The importance of social and emotional skills is generally acknowledged and concerns all situations in life. Emotional and personal skills are explicitly listed as areas of competence in the competency framework for training schemes. Great emphasis is placed on the importance of these skills during vocational rehabilitation. However, no systematic procedure currently exists for comprehensively diagnosing participants’ skills and for providing targeted support.
The situation concerning diagnosis and promoting social and emotional skills for young people with cognitive impairments who are undergoing vocational training is unsatisfactory. Due to the lack of appropriate tools, the type of support on offer is somewhat random.
This project illustrates the significance of social and emotional skills during the professional rehabilitation process. A resource-oriented process is followed. This project aims to strengthen the idea of empowerment and inclusion.
Objectives of SEC4VET
Social and emotional skills are important for all professions. Many employers consider a lack of these skills as the cause of conflict during training which can lead to people discontinuing their training. It is well known that, alongside specialist knowledge, it is a healthy working environment and team motivation that determine the success of a business. Social and emotional skills determine how well trainees cope with their own emotions and those of other people (e.g. colleagues, customers). These everyday observations are supported by scientific findings which focus on the significance of soft skills in everyday working life and the important role of coping with emotions for successful social interaction (see Schütz & Koydemir, 2017; Schütz & Vater, 2008).
Young people with learning difficulties often suffer from low self-esteem. Targeted strengthening of their social and emotional skills forms the basis for their continued learning. It can be assumed that approximately 4% of people in a given age group have learning difficulties. We consider this project extremely important for ensuring that learning difficulties do not affect social participation due to a lack of social and emotional skills.
European partners also see a great need for groups of participants and professionals even though national education systems vary in each partner country.
The SEC4VET project concerns young people with learning difficulties through to those with a slight mental handicap, who are preparing for a career/job or undertaking vocational training. These young people - after partly intensive vocational preparation - can acquire jobs with reduced theoretical requirements.
We do not differentiate these target groups based on students with social and emotional strengths or weaknesses. The support concept is valuable for everyone.
The second target group focuses on teachers and professionals in the area of vocational rehabilitation and inclusive vocational training, company trainers as well as teachers and school social workers in vocational schools.
The project also contributes towards a European-wide exchange of knowledge and experience with regards to vocational training of young people with impairments. Project partners bring different skills and strengths which are essential for developing this educational concept.
The high levels of youth unemployment in southern European countries can lead to feelings of resignation. A positive development of social and emotional skills enhances young adults’ capacity to act.
European project partners are looking to counteract this together with anti-European movements. Many project activities support this.
This importance of resilience and commitment for young people transitioning from school to working life, as well as initial vocational training, is highlighted in this project.
The transnational artistic and creative workshop “We are Europe” works to combat prejudice and xenophobia.