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Presentation of the project results during the national seminar “From Generation Z to Generation Europass – a successful path from vocational training to the labor market”
The national seminar was organised by the National agency of Erasmus+ in Bulgaria and the Bulgarian National VET team. It was focused on students and their teachers from vocational high schools in the region within the framework of the “European Year of Skills – 2023”.
In the program of the seminar, achievements of students from vocational high schools were demonstrated from: PGEE – Bansko, who demonstrated the development of artificial intelligence ; PGTLP “Gotse Delchev” – city of Blagoevgrad, who presented achievements in “Catering” and “Organization of tourism and free time” specialties and ZPG “Kliment Timiryazev”, town of Sandanski, who presented activities from the specialty “Specialist of thermal-spa activities”.
The consortium was represented by Mrs. Penka Nikolova from 94 SU “Dimitar Strashimirov” – coordinator of the project and Mr. Andrean Lazarov (moderator of the event and CEO of the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team) demonstrated tips and good practices in creating the professional resume (through the Europass tools) and motivation letter for a successful career. They conducted practical sessions based on VISAGE4JOBS training toolkit (www.visage4jobs.eu) . In the framework of the workshop, Mrs. Nikolova consulted teachers about common mistakes and advice in career development and preparation for the labor market, as well as provided guidelines for overcoming them with a view to easier access to the labor market in Bulgaria.
Dissemination of the project during XVII International congress of the organisations working in the field of education – 08-10 November 2023, Oviedo, Spain
The VISAGE4JOBS project led by 94 SU “Dimitar Strashimirov” and partnered by the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team presented the key outcomes during the XVII International congress of the organisations working in the field of education, which was held in the period 08-10 November 2023 in Oviedo, Spain. It was organised by the University of Oviedo and included more than 200 participants from Europe and Latin America (academicians, business representatives, teachers, lecturers, NGO representatives, policy makers). During the first congress day, the team of Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team presented the key outcomes of the project, especially appreciated by the giant name in the didactics of Spain – prof. Antonio Medina Rivilla from UNED | Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia and the key organiser prof. Emilio Álvarez Arregui – President of UNESCO Spain . Possibilities for exploitation of the key project results (the Pre-employment toolkit and programme) in Spain and in Latin America were discussed.
More information at: https://www.cioie2023.org/es/programa.php
Thanks to the invitation by the Bulgarian National Agency – Human Resources Development Centre, the team of Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team was invited to present “The role of the career guidance towards disadvantaged and marginalised people in Bulgaria”. Mr. Andrean Lazarov, who is a national consultant in vocational education and training as part of the National VET team in Bulgaria, presented methods and resources for contemporary career guidance of young people representing disadvantaged communities.
The project initiative, coordinated by the 94 SU “Dimiter Strashimirov” Sofia, where our team is an equal partner together with organisations from Spain and Turkey: VISAGE4JOBS , where we have developed a pre-employment toolkit for career counsellors was presented.
Role play games on interview preparation and career guidance during National seminar on the topic: “A panorama of skills among students in vocational high schools on their way to a successful career” – 19 October 2023, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
On October 19, 2023 In Veliko Tarnovo, a national seminar was held on the topic: “Panorama of skills among students in vocational high schools on their way to a successful career”. The event was organized by the Human Resources Development Center and the National VET Expert Team. Principals, teachers and students from grades 9 to 12 from the following high schools took part in the event: VET school on tourism “Pencho Semov”, Gabrovo, VET school on construction and geodesy “Angel Popov, town of Veliko Tarnovo, PGTSD “Sava Mladenov” City of Teteven and VET school in Electronics and Chemical Technologies “Asen Zlatarov” City of Pleven demonstrated skills and achievements in their educational preparation.
Part of the event was dedicated to playing educational role-playing games for more successful preparation for the labor market by the moderator of the event, Mr. Andrean Lazarov from Bulgarian inclusion support team and National VET team. The resource is part of the VISAGE4JOBS project – “Pre-employment programme and toolkit to foster job preparation skills of low skilled and marginalized students to enhance their employment opportunities upon completion of the school”, who is coordinated by 94 SU “Dimitar Strashimirov” Sofia (which was represented by Mrs. Penka Nikolova, who is also a National VET team expert) with the participation of Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team, Uluslararası Şehit Mehmet Karaarslan Kiz Anadolu Imam Hatip Lisesi, Istanbul, Turkiye and World Innovative Sustainable Solutions, Istanbul, Turkiye.
