Statistics show that more than 70% of the visually impaired population in Europe is currently unemployed; the percentage is even higher for young VIPs. It has been reported that despite achieving a higher level of education, this specific group of young people does not manage to access employment. The majority of young VIPs, however, have unlimited access to the internet and digital tools. This is the reason why we have designed the actions of our previous project (VIP-Tech-Job) around the development of innovative digital solutions to facilitate access to employment for young VIPs. During the “Vip-Tech-Job: Time 2 Act !” project, the consortium (partners from Belgium, Greece, Italy and Spain) plans to intensify the dissemination efforts of already realized products on multiple levels and to create additional complementary outputs that will simplify the existing products and render them as user-friendly as possible.
The general, long-term objective of the project is to increase the number of young employed VIPs all over Europe and to promote their active citizenship, together with the development of key competencies in lifelong learning. The specific objectives are:
- to empower young VIPs and better prepare them in their quest to find a job and be active citizens;
- to improve access to information regarding the employment of young VIPs, both for young VIPs and employers/supported employment specialists, etc.;
- to facilitate the connection between young VIPs looking for a job and employers/HR managers (including via job agencies and portals).
With the use of nonformal and experiential learning, internal and external desk research, we are going to produce 3 innovative outputs, a learning and teaching activity and 4 local focus groups, involving over 400 people among our target groups. The products are:
1) the “VIP Job Accessibility Toolbox”, a one-stop-shop for all our users belonging to different target groups: it will include tools and resources to support employers who wish to understand concepts like accessibility and inclusion in the workplace, job agencies, youth workers, youth leaders, supported employment specialists and career and school counsellors working with young VIPs, and young VIPs themselves, who will be able to connect and exchange experiences with their peers and, undoubtedly, ease their access to the job market and as a result, increase their levels of social inclusion.
2) the “VIP Job Podcast”, a podcast comprised of 10 episodes in partner languages, which will be recorded by skilled young VIPs and explore success stories of young VIP’s inclusion in different workplaces in Europe through interviews and storytelling. The podcast will also include a narrated version of user guides for our digital products – how to use them, what you can get out of them, how will they help you in your job quest, etc.
3) the “VIP Job Video Pack”: the narrative of this IO will tend to depict the hurdles of young VIP in integrating the job market as well as their idealistic views on a 100% barrier-free work environment.
The LTTA in Granada (Spain) is a blended mobility for young people; it’s designed on the model of traditional job fairs and will compromise an in-person meeting and online preparation and follow-up/testing phase for all participants involved; through experiential learning, they will have the possibility to practically test what they have learnt by confronting themselves with employers via simulated individual and group interviews.
The targets groups of the project’s results and activities are:
- young visually impaired job seekers, either visually impaired students transitioning from education to work or young unemployed VIPs;
- – employers (private and public sector) and HR managers + professionals supporting young VIPs, including youth workers, youth leaders, supported employment specialists, school and career counsellors, etc-;
The direct beneficiaries of the project will be at least 400 and we expect to reach at least 600 other young VIPs all over Europe for each result.
VTJ2 will last 24 months (1/02/2021-31/01/2023), and will also include 4 transnational meetings, one international multiplier event (organised by the project coordinator), and three local multiplier events organised by each partner organisation.
At the local, national and European level, through the targeted dissemination planned by the partnership, we also strive to raise the general public’s awareness level and inspire organizations, institutions, networks that work with young VIPs to advocate for improving the conditions, support services and work environments for young VIPs all over the EU and beyond.
The project’s impact will be reflected upon young VIPs who will improve their soft skills to be able to successfully find a job using the products created by the partnership.
The digital component of the project makes it extremely easy to re-shape and adapt, given the current health emergency in Europe.
- VISUALLY IMPAIRED EDUCATION AND WORK SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL AISBL (Coordinators – Belgium)
- SOCIETA’ COOPERATIVA A.FO.RI.S.MA. – ACLI FORMAZIONE RICERCA SERVIZI MANAGEMENT (Italy)
- Fundacion Docete Omnes (Spain)
- DAFNI KEK (Greece)
Official details of the project
Title: Vip-Tech-Job: Time 2 Act!
Reference number: 2020-3-BE04-KA205-002784
Implementation period: 1/02/2021 -31/01/2023
Link to Erasmus+ Project results platform: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/projects/eplus-project-details/#project/2020-3-BE04-KA205-002784