Competency and learning development for Job Brokers in the EU


1 Sep 2015 - 1 Sep 2018

This project aims to develop, design and validate a series of VET-related developments to support the newly-emerging occupational profile of the ‘Job Broker’ in Europe.

The project addresses one of the key objectives of the EU strategic framework for European cooperation in education & training (ET 2020) bringing together 8 EU countries (European dimension) to develop and validate jointly a 'new' curriculum programme which contributes towards improving  the quality, efficiency & relevance (attractiveness) of VET to the needs of the labour market. The project contributes towards the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy for jobs for 75% of the population aged 20-64 to be in work & its flagship initiatives "inclusive growth" by validating a Curriculum Programme that would help VET providers in the EU to increase their success rate in securing sustainable jobs for their learners (the job-seekers). In addition, through the standardisation of competencies within the role of the Job Broker, the project will foster the mobility of these skilled professionals.

Set against the context of high unemployment across Europe, particularly in the South, – but also a context where there are signs of recovery & even skills shortages & unfilled vacancies, the role of the effective ‘Job Broker’ is emerging as a key player in VET provision– a professional, working in a variety of contexts (Public Employment Services, Job Counselling, VET organisations) identifying & matching learners on publicly funded VET and employment programmes into sustained job opportunities.

The current Leonardo 'small scale' Partnership has highlighted not only that the Job Broker role exists in different forms in many EU countries but also that the emerging world of ‘payment by results’,(increasingly common in public programmes), is changing the focus of this role dramatically.  This is particularly marked in the UK, where ‘output’ funding is common – in some circumstances with 100% of the public funds contingent upon the supported/unemployed learner securing and retaining a job.  However, this trend is also beginning to appear in the VET and VET-linked systems in Germany, Spain and Greece & it is being considered in other member states (e.g. Italy), forcing VET providers to ‘re-think’ traditional approaches – as funding is no longer granted only for the running of courses, but increasingly requires successful job entry and job retention.  

This factor, along with others, means it is no longer enough to just train people up or  ‘match’ candidates to jobs: VET providers are having to deploy resources in different ways, to work more closely with employers to ‘broker’ & sustain the job outcome. In this respect, the project is a response to the call in the Bruges Communique (2010) to improve the labour market relevance of VET; to make it more outcome-orientated; and to develop a 'common language' bridging education, training and the world of work (ESCO). To fulfil the expectations of Employers, Job Brokers are increasingly required to better understand specific sectors & roles. Further, learners on public funded programmes will be from target groups requiring greater support (e.g. long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, NEETs) meaning the JB has to be adapt at providing personalised, tailored support for the learner & long term 'in work' support.

These new contexts arise directly from changes in VET policies as they align to economic development strategies with corresponding challenges for how the JB's Occupational Profile in EU VET systems is to be developed, trained for, validated and accredited. Therefore the specific project objectives are:

  1. In-depth, comprehensive transnational research study and comparative analysis of job brokering factors, policies, practices,
  2. Development of a JB Occupational Profile aligned to NQFs and the EQF,
  3. Design & development of a Curriculum Programme and a 'Train the Trainers' strategy for effective job brokering
  4. Produce a guidance tool for the successful Job Broker,
  5. Validation of the training programme leading to accreditation,
  6. Network Legacy Plan to work towards creating a Network of competent Job Brokers able to foster mobility across partner countries.

The project needs to be delivered transnationally, simply, because the development of a common curriculum framework with validation and accreditation at its core to prepare the JB to the increasing demands from employers, job-seekers and VET providers across the EU, requires the know-how and resources from organisations that complement each other, as no single organisation is able  to embark on this challenge on its own. In this case, the 8 partner organisations (public and private) have a combined expertise in occupational and competency design, curriculum development and delivery, certification and validation credentials, with public policy-making in the field of public employment services and the VET system.

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