ECON-IT2 seeks to continue to increase the contribution of business advisers as change agents who facilitate the uptake of innovation and growth within their SME clients. Firstly, the project will raise the quality of training available to them, by carrying out a full assessment of training needs and developing an innovative training resource which blends mobile learning, real life learning, interaction and assessment, with online course content.
Secondly, as well as improving training quality, ECON-IT2 responds to the need to increase the number of business advisers undertaking training by creating an attractive training package. The ECON-IT2 training resource will feature innovative mobile online learning, encouraging uptake by those trainees who are often disadvantaged by classroom training.
Finally, in order to ensure that ECON-IT2 makes a lasting and valuable contribution to European VET, the project focuses strongly on achieving improved collaboration between VET and business sectors.
The overall aim of ECON-IT2 is the development of a training course including on the go, any time, any where learning, which will improve the quality of business advisory training and thus to increase the uptake of such training. This will boost the ability of business advisers to provide flexible, tailor made support, and thus be more effective in influencing the uptake of positive growth patterns and innovation within their small business clients.
The immediate aims of the project are therefore to:
Identify, across Europe, the training needs of business advisory professionals
Reaffirm key business advisor competencies as identified by the needs analysis and focus groups.
Design and produce a highly relevant training course. This will be supported by an online mobile learning platform for delivery.
Foster the development of a community of business advisors fostering peer-feedback and support, as well as providing trainees with useful networking opportunities
Pilot test the training resource with the target group in order to generate feedback and refine the content and format if required.
Promote the training resource to maximise its uptake, not only by individual business advisors but also by their employers, enterprise agency and SME support bodies
Carry out an in-depth evaluation of the project (process and outcomes) in order to feedback into future VET policy and practice and sustained collaboration between the business advisory profession and VET institutions.