In the interview rehearsal game, students from 9th and 11th grade have participated. The moderator Mr. Lazarov provided them with tips on successful labour market inclusion.
Presentation of the project at the INVEST WINTER SCHOOL 2023 – “AN INTRODUCTION TO NATURE-INCLUSIVE AGRICULTURE”
Thanks to the kind invitation of the UARD – Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team was invited as keynote speaker at the INVEST WINTER SCHOOL 2023 – “AN INTRODUCTION TO NATURE-INCLUSIVE AGRICULTURE”, which was held in the period 08-15 October 2023 in Heerenveen and Leeuwarden in The Netherlands. The topic was “The inclusive urban agriculture as an approach towards social entrepreneurship”. Students from bachelor and master degrees from Slovakia, Bulgaria, Greece and Finland took part in the school. Major point of interest for them was the existing policies and good practices into social entrepreneurship in Bulgaria. The VISAGE4JOBS training material was presented, where the opportunities for social entrepreneurship are dully explained.
VISAGE4JOBS project at the national conference “How the Erasmus+ program helped to improve the skills of teachers to create innovations in the VET system in Bulgaria” – 04 September 2023, Burgas, Bulgaria
On 04.09.2023, in the city of Burgas, a national conference was held on the topic “How the Erasmus+ program helped to improve the skills of teachers to create innovations in the VET system in Bulgaria”, organized by the Human Resource Development Centre – the Bulgarian Erasmus+ National Agency. During the event, concepts for professional knowledge management, ways to apply micro-training in professional training, as well as the impact of youth activities was demonstrated by different VET institutions and NGOs. Opportunities to upgrade teachers’ skills in inclusive education was presented by Ms. Kalina Valova from the National Association of Resource Teachers in Bulgaria. As part of the official agenda of the event, the team of BIST presented opportunities for career guidance of Roma students and prevention of dropout via peer mentoring as a way to support learners with fewer opportunities. The main project results were demonstrated to the participants and several schools from Burgas area expressed their wish to join the pilot trainings. During the event, participants also exchanged ideas and shared experience on key issues in the sector.
The coordinator of the VISAGE4JOBS project – 94 SU “Dimitar Strashimirov” – Sofia is ready to start the pilot phase of the project. For that purpose dedicated common training event was organised by the Principal of the school – Mrs. Latinka Kovacheva. She presented the latest version of the pre-employment school career guidance programme toolkit and the supportive Illustrative info cards, which will be used for the intensive career guidance and training of Roma students from 10th, 11th and 12th grade at the school starting from 1st October 2023.
As a result of the project we aim to prepare them on how to maintain positive physical and verbal image, how to improve their verbal and non-verbal communication, how to be answer difficult questions during job interviews, how to prepare in digital format their CV & cover letter as well as which channels to use in terms of searching for a job.
Follow up our website and Facebook for more information in the forthcoming months.
The CEO of the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team – Mr. Andrean Lazarov was invited to participate together in a Breakout session about the INVEST Fellow programme during the 32nd Annual EURASHE conference. The event took place on 8-9 June 2023 and was hosted by the University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest (UPB). During the event series discussions were held about the inclusive Higher education together with the new EURASHE President, Mr. Hannes Raffaseder, CEO of the St. Pölten University of Applied Science and the Rector of UPB Prof. Mihnea Costoiu. Both of them expressed interest towards the project and it was agreed to invite them for one of the project multiplier events.
