The project “JOBIT – Innovative teaching methodologies and courseware for software development VET to reduce skills gap in IT” (project JOBIT) focuses on the development of software development skills of Vocational education and training (VET) graduates, developing those skills according to the needs of the labour market. Three partner organizations from Estonia, Italy and Cyprus are involved in creating and establishing a collaboration that will end up in the creation of several outcomes all aimed in reducing the gap between VET and labour market in the field of software development.
The project is funded from the Erasmus+ program of the European Commission. The 24-month project will be operational from September 2015 till August 2017.
Finding people with the right experience and skills continues to be a challenge across Europe. Skills mismatches and occupational shifts have worsened as jobs are opening up for technical professionals in Europe. It is a well-known fact that programmers are the most sought professionals in almost all European countries. Software development in a wider sense is becoming an integrated part of many different jobs in the modern society. Different sources declare thousands and tens of thousands developers needed in the labour market.
Until recent years, in the majority of European countries, software development jobs have been regarded as requiring educational background on of at least Bachelor’s level if not Master’s. Today there are many successful examples of teaching programming as early as in primary schools. Examples of successful software development curricula on European Qualifications Framework (EQF) levels 3, 4 and 5 can be found in different European countries, but they are not common yet. Also the employers are sometimes still hesitant and doubtful of whether the vocational training provides the skills needed in the industry or not.
JOBIT focuses on meeting the needs of the employers by developing innovative and effective software development teaching methodologies for Vocational Education and Training on EQF levels 3-5.
Aims of the project
The main aim of the project is to find best integrated approaches to curriculum implementation of VET through methodologies, courseware and learning tools.
The main innovative aspect is the close collaboration that the project partners will have with VET schools and ICT companies. This will be the key factor in finding the right ways to enhance VET education and making it more effective for employers.
In order to achieve the main aim of the project the partners will implement a series of steps that will guarantee a good impact over the target group and a sustainable effect over time.
We will complete a survey in order to learn what employers need in terms of skills and competences for VET school graduates entering workforce as Junior Software Developers.
Based on the findings from the first phase, the project partners will realize what is actually important to teach in a VET school. We will create a teaching handbook that will contain innovative teaching methods and innovative subjects-
Additionally, teaching material for software development will be produced and will include crucial subjects, based on previous findings. This material will be designed for teachers in order to enable them to deliver the needed subjects.
The handbook together with the material will form the basis of the final project outcome, namely the training of VET schools teachers. The training will be carried out separately in all three countries and will include in-class training, independent training and teachers’ practice in industrial partners.
JOBIT is addressed to VET teachers and VET schools. It brings together ICT employers as the eventual recipients of the VET graduates in the work force.
The combination of ‘what is needed’ (by the employers) with ‘what is offered’ (from the VET graduates) will contribute in bridging the gap between the industry and the vocational education system.