It is always difficult to describe ourselves in a 2-page CV, especially when it comes to our skills. Those you acquire through a side-experience and not certified by a diploma or a letter of reference. Nevertheless, those skills are the ones that can make the difference between you and someone else with a similar profile. This leads to the question: how can “transversal skills” be eventually recognised and certified?
But first, what are “transversal skills”? Transversal skills may be those that arise and can be developed through a period of voluntary service. These experiences “provide a rich non-formal and informal learning environment where people develop and practice transversal skills and acquire competences in the field”. And how can we recognise them? Here is where the project LEVER comes into play.
The LEVER project
LEVER is a European project conceived by the Fondazione Politecnico di Milano. LEVER aims at the evaluation of informal learning and transversal competences. It also aims at having competences developed in the volunteer sector as officially recognised in the job market. Consequently, it endeavours to have “these learning outcomes recognised within the reference framework of VET (Vocational Education and Training) and have the competences valued by companies as well within a frame of mutual recognition at international level”. The LEVER project aims specifically at:
- Enhancing the mutual trust area, based on a common model and tools to value transversal competences in full transparency and transferability between VET, volunteering and labour market.
- Implementing a dedicated service, able to foster the whole system at international and national level and to run at full speed.
This project turns out to be effective both for companies and individuals. The former can hire more dynamic people and make their business performances more diverse. The latter can become more aware of their own personal key competences and their specific life and work opportunities.
On 22nd January 2019, the European Volunteer Center (CEV) organised an info session to discuss the implementation of the second part of the project, LEVER UP. This new phase builds on the project LEVER defining how to put it into practice. Specifically, it aims at training those who will be the main actors in the validation of the transversal skills, i.e. tutors and assessors. Tutors will guide users to develop awareness of their skills and help them through the preparation of a dossier. Then, this dossier will be given to the assessors, who will certify the value of the transversal skills acquired.
LEVER UP is now being implemented through a piloting phase. At the moment, stakeholders interested in giving practical help in building a solid and stable practice are being gathered. Furthermore, useful tools have been developed, such as the e-learning for tutors and assessors. They will have the possibility to follow their training course online, alternating it with some one-to-one meetings with experts. More specifically, the very first part of the training toolkit will consist of developing the tutor’s self-conscience of their “transversal skills”. In fact, if they want to be able to help the others, they should be able to assess themselves first.
Therefore, the main goal of LEVER UP is to build and test a new tool that will continue the purpose of the former project LEVER and highlight competences that are not included in academic certifications or work references. Also, LEVER UP is outlined through a desire of coherence that ensures its harmonious work with ECVET, EQF and EU Passport systems. The active contribution that this project can give to these EU assessment tools is actually the key as that will make this project stand out among many others.
What can you do?
If you want to become part of the project, you can visit the dedicated website. There you can have access to all kind of information and courses to begin you journey as tutor or assessor. This is your chance to make your transversal skill shine. Especially if you have not explored any career path yet, but have been involved in volunteer experiences.
by Irene Grazi