CIAPE’s Erasmusdays 2018 and the future of work

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Erasmusdays, inaugurated in 2017 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the European Program for Education, Training, Youth and Sport, have become an annual appointment to which the Italian Center for Permanent Learning (CIAPE) has enthusiastically chosen to join, organizing for the day of October 12, 2018 an event entitled “Work in 2030: the challenges of career guidance and the training on-the-job“.

Hosted within the great setting of the Casale di San Pio V, home of the Link Campus University (Rome), the event has been an opportunity for discussion and analysis for a variety of actors – policy makers and public authorities’ representatives, experts in vocational guidance and recruiters, trainers, teachers and ordinary citizens – called, at various levels, to train and guide young people and adults towards sustainable employability, in the view of the current and future trends in the labour market and skills.

Supported by empirical evidence, the contributions emerged during the day, introduced by Francesco Longo – expert in recruiting and business training and co-founder of Atmen, have immediately highlighted the need to start from the concept of individual and corporate empowerment for an orientation and effective professional training in spite of the socio-economic liquidity of our time. The accompaniment to active life, or the redefinition of its characteristics, can not be limited to the analysis of medium-long term forecasts, conducted at national and international level in the field of emerging professions and stability of skills, but must first to contribute to the emergence of the inclinations and the talent of each one. Individuals should therefore be drived and supported by new and specialized professionals in on-the-job learning (the so-called “Work Based Learning Professional“, whose profile is the result of a joint European initiative, to which CIAPE has been taking part for two years.

However ambitious, even the best wishes would remain pure abstraction if not appropriately framed into a methodology that makes them operational. This is what Anna Pompele – counsellor and job psychologist – has shown animating an interactive session aimed at encouraging the improvement of the individual working situation, and guiding the process of occupational research through guided analysis, (re)definition and enhancement of their resources and their strategic objectives. This approach, as reiterated by Manuela Minozzi – placement officer at the Link Campus University – should not only be addressed to those who face for the first time to the world of work, but rather be specifically declined along the different phases of the life of an individual, with a view to orientation, but also to enhance, update and redefine professional profiles, in line with the ever-changing motivations and personal needs, towards a permanent and continuous learning.

It is however true that the younger ones, and in particular the “Generation Z” of those born after 2000, will need a career guidance system in line with the opportunities and challenges imposed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in terms of socio-economic relations, but also digital and technological innovations. Even more demanding than their Millennial cousins, they need to be intercepted and stimulated by means of specific “activating methodologies”, both between the school desks and in the professional field. Professor Giada Marinensi – coordinator of the “Serious Games and Hybrid Learning” Unit of the Link Campus University, for years has been motivating the students’ sense of gratification by integrating playful and practical activities into the training programs, which parcel the theoretical study and break the same with progressive goals and related rewards. A similar approach to what the Future Time Traveller European project consortium has adopted since the late-2017 to help transform the career guidance systems of Generation Z through the development of a virtual reality platform, made up of gamified scenarios aimed at preparing the very young to the future careers.

How to transform the complex challenges of the Third Millennium into opportunities? By placing at the center a multi-stakeholder approach and a widespread accountability of the players at stake: individuals and families, educational institutions, companies, but above all political decision-makers. Tommasina Raponi – psychologist and public welfare expert, in fact, reports on the role of potential catalyst for political decision makers and institutions towards a deep and lasting redefinition of the action plan – national and local – on training and orientation. Today more than ever – says Tommasina – the state gears need to open up to change and be contaminated by innovations.