COVID-19 has had a strong impact on the digital transformation of companies and organisations. Overnight the world has gone digital and we all need to adapt quickly to the new reality. The hybridisation of jobs, i.e. digital competences + other specialised skills, is a matter of keeping or losing a job.
Knowledge in digital skills is nowadays required even in traditionally non-technical jobs, such as (i) social care or (ii) artistic, entertainment and cultural activities.
Before COVID, these sectors demanded many job opportunities in which low-skilled people had possibilities.
But today, they are the sectors that have suffered the most from the COVID crisis. With high levels of unemployment, closure of micro and small businesses, total loss of income and great uncertainty about the future they will face.
ACSOL was created to respond to the needs faced by these sectors. And thanks to the funding of Erasmus +, the coordination of the Spanish Service for the Internationalisation of Education (SEPIE) and the different project Partners, the aim is to form these groups that have been so affected by Covid.
The ultimate aim of the ACSOL project is to expand adult digital skills training provision through online learning targeting two covid-19 vulnerable sectors: workers in social care/health support and workers in the entertainment, arts and culture sector.
To this purpose, the Consortium will design and develop an e-learning toolkit, which will enhance the digital literacy skills and specific skills of current low-skilled workers, through training so that they can cope with the crisis caused by COVID-19 and increase their chances of improving their working conditions.
- To create the conditions for making lifelong learning and employability a competitive advantage for workers in social care and entertainment, arts and culture activities in our participating regions.
- To develop new digital approaches to training matching specific sectorial needs on social care and entertainment, arts and culture activities.
- To provide low-skilled workers and micro size companies with digital skills through open educational resources.
- To increase the awareness of EU business and VET community about the importance of supporting workers with digital skill.
WHO ARE OUR TARGET GROUPS?
- Social care
- Art, entertainment and culture activities.
RESULTS OF THE PROJECT
The ACSOL intellectual outputs and activities will have a series of long-lasting impacts and there will be especially significant impact on the target users of the Toolkit. The low-skilled European workforce of the social care sector and the culture sector will be benefitting from our toolkit because it will help them acquire the digital skills they need both to access online, distance or blended training, and to maintain or transform their jobs in these sectors.
- O1: Guide to digital Skills in the social care sector and the arts, entertainment and culture sector.
- O2: Key strategies and contents on digital skills for hybridization of jobs in the social care sector and the arts, entertainment and culture sector.
- O3: Online-learning Toolkit for Workers of the social care sector and the arts, entertainment and culture sector.
The ACSOL Consortium, composed by 7 multidisciplinary partners, represents various types of organisations. The partnership is therefore an integrated working team with complementary skills in labour market and skill analysis, employment, VET, eLearning development, platform design and policy and programme management from Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Romania and Germany. As a result, this project reflects different viewpoints on and experiences with skill and labour market and eLearning. Because of the diversity of network partners, the project will be able to reach a broad audience.
The ACSOL project presented at the Final event in Bilbao
The final event of the project was held in Bilbao on Friday, March 17, 2023.
The whole partnership presented the outputs of the project, including the digital skills guide, the strategies and the ACSOL Toolkit, an online training toolbox to train workers in digital skills in two vulnerable sectors affected by the pandemic, social care and art, culture and entertainment.
The general director of Lanbide, Gloria Múgica, inaugurated in Bilbao an event in which the tool was presented, and in which the progress of the project has been realized in which the Trade Union Congress (United Kingdom), the universities of Exeter (United Kingdom), Milan Bicocca (Italy), West Timisoara (Romania) and Magdeburg (Germany), and the Basque company specialized in foresight and strategic studies Prospektiker.
As explained by Múgica, this project began in the spring of 2021 with a first phase in which a statistical analysis of the labour market and the job offers published online was carried out to understand the impact of the pandemic crisis on employment in the two sectors under study. In addition, companies in the sector and their workers were surveyed in order to assess the degree of digital transformation they were suffering. At a later stage, working groups composed by companies, training centres and public institutions were set up in all participating European regions to discuss opportunities, needs and risks on digital transformation and digital skills in order to develop the most appropriate training materials.
The online training toolbox (ACSOL Toolkit) aimed at workers in both sectors is also available to any citizen. The training units are available in 5 languages and access is free through the Lanbide website.
Final transnational project meeting held in Bilbao
The partners of the ACSOL project met in Bilbao to discuss the last tasks to be done and to plan the roll out strategy of the project.
The Acsol project has now reached to an end and the partners worked together to identify the best formulas for the project to be sustainable in the future.
The partners also prepared for the next day’s multiplier event in Bilbao in which most of the partners were to be speakers.
The piloting phase has now started
The Acsol Toolkit is now ready to be tested by stakeholders of the social care sector and the arts and culture sector.
If you work in one of these two sectors, please test our learning toolkit and give us your opinion:
Virtual monthly meetings to monitor the progress of the project
The partners of the European project ACSOL are meeting every month to discuss the progress of the work. The units are now being translated into Spanish, Romanian, German and Italian.
The website has been developed and the units are now partially available in English.
Partners are working on the development of the ACSOL Learning Toolkit
The partners of the European project ACSOL are working independently and also collaboratively in the development of the third output of the project, the learning kit.
Every partner is working on different units and sectoral meetings are being held to ensure the consistency across the two different modules (the social care module and the arts and culture module).
It has been decided the ACSOL toolkit will be an independent website that the learners will be able to access freely and easily.
The ACSOL partners meet in Magdeburg, Germany
The partners of the European project ACSOL coordinated by LANBIDE have met this week in Magdeburg in Germany to specify the curriculum of the training to be developed by the consortium.