During presentation of the project session:
with the new EURASHE President, Mr. Hannes Raffaseder, CEO of the St. Pölten University of Applied Science:
with the Rector of UPB Prof. Mihnea Costoiu:
Our key participation at the panel sessions of the International Knowledge Week on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access, 8-11.05.2023, at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Erasmus University Rotterdam (a key partner of the Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team) has been working on the fundamental topics of inclusion, diversity, equity and access for more than seven years. Their dedicated and institutionalized IDEA Center now consists of more than 20 specialists that develop and execute our institutional and integral approach on inclusion, diversity, equity and access. The IDEA Center has taken on a pioneering role, nationally and in Europe helping initiate IDEA-structures at universities, disseminating our knowledge and expertise.
During the week, various national and international speakers – including Prof. Lina Gálvez Muñoz (European Parliament), Alfred Herrera (University of California, Los Angeles), Prof. Eveline Crone (Erasmus University Rotterdam – EUR), Fanny Passeport (Education Development Officer at Erasmus X, EUR) & Dr. Dirk Deichmann (Associate Professor, EUR) and our CEO Mr. Andrean Lazarov – together with academicians, researchers, PhD students and disability organisation representing participants shared practical insights and knowledge on topics such as (academic) outreach, student engagement, inclusive education & Universal Design for Learning, inclusive HR, inclusive communication and monitoring & research.
During the panel workshop “Integrating Universal Design for Learning into your course” we have presented the recent development in the field of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL is an approach that allows instructors to proactively design their course content and pedagogical strategies to anticipate a wide range of needs. Rather than seeing students as ‘average’, they are considered as ‘variable’. By acknowledging and welcoming diversity, instructors adopt a pluralistic approach that honors learning differences. When applying UDL, the instructor provides multiple ways of engagement, representation, and action & expression. Concrete examples from EUR applications (and reflections) in a ‘Design Thinking’ course at RSM (in fall 2022) and contributions from the Bulgarian inclusion support team recent and past development were presented. The concept and expected results of the recent VISAGE4JOBS project were disseminated to the audience.
More information and detailed programme is available here: https://www.eur.nl/en/research/information-form-idea-international-knowledge-week/idea-international-knowledge-week-wednesday
Our team was invited to participate as key speaker during the plenary sessions at the European conference “Transversal Skills for Work and Life: Strengthening Guidance and Validation” which was held between 18-19 April 2023 in Paris, France.
The main aim of the conference was to build bridges between research, policy and practice for guidance and validation of transversal competences in Europe. Both in work settings and in daily life, there is a growing need for individuals to develop high-level competences to address complex challenges. Transversal competences set the foundation for personal development, resilience, the ability to communicate and work constructively with others, problem-solving, and the ability to manage one’s learning and career. Yet transversal competences are not always valued or made visible in guidance and validation processes for disadvantaged learners.
The ongoing TRANSVAL-EU project — co-financed by Erasmus+ KA3 Policy Reform – Policy Experiments coordinated by OeAD, Austrian Agency for Education and Internationalization (Austrian National Agency of Erasmus+ programme) – one of the largest policy experimentations in Europe — aimed to bridge this gap in guidance and assessment in validation of non-formal and informal learning (VNFIL). The TRANSVAL-EU research conference provided opportunities for researchers to share and discuss state-of-the-art research in the field of validation of non-formal and informal learning (VNFIL) of transversal skills, including in conference panels, workshops, and a networking reception.
VISAGE4JOBS project and its results was disseminated during the workshops.
Two-days training on the topic: “Career guidance and presentation of knowledge and skills for success in high school – a step forward to a successful career” – 4-5 April 2023, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
On 04-05/04/2023, our team was invited as key trainers during the training workshop named: “Career guidance and presentation of knowledge and skills for success in high school – a step forward to a successful career”. The event is part of the European year of skills events, organised by the Human resource development centre, Europass Bulgaria, Euroguidance Bulgaria and the National Expert Team on VET in Bulgaria.
The training was opened by Mrs. Antoineta Pakova, head of the Regional educational directorate – city of Plovdiv. Our team presented modern methods and advised students from prestigious VET schools in Plovdiv area under the scope and training deliverables developed by the VISAGE4JOBS initiative.
Special attention was also paid to the role of verbal and non-verbal communication during a job interview. We shared examples with the participants proving the importance of every young person being aware of their career path at the very first stages of their professional training.
