at all levels and lifelong learning, based on the principle of equal rights. In article 27 of the UN-CRPD the right of disabled people to work on the basis of equality with others is described. This right to work includes the opportunity to earn a living through work which is freely chosen or freely accepted. At the same time, the convention expresses the state's obligation to take appropriate steps to secure and promote the realization of the right to work.