ACSOL is developing a digital skills training toolkit for workers in two different sectors: the care sector and the arts, culture and entertainment sector. At the meeting of partners, the MOOC based on MOODLE that will host the training contents was presented. Likewise, the partners made decisions on the types of modules and units that will make up the two sectoral courses, always taking into account the target audience: workers from both sectors.
For two days, the project partners discussed the best formulas to train these two groups with very different needs. The care sector will orient training to basic digital skills and the arts and culture sector will base its training on case studies of museums and art galleries, theatres and digital artists/creators (typically freelancers).
ACSOL strategies for digital hybridization in the Care sector and in the Arts, Culture and Entertainment sector
The strategies for digital hybridization that we have developed within the framework of the European ACSOL project are now available. Each project partner has established a triple helix working group in their region and sector, from whose recommendations and suggestions, these regional strategies available here have emerged.
The documents contain the key digital strategies and skills for the hybridization of jobs in 2 sectors:
- Social care
- Art, culture and entertainment
It is a set of recommendations based on the workshops with the working groups carried out within the framework of the ACSOL Erasmus+ project. Our considerations assume that the development and training of digital skills will be crucial for job retention in the face of technological change and the impact of the COVID 19 crisis on jobs and labour market conditions.
The workshops were carried out with different "triple helix" agents, i.e. from the world of education, public administration and business. These actors included employers, representatives of educational organizations, trade unions and cultural institutions, associations, legislators/local governments. The aim of the workshops in all countries was to identify opportunities, needs and risks of digital transformation, as well as key digital competences and proposals to promote training within our target group.
Based on the data collected in the regions under consideration, recommendations and strategies are derived at sectoral level for the EU to better meet both the need of workers to acquire digital skills and the specific needs of employers in both sectors.
Triple helix working groups are now being established in each of the regions
Triple helix sectoral working groups are currently being set up in all participating regions, comprising companies, vocational training providers and policy makers. In 3 workshops, the opportunities, needs and risks in digital transformation and digital skills and proposals to develop the most suitable materials for the sectors will be discussed.
1,500 respondents have answered the ACSOL survey
At the end of last year, a survey of companies and workers was carried out to assess the degree of digital transformation in these occupations and in the different regions participating in the study, as well as the collection of ideas for digital business transformation in these sectors.
Nearly 1,500 respondents have answered the survey across the five European countries (647 from the social care sector and 842 from the arts and culture sector).
With regard to the social care sector:
- Employers were asked to estimate what percentage of homecare workers have no digital skills. In all countries, about half of the respondents indicated that less than 25% of homecare workers have no digital skills. There is clearly a need for digital skills within this sector.
- Digital skills have certainly helped care workers to master the changing pressures put upon them at work – yet many reported that they did not feel supported by their employer when looking to boost these skills. Driving up employer demand for skills – and willingness to invest staff time in gaining them - will be important.
With regard to the arts, culture and entertainment sector:
- The use of digital skills for core elements of the work such as management and communication are surprisingly small.
- There is a persistently small group who do not use digital skills at all in their work. Given this, it is unsurprising how many do not use digital techniques for performance.
- Where respondents are using digital skills and techniques – the rate of customer satisfaction seems reassuringly high. This should encourage others to seek greater adoption.
The big data analysis of online job vacancies is now complete
An analysis of the statistics of the labour market and online job offers has been carried out in order to understand the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on employment in the two sectors (social care sector and arts, culture and entertainment), as well as the evolution of the demand for skills, especially digital ones in the different profiles.
Led by the University of Milano Bicocca, this activity has revealed which are the most demanded digital skills by the labour market, the real demand of real companies of the sectors.
The impact of further technological acceleration, as a result of the pandemic, has led to the recognition that both companies and workers must be equipped with digital skills.
The Acsol International Conference will take place in Timisoara
The 22nd of September will take place the Acsol International Conference “Changing Digital Skills after Covid”. To participate physically or virtually register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/changing-digital-skills-after-covid-tickets-163464511755
The Acsol project gets started
Lanbide leads this new Erasmus+ project to train low-skilled people in digital skills. It will focus on two sectors affected by Covid-19: Healthcare and Entertainment, art and culture.
The objective of the ACSOL project is to expand training in digital skills for adults through online learning focused on these two sectors deeply affected by the pandemic. In this sense, the aim is to achieve a training adapted to the different profiles and that identifies the key digital skills related to digital transformation in both industries, taking into account the specific challenges and opportunities of these jobs; create the conditions for lifelong learning to be a competitive advantage for these people; as well as increasing the awareness of the business and vocational training community in the EU about the importance of digital skills and lifelong learning to ensure a qualified workforce.
Lanbide's partners in this project are the Federation of Trade Unions of England and Wales, the Universities of Exeter (United Kingdom), Milan Bicocca (Italy), West Timiosara (Romania) and Magdeburg (Germany), and the Spanish company specialized in prospective and strategic studies Prospektiker.
OUTPUT 1: Guide to digital Skills in the social care sector and the arts, entertainment and culture Sector
OUTPUT 2: Key strategies and contents on digital skills for hybridization of jobs in the social care sector and the arts, entertainment and culture sector
2.1. FINDINGS AT EUROPEAN LEVEL
2.2. REGIONAL POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
SOCIAL CARE SECTOR
2.3. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS AT EU LEVEL
OUTPUT 3: Online learning Toolkit for Workers of the social care sector and the arts, entertainment and culture sector
LANBIDE – Servicio Vasco de Empleo (Basque Employment Service)
Jose Atxotegi Kalea, 1, 01009 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, Spain
+34 945 181 320