The SKILLS+ project aims to improve the competitiveness of micro-enterprises in ICT sector by introducing a soft skills development programme, and to encourage sustainable development of these companies.
The objectives of SKILLS+ include needs analysis; sharing best practices and methodologies for the development of soft skills; adaptation of existing development programmes and materials and complementing them with new materials to create a new, tailored, multilingual programme specifically and directly aimed at "people skills" development in micro-sized ICT firms; developing an e-learning platform; testing and evaluation; creation of local and international networking and cooperation opportunities for the target group and stakeholders; dissemination and preparation of appropriate mechanisms/processes for further exploitation of project results.
The SKILLS+ e-learning platform focuses on the soft skills most needed by people in micro-companies of ICT sector (based on desk research and needs analysis to be performed) and includes different types of learning resources and tools - the more "traditional" reading resources supported by videos, real-world, tips and tricks and self-reflective exercises.
Another innovative concept employed is the so-called single-concept learning or “thin slicing”. Considering the short attention spans so common today, single concept or bite-size learning focuses on one behavior change, one narrow concept and one slim goal at a time. Thin slicing is about isolating a single learning concept and, with very limited information, delivering a powerful impact. The SKILLS+ learning programme is thus made of small e-learning "snacks" that demonstrate how specific skill works in different situations. This is meant to make e-learning more attractive and accessible for the target group. Then the learning experience is integrated into a blended learning intervention (e.g. a mix of managerial coaching and instructor-led training), which provides multiple paths for participants to get the message.
The primary target group of the project are employers and employees of micro-enterprises in ICT sector. The project helps to significantly increase their access to training and improves their competences in the area of soft skills. Over 100 persons have participated in pilot training; at least 1000 werel be informed about the SKILLS+ and the e-learning platform with open learning resources available free of charge. It contributes to competitiveness and development of this type of businesses in partner countries.
The results and outputs of the project also allow the partners of the consortium to open up new areas for training and support services. It is expected that after the completion of the project the results could also be "exported" to the other geographical areas of Europe.