APPS4VET: Development of mobile business applications' competences for VET business


1 Sep 2014 - 31 Aug 2017

The use of Smartphone applications have grown exponentially for the last 5 years. A study by Thomas Husson to Forbes, shows that “there are more than 1 million apps available, more than 100 million tablets and more than 1 billion smartphones in consumers’ pockets project will address the ICT skills needs (digital skills), in particular, the 'Mobile Apps" skills. The ability to deliver contextually relevant experiences is one of mobile’s big promises for marketers. While many experiences have not lived up to these promises, there are signs that 2014 could see a significant jump forward. “MOBILE APPS FOR VET” will operate in this context by offering a specialist and comprehensive training programme of mobile business applications targeted to business advisers/trainers, business support workers and business mentors/coaches.

The project address the “Digital Agenda for Europe” (DAE) initiative belonging to the Europe 2020 Strategy, that aims to reboot Europe's economy and help Europe's citizens and businesses to get the most out of digital technologies. In the VII Pillar of the DAE “ICT-enabled benefits for EU society” there are listed some actions in which this Project could be allocated.

At the same time, according to the Strategic framework “Education & Training 2020” (ET2020), each EU country is responsible for its own education and training systems, so EU policy is designed to support national action and help address common challenges, such as skills deficits in the workforce o r global competition. To address these challenges by 2020, EU countries have identified common objectives, like “Enhancing creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship, at all levels of education and training”, and to deal with all the changes, people need to be equipped with a variety of basic skills, including literacy, numeracy, foreign languages link to another EC website, science and, overall, digital skills.
According with the annual Work Programme adopted by the Commission, the project will be developed under the following Strategic Partnerships’ key aim “Fostering the provision and the assessment of key-competences, including basic skills and transversal skills particularly entrepreneurship, languages and digital skills”;

In addition, in line with the Programme, the priority of the Strategic Partnership that will develop the project will be “Developing basic and transversal skills, such as entrepreneurship, digital skills and multilingualism in all fields of education and training, using innovative and student-centred pedagogical approaches and developing appropriate assessment and certification methods, based on learning outcomes”.

Thus, the project specific objectives are:

  1. Through a process of innovation review, comparative analysis and testing, to develop an enhance toolkit to be piloted in the partner countries.
  2. To produce new guidance and training materials for the VET related professionals and target groups (business advisers, business mentors, business coaches) supporting of small businesses and self-employed people/solo traders.
  3. To develop a competency framework for business advisers, business mentors and business coaches, to incorporate within VET and NQF in the participating countries, and align it to the European Qualifications Framework.
  4. To identify the learning outcomes and disseminated widely at local/regional, national and EU level to ensure the knowledge is cascade and shared through peer networks in the participating partner countries.
  5. To enable business advisers/mentors/coaches be able to encourage SMEs to make use of the ‘open source’ apps by adding new features to the applications.

Needs to be addressed

ICT skills gaps amongst citizenship and small businesses remain an issue in the participating countries (ES, UK, CY, FR, IT, SK). It is in this context that “MOBILE APPS FOR VET” will operate by offering a specialist and comprehensive training programme of mobile business applications targeted at business advisers/trainers, business support workers and business mentors/coaches. During the Toolkit’s development phase in Andalusia, INNOVES identified that business advisers/mentors were in the best position to train small businesses in the use of mobile apps and persuade them to embrace this type of technologies. SMEs from the tourism sector were targeted in region during this period. Overall, the indirect project beneficiaries will be small and micro businesses with fewer than 25 employees and/or self-employed people/freelancers who have limited knowledge of mobile apps/technologies. In the UK the beneficiaries are part of the creative industries (performing and visual arts, cultural heritage, music, broadcast media/ films, etc.) and in Cyprus, Italy, France and Slovakia the beneficiaries work in the tourism and professional business sectors.

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