SkillsMatch, co-funded under the European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology* (DG CONNECT), Unit for Interactive Technologies, Digital for Culture and Education, has completed its course of a two-year research and development. The main research challenges were to identify and contextualize*soft skills*, create a comprehensible assessment for the identified soft skills and to provide online courses on developing or improving soft skills. The technical solution is an online platform, which offers tools focused on improving employability and helps citizens at risk of exclusion to enrich their knowledge and raise their awareness of the importance of soft skills in terms of career development.
The main steps of the recommended SkillsMatch learning path are presented briefly below:
This is the starting point for all users. As a first-time visitor, your learning path is suggested by the system. As a returning user, you will be able to see which steps you have followed and where you have left off your learning process.
In this section, all the theory behind the project’s approach to soft skills is gathered and presented in a user-friendly way. Discover the soft skills by playing any or both of the simple games and if you want to dig deeper read about the research that was done.
Locate your occupation from the ESCO list, if you are between careers or you are just starting your professional steps select more than one occupation to compare. In the soft skills matrix, you will discover the soft skills which are mapped to your selections. Click on a soft skill to proceed to its assessment.
Once you have assessed a soft you are presented with the results. You will see your score and suggested courses to improve it if needed. Further in this section, you will discover how all soft skills are connected with each other and a detailed comparison table.
Training courses specific to soft skills are provided in this section. You can filter by level, language, and provider. On top of that, with the collaboration with The Open College, SkillsMatch offers an access code, available only to registered users, to access free-of-charge customized soft skill courses.
Add your education and experience and the soft skills you have gained on each and one of them. You can ask for validation from a peer and also share your ePortfolio by generating a public share link. The option to select which information to make public is provided.
During the project’s duration, the consortium partners have produced numerous reports (deliverables) to support each task and their work packages. Additionally, we have published 2 research briefs while UAH, Stockholm University and FPM have published academic papers
- Skills for IT Project Management: The view from EU frameworks (Chapter in: Handbook of Research on the Role of Human Factors in IT Project Management ISBN 9781799812791)
- L.Fernández-Sanz, V. Pospelova, A. Castillo-Martínez, M.T. Villalba, M. de Buenaga and Marián Fernández de Sevilla
- Skills Match: how open data enable analysis of demand of non-cognitive skills in the labour market - 10th International Congress on Application of Advanced Information and Communications Technologies (ATICA 2019)
- V. Pospelova, L. Fernández Sanz, M. de Buenaga, A. Castillo
- Skills Match: cómo los datos abiertos permiten analizar la demanda de las habilidades no cognitivas en el mercado laboral XXVI Jornadas sobre Enseñanza Universitaria de la Informática (JENUI2020)
- V. Pospelova, L. Fernández Sanz, M. de Buenaga, A. Castillo
- The learner’s perceptions of an Integrated system for learning management of non-cognitive skills - 19th European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL 2020) M. Glinos, M. Petritsopoulou, T. Karunaratne
- Yes! I want my noncognitive skills to be improved: perceptions on an ICT-enabled learning journey -Submitted abstract, M. Petritsopoulou, Glinos M., T. Karunaratne
- Towards an ICT Enabler for Enhancing Non-Cognitive Skills in a Lifelong Learning Setting - European Conference on e-Learning 2019, P. Mobini, T. Karunaratne
- Observation and exploration of the self in action as fundamental drivers for NCS learning, enhanced by the challenge of mobile apps for a daily and self-led practiceIn progress. L. Leita, S. Sanna, Karunaratne T. M. Petritsopoulou
Project sustainability plan
Kudos to the project for delivering a prototype (TRL6) that was demonstrated in three sets of pilots perfectly organised by our pilot leaders who consist of organisations offering unemployment and upskilling services in Spain, Sweden and Ireland. The user-driven process of the prototype development itself is worth a shoutout in terms of achievements, as it gave us the ability to deliver such a user-friendly end result (that look and feel though)! Yes, the prototype proved to be popular both among the participants, those directly unemployed and employed and those working with them. They fully appreciated the value it brings in enhancing their employment skills and this is what makes us tick. And we want to share this excitement with you: The code will be available on Github for re-use as open-source!
Our researchers kept busy during these two years, making sure the project and technology are evidence-based and methodologically stringent.
The key scientific contributions worth highlighting here are the mapping of ESCO occupations to soft skills, the designing of a self-assessment for soft skills along with an instrumented way of measuring these, but also the process of tech development itself (feedback loop with end users). Check out the research publications that our researchers produced, all available online.
SkillsMatch has a social mission: upskill and help those who want to improve their soft skills. It was loud and clear in pilot sessions: the participants have strong motives in place to use and love SkillsMatch! There is a need for such a tool out there: knowledge and skills validation were a recurrent motivation among participants. Think of all the self-promotion you can do with having your soft skills recognised! That said, there are pressing challenges to overcome such as the lack of awareness on soft skills among employers. It is high time that soft skills get the appreciation they deserve!