Keep an eye on our page for upcoming trainings.
The Bulgarian Inclusion Support Team was among the participants at the National Career Days 2023 at the first event, which was held on 1st April 2023 at Grand Hotel “Millennium” Sofia. Students and young people including people with disabilities were able to talk with our key experts in the field of career counselling of young people with disabilities and those with Roma origin.
We have demonstrated the concept of our main results from the initiative under Erasmus+ programme called VISAGE4JOBS: “Pre-employment programme and toolkit to foster job preparation skills of low skilled and marginalized students to enhance their employment opportunities upon completion of the school” . Some of the participants will take part in the forthcoming piloting phase.
Discussion about the impact of VISAGE4JOBS project with the President of Republic of Turkey – Mr.Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
The International students of our partner, the Turkish school Uluslararası Şehit Mehmet Karaarslan Kiz Anadolu Imam Hatip Lisesi, Istanbul, Turkeye have met on 22.02.2023 with the President, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and informed him about the VISAGE4JOBS and their activities in Turkiye. The students explained their great satisfaction to be part of this project thanks to the Erasmus+ programme.
On 20 February 2023, the team of WINSS met with the mayor of Zeytinburnu region, Mr.Murat Aydın. This region of Istanbul has the most marginalized community, and WINSS’ President Mrs. Figen Sekin gave information about the Project outcomes. The Mayor informed about their Municipalities activities with regards to Vocational Educational Training Courses; Language Courses, Sport Activities, Inclusion actions etc. Further collaboration actions were negotiated.
WINSS team has organised a meeting on 12.02.2023, where their staff interviewed foreign students who are studying Turkish in order to find a job in Turkeye. The trainers from WINSS provided career guidance tips and provided general information about the project outputs. The trainers informed them about our project outcomes and have negotiated to include them in the forthcoming piloting phase.
Together, both Turkish partners organised dedicated meeting on 11.02.2023 with important stakeholders – the students and teachers from Kocasinan Vocational High school and they hosted our students in their school and discussed the Project activities together. They will participate in the piloting with the students from Uluslararası Şehit Mehmet Karaarslan Kiz Anadolu Imam Hatip Lisesi, Istanbul, Turkeye.
Refugee students from our partner, the Turkish school Uluslararası Şehit Mehmet Karaarslan Kiz Anadolu Imam Hatip Lisesi, Istanbul, Turkeye have met on 01.02.2023 with the Minister of education in Turkey Mr. Mahmut Özer and informed him about our school projects especially about how the Visage4Jobs helped them for labour market preparation thanks to the Erasmus+ programme.
First training seminar organised by the Turkish school Uluslararası Şehit Mehmet Karaarslan Kiz Anadolu Imam Hatip Lisesi, Istanbul, Turkeye
The first training seminar was organised on 17 January 2023 by our partner, the Turkish school Uluslararası Şehit Mehmet Karaarslan Kiz Anadolu Imam Hatip Lisesi, Istanbul, Turkeye. The School Director Mr. Abdülbaki Murat discussed about the Project outcomes and explained the forthcoming implementation steps of the Project. The meeting concluded with agreement on action plan for the piloting phase.
The team of WINSS, Turkeye have participated an online meeting with the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce and we have discussed about how we could cooperate during the pilot trainings and the inclusion of disadvantaged people into the labour market. We have Informed the participants about our project outcomes and they gave their feedback. WINSS discussed possible sign of a memorandum of cooperation and to involve them as mentors in the piloting phase to ensure organisation of job interviews, where marginalized students may share their strengths and to become more motivated and to extend their self-confidence and self-esteem.
Our team members were invited to a cluster activity with the Milano Bicocca University in Italy. The University of Milano-Bicocca (Italian: Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, UNIMIB) is a public university located in Milan, Italy, providing undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate education. Established in 1998, it was ranked by the Times Higher Education 2014 ranking of the best 100 Universities under 50 years old as number 21 worldwide and first in Italy. We had the opportunity to speak with the Vice-Rector prof. Gabriella Pasi with whom we discussed opportunities for the project results exploitation onto higher level and future opportunities for collaboration has been agreed.