DIGITRAIN – Digital Mentoring and Traineeship

Nº do projeto:2021-1-ES01-KA220-VET-000034654
Coordenação: University Oviedo (Espanha)

Start Date 03/01/2022 End Date 03/01/2024

The project vision
Our vision is to help VET students in remote/rural areas to have more opportunities for real-life education to become more competent in their respective fields.

Our goal is to develop a digital mentoring and internship program that will provide VET students in remote (rural) areas with better opportunities to engage in real-world business with an internship. Digital mentoring is a highly effective way to receive help from experts remotely and improve any skills.

– Develop a methodology for digital mentoring and internships focusing on rural VET schools
– Increase the number of VET students from remote (rural) areas participating in real-life projects as part of their education
– Encourage VET schools to implement the new digital internship methodology in their teaching plan/program
– Improve the quality of VET education in remote (rural) areas through an innovative approach to digital internship and learning
– Enhance cooperation between VET schools and businesses

Identified Problem 1:
-Lack of opportunities in rural areas:
Many students from rural schools face numerous difficulties. Some are practical, such as the long distances they have to travel to access their education or limited access to resources and learning facilities such as libraries or large educational institutions. Others are structural, such as teacher turnover and lack of innovation due to teachers staying within their comfort zone without any external stimulation. (https://bit.ly/RuralEdu) Teachers in socially disadvantaged neighborhoods are dealing with students who are often more challenging to motivate. (http://bit.ly/RuralMotivation)

-Lack of skills and educational qualifications is likely to restrict access to various jobs/careers. In 2015, the early school leaving rate in the EU-28 (defined for people aged 18 to 24) peaked at 12.2% in rural areas, compared to 11.5% in cities and suburbs and 9.8% in towns. (https://bit.ly/3247bgX)

Identified Problem 2:
– Digital transformation of VET schools:
VET aims to equip people with skills and competencies, but many of the skills Europe needs will be learned on the job or through practical experiences. Digital skills are among those most likely to be developed in the workplace. VET systems need to be flexible and efficient in responding to the transformation and emergence of new digital skills. VET systems need to open up and start collaborating with companies on small projects and products with their students. But a prerequisite for this is digital transformation – new digital skills for teachers and automated document processing systems. (https://nexa.polito.it/nexacenterfiles/Digital%20Transformation%20and%20VET%20-%20NEXA.pdf)

Digital mentoring is a practice that goes beyond normal inclusion practices as there are virtually no limits – available to anyone (rural groups, socially weaker, disadvantaged) and can help acquire new talented workers for companies. (http://bit.ly/eMentoringEurope) The intern is not required to physically attend the workplace but rather to work on a specific project related to the study and needs of the mentoring-providing company. In the survey, (http://bit.ly/RuralStOpportunities) authors explain that this model has the opportunity to:
– Match supply to demand by introducing work-based learning
– Students have the opportunity to work in any company interested in cooperating
– Companies solve minor problems they don’t have time to work on but are perfect for students
– Both parties are interested in having a good mentoring/internship outcome

This solution covers all identified problems – lack of opportunities for rural students, improvement of their skills, enabling teachers to connect with experts in the field, and pushing VET schools to become digitally competent/transformed.