Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, especially refugees and migrants seem to have even more difficulties to find opportunities of improving their social, vocational and digital skills if they live in rural areas. Lots of offerings regarding career counselling, (vocational) training, ICT access and training as well as social activities are often clustered in bigger cities.
Moreover, professional institutions providing such offers often cannot meet the demand among underprivileged groups sufficiently. The amount of time needed to provide individual guidance that leads to successful professional integration and social inclusion of refugees, migrants or other disadvantaged groups cannot be covered by public authorities and formal education providers alone. With the help of volunteers living in the municipalities and local schools a greater support for the target groups is available and social inclusion is sustainable if the contact between groups of people with different ethnic, cultural and educational background takes place in the communal place that unites them.
All partner organizations already have learning offers that enable people to acquire digital skills. Many of these learning offers are structured to give participants the skills they need, or to train them on specific topics. These learning offers will now be decentralized on the one hand, but at the same time be transferred to another form of teaching knowledge and skills. The learning offers are designed in such a way that the imparting of the competences happens primarily through self-appropriation and the trainers only support this process of self-appropriation. This makes it possible for people, who themselves have no extensive experience in the ICT field, to implement these learning offers.
Furthermore, the learning offers are designed in a way that no high running costs are incurred and also the material costs are kept as low as possible. This allows voluntary organizations and even financially weak schools to carry out these non-formal learning offers. Lastly, the design of learning offers allows social inclusion processes to be triggered by participation, as people with diverse backgrounds work together to meet ICT-based challenges. Due to the attractiveness of the learning offers (this does not mean lessons or fixed courses for the standardized acquisition of knowledge), it is possible to attract the attention of the target groups and to offer them the opportunity to acquire digital skills with fun.
The digital competences are taught through learning by doing, without the participants consciously perceiving them. The participants deal with exciting content such as:
- 3D printing
- 3D modeling
- drone construction
- Internet of things
- laser cutters
The participants work in groups that are randomly assigned, but they still pursue the same goal within the group to master the challenge (for example, to reprogram a drone to follow another drone) together. Depending on the target group and the age of the target group, different learning offers will be installed. This will be realized through decentralised ICT Training Hotspots in social areas or schools of the municipalities, which can be established together with officials of the municipalities and volunteer workers and additionally function as contact areas for all citizens and thereby promote social inclusion. Professionals will offer ICT training for the target groups to improve digital skills and will train teachers and volunteers to continue to use the compiled working materials and methods in the established ICT Training Hotspots.
The partnership comprises the following organizations: ZAUG- gGmbH (Germany), Codedoor.org (Germany), CEPROF (Portugal), European Institute for Local Development (Greece), CIP (Cyprus), Centro per lo Sviluppo Creativo “Danilo Dolci” (Italy), Kauno Kolegija University of Applied Sciences (Lithuania).