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Entrepreneur Gosia drives high profile europe wide job skills project



insight logoA young entrepreneur from Poland has put the South West region in the European spotlight after successfully bidding to drive a EUR 385,269.88 worth, Europe-wide project designed to equip the most disadvantaged unemployed people with wide-ranging job seeking skills.

Miss Gosia Kuklinska – who is Managing Director of the Plymouth-based EuroPartnership Agency and arrived in the UK just seven years ago – has won the tender to design and implement the 'Individualized Training in Acquiring New Skills and Raising Employment Competences Programme' known as INSIGHT.

This project is funded by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme, Transfer of Innovation.

EuroPartnership Agency Ltd based at Plymouth's Tamar Science Park and employing a team of four staff, is leading six partners in Bulgaria, Portugal, France, Lithuania, Iceland and Hungary in the two year project. It will establish an innovative and free integrated training tool to boost the employability of jobless groups most affected by the current global economic crisis.

At the heart of the project will be the development of new training programmes focussed on the social work, administration and business services, wholesale & retail and hospitality sectors. It will be designed to increase motivation and self-awareness among jobless people, as well as equip them with generic skills most sought after by employers.

"Arguably, the global economic crisis has had the most significant impact on the most disadvantaged and vulnerable of people, the young, older workers and migrants who may face a wealth of complex problems as they try to access limited employment opportunities," said Gosia, who has been involved in a broad range of European Commission programmes, managing more than 300 projects involving more than 3200 participants since 2003.

"Existing support to integrate, or reintegrate, these groups into the workplace is all too often not detailed enough or is poorly delivered by trainers lacking expertise and knowledge. This programme is seeking to radically change that culture and give these disadvantaged groups the best possible chance of securing employment in what is now a hugely competitive marketplace.

"What is required is a far more holistic approach to equipping people with the necessary skills that bring tangible, long term employment benefits. That is the fundamental aim of this project."

Over the next two years Gosia will drive the European partner organisations in helping to develop what will be called the INSIGHT kit, which will include detailed handbooks for both the unemployed and trainers containing wide ranging and detailed information and advice on job searching techniques, interview and applications skills and effective CV preparation.

Services will also feature an interactive website with practical exercises and self -assessment tools, a forum for knowledge exchange and DVD with electronic versions of the handbook and guide.

In order to make the material the most effective and detailed source of information ever produced to assist the unemployed, Gosia and each of her European partners are now embarking on a lengthy research and consultation exercise with potential beneficiaries and stakeholders from each of the target sectors.

The plan is to establish new top 10 skills and competencies most demanded by the employers in each of the sectors, as well as hold pilot courses to test and fine tune the INSIGHT material. Workshops will also be held with stakeholders and training participants to evaluate the effectiveness of the material that has been prepared followed by a valorisation campaign.

"To begin this extensive consultation process, we have drawn up a survey in which we are asking key employers from our target sectors to share their experiences of recruiting employees and the kind of personal characteristics they are looking for in an ideal candidate," said Gosia.

"I am keen to hear from any businesses in Plymouth and across the South West who would like to be part of this exciting project, a project that we hope will re-write the rules on employability skills provision for some of our most disadvantaged people across Europe."

Any businesses wishing to get involved in the consultation process for the INSIGHT project (No. 2011-1-GB2-LEO05-05460) should email Gosia at gosia@europartnershipagency.com and visit the website at www.europartnershipagency.com


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