O2. Development of Occupational Profile and a set of Standards for the Job Broker

Parent: Competency and learning development for Job Brokers in the EU

September 2015

The Occupational Profile of the European Job Broker will be constructed from the information collected during the in depth research activities and will define the common competency standards, for the successful Job Broker. The result will be a comprehensive Person Specification/Job Description and list of key competencies, through which the skills, knowledge and aptitudes of the successful Job Broker's role/job are clearly defined.  The Occupational Profile will be aligned to partner National Qualification Frameworks and the European Qualification Framework.  The Occupational Profile will comprise of  i). A mutually agreed Person Spec/Job Description Role Description which defines the purpose and function of the Job Broker, which will ensure that the Standards framework is current and relevant to the European context;  ii) A description of the Occupational Standards that capture the competencies required to effectively carry out the Brokerage function based upon known good practice as identified through the Individual Country Reports and Synthesis Report; and iii) Outlines the skills, knowledge, aptitudes and experience required to be competent as an effective and competent Job Broker

It has been identified through earlier research that the newly emerging role of the Job Broker across the EU is constantly evolving, for this reason the Bruges Communiqué 2010 which stresses the importance to the European agenda of identifying best practices and guiding principles with respect to changing competences and the profiles of VET teachers and trainers is particularly significant and relevant. This report also stresses the need to develop and support innovative learning methods, high-quality infrastructure and facilities, and ensure that provision has a high labour market relevance - this will be ensured through the close collaboration with employer and employer networks.

The methodology for this IO includes the following 2 key tasks:

1) Defining Competency Standards (knowledge, skills and aptitudes): The production of a comprehensive set of Common Competencies required for and demonstrated by the successful Job Broker is essential. Production of a flexible but comprehensive Person Specification and Job Description, along with recommendations on key competencies, skills, knowledge and aptitudes required for the role of Job Broker. Building upon the earlier research carried out the purpose of this activity is to produce an Occupational Profile, incorporating role descriptions, that: i. Provides a clear description of the role of the effective Job Broker, which remains 'relevant' and takes into account the various subtle differences in the role across the different VET systems which exist in the various partner countries; ii. Enables a flexible yet comprehensive and identifiable skills set requirement (both practical and soft skills set); iii. Provides a reference point for training and development areas which can then be incorporated into the established Job Brokers continual professional development and training.

This element will aim to address the aptitudes and soft skills which have been found to be key to the successful JB- although these are often harder to identify and particularly to quantify, we consider this to be important and this is supported by the Bruges communique which states "We must empower people to adapt to new developments and manage change, enabling people to acquire knowledge, skills and competences that are not purely occupational." Considering, defining and including these 'aptitudes' will be key to defining accurately the Occupational Profile of the successful JB.

2) Approval of a set of Common Standards and Alignment to NQFs/EQF: A set of key Standards will be produced as part of this, however, it's difficult to be too specific regarding the exact design and content of the Common Standards until the work under IO1 has been completed  - in fact it is only as a result of I01 that we will be able to identify the Common Standards, however we can be confident of the processes which will need to take place to and some basic concept in the design and  (a) modular or thematic in their orientation (b) be designed as standards that will lend themselves to being aligned to learning outcomes and therefore to be demonstrated, assessed or validated flexibly, whether through non formal or formal education or prior experience and achievement. The result of this will be to identify synergies with the NQF and EQF and to consider whether is scope for the development of a standardised qualification.

ERIFO, the lead partner, will also consider whether it is possible to design a framework for setting out a series of judgement statements on which competency levels can be assessed - although this cannot be determined until the Synthesis report is completed and it becomes clear what the core competencies are and whether these are in fact measurable in this way.

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