about the project

Skill-Up addresses the needs of companies seeking to develop new skills for their employees (current or future) in order to meet the new economic challenges they face. We enter into a contractual commitment with companies on the basis of their skill specifications, and coordinate a training plan with our network of training providers, whether they be public training institutions or private training providers.

The idea of the Skill-Up Fribourg was inspired by the Biofactory Competence Center, which successfully applies a training model for biotech operators. Their model is perfectly transferable to other disruptive sectors, particularly those affected by the digital revolution. The aim is to provide workers with the new skills required by digitisation, automation and the evolution of organisational processes within companies. This enables workers to be (re)qualified in a very short period of time, and fit the specific company needs.

3 Steps to Upskilling

IDENTIFY SKILL NEEDS

We work closely with companies in order to isolate their specific skill needs by using an established definition framework, out of which we create effective, tailor-made skill development programs.

FIND TRAINING PARTNERS

Based on the companies’ needs, we tap into our vast network of skill providers and identify the perfect training partner. These could come from public academic institutions or from private organisations.

PROVIDE CUSTOM UPSKILLING

Our trainers provide a customised training program, consisting of both theory and practice, equipping the candidates with exactly the skills they need to be a productive employee in the modern workforce.

TECHNOLOGY TOOLS

The SkillUP project will use 2 interconnected technology tools that will support the UpSkilling process:

Skill Radar

This project involves the development of a technology platform for identifying emerging shifts and trends in the labour market, driven by transformations in technology and demographics.

Such a platform would utilize data from a variety of global and local sources and ingest them in an automated fashion. This information would then be processed using the latest advancements in Artificial Intelligence that would allow policy makers, trade associations and companies to identify ‘weak signals’ and prepare mitigation strategies.

The idea would be to develop a Skill Radar that focuses on the needs of Fribourg, aligned with the economic sectors that drive employment in the canton. A key challenge is to map the various skills and competency frameworks used by various public and private actors in order to harmonize them with the ontology and taxonomy used currently in Switzerland by the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, etc.

A few notable efforts in the space are being carried out by data rich companies such as LinkedIn in collaboration with inter-governmental organizations such as the ILO, OECD, EU etc. In the Swiss context, several Swiss job portals such as jobup, ictjobs, jobscout24 etc contain vast crawlable data in addition to data from the Swiss Federal Statistical Office etc. Academic research is underway in this area with UZH conducting a NRP funded effort to develop a Swiss Job Market Monitor.

Benefits

The Skill Radar once developed will provide all stakeholders in Fribourg an invaluable tool to understand how emerging trends in the Global and regional labour market will impact them and develop mitigation strategies. Such strategies would typically involve designing customized skill development interventions utilizing the Skill Bridge.

Skill Bridge

This project would involve the development technology platform that would provide trade associations and individual companies a tool to define new skills profiles, according to their needs and the trends found in the Skill Radar.

There are efforts underway at a Global level to develop similar tools such as the Career Explorer of LinkedIn. This tool is designed for use by employees looking to make career transitions. We recommend the development of a similar tool for use by potential employers and/or cantonal authorities responsible for the reinsertion of the unemployed.

Designing New Profiles

Such a platform would allow user to select existing occupational profiles as defined by SEFRI/SFIVET, along with the skills and competencies required for each of them. The users can then adapt these profiles to their specific needs by adding additional skills and competencies and thereby defining new occupational profiles or variants of existing profiles.

Designing skill transitions or career pathways

Once a desired occupational profile is defined, the platform would support the user to define the optimal skilling intervention for a given employee or occupational profile to be able to transition to this new profile. Transitions are an important area of research and current efforts would build on rich data sets already present.

Identifying Providers

Once a skilling intervention is designed the platform will provide a method for users to identify suitable providers in the local ecosystem and engage them in the delivery process. This activity would ideally interface with the Smart Learning Hub that is being conceived as a marketplace to facilitate such discovery.

Monitoring & Evaluation

Finally, the platform will provide a method for planned interventions to be monitored using advanced analytics. Notifications would keep all stakeholders involved updated on the progress and present the results of intermediate and final evaluations.

Benefits

A tool of this nature would be a potent value addition to current efforts at developing the human potential of the state of Fribourg while enhancing its competitiveness and attractiveness as an investment destination.

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