CQJB: Certification and Qualification for Europe’s Job Brokers


1 Oct 2018 - 30 Sep 2020

The project addresses the specific objective of the call to support the preparation or setting up of joint VET qualifications (including at higher level) by designing, testing and registering a new joint qualification to support the validation requirements, professionalization and mobility of Europe’s emerging Job Brokers. As noted previously, it addresses the general objectives of the call by specifying, training and qualifying an emerging European occupational role that finds itself at the heart of interventions whose role is the interface between job-seekers and employers and who therefore bring together the employability needs of young people and job-seekers with the needs of companies. For instance, ‘Anticipating and Matching Skills and Jobs: The role of Employment Service Providers’ (CEDEFOP, 2015) highlights how Europe’s PES’s must keep pace with ever-faster changes in the world of work, given their core mandate of bringing together young people and jobseekers with job vacancies and apprenticeship opportunities has become a complex task, where ‘skills’ sit firmly at the centre. Thus CEDEFOP argues (Professionalising Career Guidance, CEDEFOP, 2010) that the occupational profile of the Job Broker has distinct considerations that need to be strengthened and stresses the need to offer formal recognition of an increasingly important professional occupation.

To prepare individuals for this emerging and changing European Job Broker role, in a holistic sense, requires wider knowledge beyond the core pastoral and counselling skills that have been traditionally needed to support young people and job seekers. As CEDEFOP identify, it is an active, advocacy role with multiple parties that goes well beyond a passive ‘skills matching’ process. In addition to the Job Broker’s core professional background, it can mean acquiring a degree of knowledge and understanding of a wide range of areas, some of which can be very unfamiliar as they may be increasingly ‘employer-facing’ (HR & recruitment, employment law, operating apprenticeships, local employment market and sectoral knowledge, marketing and advocacy, effective negotiation, interviewing skills, communication, job descriptions and person specifications etc) as well as ‘case-load’ skills concerned with management information systems, equal opportunities and diversity, project management, quality assurance and health & safety to operate successfully. The Job Broker role is thus a clear manifestation of the impact on occupations that is identified in Europe’s flagship ‘New Skills for New Jobs’ initiative.

In a series of implementation work packages, the project addresses the call for proposals by its first level activity of developing a new curriculum programme and joint certification model as a mobile and transferable qualification, the European Professional Certificate for Job Brokers, benchmarked to the European Qualifications Framework at Level 6. As the project is aimed at current professionals at work, the curriculum will be designed for assessment against a specifically-designed series of work-based learning outcomes, founded on specified competencies to demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding. The transnational framework for certification is the international standard ISO17024 (Certification of Persons) and the involved higher education partners (and associates) will adapt this certification for professional certification of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) accreditation, following the European Commission’s ECTS User Guide for its adoption in CPD work-based learning contexts.

This is complemented by the project’s second level activity, in which this joint certification model is adopted, sustained and widened both in each partner country and at the transnational level through the development of a new Association of European Job Brokerage Certification Authorities in which the continuing adoption of instruments to promote mobility such as EURES and ESCO are embedded. The project is also fully in accordance with the requirements of the call, as well as the Bruges Communiqué on enhanced European Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training 2011-2020, which calls for an improvement in the capacity of VET in Europe to integrate changing labour market needs through a better understanding of changes to existing occupations.

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