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Joint University and Small and medium sized enterprises Training

Bridging the Gap between Education and Employment: JUST Project Achieves Milestone in Training Curriculum Development

JUST, an acronym for the EU co-funded project “Joint University and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) Training”, arises from the recognition that the collaboration between universities and businesses, especially SMEs, is inadequate, both in terms of educational and employment opportunities for students.

This is where JUST coming in, with the aim of bridging the gap between the world of education and the world of work by bringing together universities and SMEs to develop coherent, relevant, and up-to-date study programmes using microcredentials.

The target groups are:

  • Universities
  • Academic staff
  • Students (18+ years, with an equal gender ratio) approaching the transition from education to the world of work
  • SMEs from various sectors

Project Results 3 (PR3): Multilingual Open Access Curriculum

At the current stage of the project, partners have developed an innovative training curriculum, currently available in multiple languages (EN, ES, IT, SI, SK) and offered in an open-access format on the project’s OER platform, completely free of charge. This curriculum encompasses a diverse range of courses, each designed to equip students with essential and innovative job skills. Here is a brief overview of the courses with titles and brief descriptions:

  • Smart working characteristics, tools and good practices: Defining smart working and differentiate it from other work types and to get acquainted with SW principles and good practices. The participant will be able to manage setting SW place and choose proper SW tools and technology. They will get familiar with the relevance and specifics of SW in relation to wellbeing and a well-balanced work
  • Interacting safely in a digital setting: Explaining the importance of maintaining good cybersecurity practices, to highlight the importance of protecting personal information, and to provide a general idea of the handiest and effective cybersecurity tools
  • Key competences for the 21st-century workplace: Introducing introduce the soft skills that are important for the 21st-century workplace, explain how to potentially improve them and transmit them into work and life
  • Time, tasks and teamwork management: Underlining the importance of personal organization, to explain what urgent-important matrix is and how to use it, and to teach how to avoid procrastination
  • Being smart, effective and efficient in managing your workload: Helping learners better plan and strategies their workload by prioritising tasks and commitments, to teach them how to perform under pressure and how to remain productive at their best
  • Collaboration and Communication Skills: Explaining to the learners how to build relationships with teammates, to teach them to create good communication dynamics with others, and to improve their ability to understand people and situations in the context of organisations
  • Business Etiquette: Introducing the concept of business etiquette and its role in presenting a united company image, fostering mutual respect for team members, and improving communication in the workplace. The module will explain why it has to be is to be understood and appreciated by all so the organisation is able to do business in all circumstances
  • An unconventional guide to office life: Presenting the concept of organisational hierarchy and its most typical frameworks (including their pros & cons), to explain the Pyramidal Principle of communication that enables a more impactful and effective business communication, and to explain how to better structure the message content when sharing knowledge and information

The 8 training courses consist of 1 .pptx module and 1 .docx handout each, enriched with a glossary and a final self-assessment test. To access the course contents, please visit the direct link: www.just-training.eu/training.

Currently, these courses are undergoing testing and validation (T&V) by 300 university students who provide invaluable feedback on content and structure, ensuring they meet the needs of both academia and the job market.

Transnational Project Meeting (TPM) in Malaga

The recent TPM in Malaga (Spain) played an important role in assessing and advancing the JUST project. The meeting focused on the following main points:

  • Drawing valuable insights and lesson learned from PR2 and PR3
  • Evaluating the successful implementation of the T&V process, yielding first results. Feedback received thus far highlights:
    • An enthusiastic response from learners
    • Significative positive impact on their professional preparation and competitiveness in the job market and the world of work
    • Confirmation of the usefulness of the training areas addressed and of the quality of the material
  • Next steps

Looking Ahead

As the project progresses, attention now turns to Project Result 4 (PR4), where efforts will focus on producing guidelines for utilising project outcomes (Implementation Suite) and recommendations for policy implementation to promote similar initiatives and collaboration between universities and SMEs (Green Paper).

EU Co-Funded Erasmus+ Project

JUST is an EU project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme. The partnership comprises 9 partners from 5 different countries (BE, ES, IT, SI, SK), with representation from both the university sector (4 partners) and the business sector (2). Additionally, 2 business agencies and 1 organisation from the tertiary sector are actively involved.

For further information about the JUST project, please contact: just.training.eu@gmail.com

Project website: www.just-training.eu

YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/JUSTchannel