SkillsMatch project develops an European online platform to identify and validate Non-Cognitive skills and improve employability

 

The SkillsMatch project develops and demonstrates a European-wide assessment and learning technology, whose main purpose is to help users to adapt their skills assets to the demands of the labour market focusing on the support of Non-Cognitive skills (NC), also known as “soft” skills.

To do so, the platform proposed by the project improves the development of Non-Cognitive skills, personality traits or motivations and provides functionality and different actions to enable the assessment and evaluation of such skills. The solution also recommends the users different training opportunities for bridging the gap between their professional and personal skills profile and the one recommended for their target occupation. SkillsMatch platform offers a learning path for its users where they are invited to explore and assess their soft skills and provides the opportunity to showcase their non-cognitive skills on an ePortfolio.

SkillsMatch platform has been piloted and evaluated in Sweden, Ireland, and Spain and can be used in all the countries of the European Union. This platform offers users a self-assessment soft skills tool showing strong and weak points in relation to what is recommended for their specific occupations, a personalised training itinerary including Open Education Resources (OER) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and a portfolio linked to open badges which will provide recognition of the new skills.

According to the project coordinator, Dr. Thashmee Karunaratne, Senior Researcher at Stockholm University, “the new solution promoted by the project can be an essential and motivational tool to improve youth employability and help citizens at risk of exclusion, as well as to show the importance of the soft skills in the professional labour market”.

The solution developed by the SkillsMatch team has been launched in a moment in which the e-learning methods are having more significance than ever because of the new context caused by the COVID-19 crisis, that causes important changes to the education and formation sector during the last months.  For example, many universities and educational institutions around the world had to search for alternative methods to offer education during the quarantine period and will continue practicing online learning in future. Moreover, companies and organisations will  have the need to continue offering professional development courses to their employees having adapted  to this situation. Thus, e-learning methods and online educational courses will be essential to individuals, educational centres and institutions, companies, professionals and job seekers to gain new contextual knowledge.

During the project’s active period, three different pilot workshops took place in Stockholm, Dublin and Madrid, in order to involve actual users during the  development, testing and evaluation of the platform. The results of these workshops have been crucial to build the final platform based on the real needs of end-users related to the soft skills and employability demands.

Non-Cognitive Skills in the European professional market

In recent years, the European labour market has evolved and experienced different significant changes and there are an increase in more qualified and younger employees interested in participate in the market. With this situation, soft skills – such as communication, teamwork, leadership or critical thinking – matter even more than hard skills when it comes to hiring decisions. For this reason, there is a need to look beyond knowledge and professional competences and to demand more social skills.

The European Commission pursues the goal of ensuring that the right training, the right skills and the right support are available to all citizens to make a better use of available and personal skills, empowering citizens with new skills and to help them to find good and quality jobs and improve their lives.

The SkillsMatch project consortium is coordinated by the eGovlab Stockholm University (Sweden) and the Eurecat technology centre (Spain), DMC Metrix (Ireland), the University of Alcalá (Spain), the Fondazione Politecnico di Milano (Italy), the Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) and Everis (Spain) as partners. The project has also counted with the participation of The Irish National Organization of the Unemployed (INOU), CCOO Services Spain and the Stockholm University as pilot leaders.

This project is co-founded by the European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology (DG CONNECT), Unit for Interactive Technologies, Digital for Culture and Education, under the grant agreement no. LC-00822001 (OKT2017).

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SkillsMatch project is co-funded by European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology (DG CONNECT), Unit for Interactive Technologies, Digital for Culture and Education, under the grant agreement no. LC-00822001 (OKT2017).

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