Innovation and Employability Trainings

Supporting UfM develop the capacity of academia, policymakers and industry to improve the employability of graduates and researchers so that they can find or create meaningful job opportunities and contribute to innovation in their local and regional economies.

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Partner/Client

Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)

Focus

Higher Education l Communication

Expertise

Capacity Building I Training I Employability I Innovation

Location

North Africa and Eastern Mediterranean with special focus on Tunisia and Jordan

Funding

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Status

Concluded (2021)

Link

CHALLENGE

_A key priority for UfM since the Ministerial Conference on Employment and Labour held on 19 April 2019 has been to lessen the significant gap between industry and academia with the aim of facilitating knowledge transfer from research to business, enhancing information flows between stakeholders, addressing the needs of the region, and offering graduates the skills needed to transition to the work environment.

_Through the initiative “Reinforcing the Innovation-Employability Next in the Mediterranean”, UfM has implemented various activities to support higher education institutes in improving skills development and employability of researchers and students in the Mediterranean region.

_Paeradigms was commissioned to support capacity development, conceptualising and operationalising several high-level training sessions on innovation and employability for individuals representing academia, industry, and policymakers.

APPROACH

_Working with UfM and the Ministries of Higher Education and Research in Tunisia and Jordan, Paeradigms based its approach to innovation and employability on the Triple Helix Model of Innovation, including the further development of the model that integrates civil society (Quadruple Helix) and the effects of investment in education on sustainable development (Quintuple Helix). This resulted in several initiatives:
(1) An interactive online training module for mid-career professionals across the Mediterranean region over several weeks that using a "flipped classroom".
(2) Two capacity development sessions both in Jordan and Tunisia led by the respective Ministries of Higher Education and Research.
(3) Development of a regional Forum on Innovation and Employability which brought together high-level representatives from academia, industry, and ministries to discuss, assess and share experiences and best practices around strengthening innovation and improving the employability of graduates.

RESULTS

_ The regional workshop resulted in intense interactions between participants (groups). The reasons were:
(1) The flipped classroom encouraged participants to actively take part during and in-between sessions and move from a passive to an active-actor behaviour.
(2) The instructor’s close follow up on each group and on the progress they were making on their cases resulted in participants investing additional effort in their case studies. This was obvious in the final group presentations, in terms of the choice of the cases, the information they included, the way they were presented, and the Q&A discussion that took place between attendees after each presentation.

_ Jordan and Tunisia' training was an exploration by UfM into a more in depth activity with their country focal points, especially the co-creation of the training content. There was an expectation that there would be elements more and less successful, and learning for the Training Team as well as participants.

_ The “mental shift” that the Triple Helix introduced was obvious throughout the talks that the esteemed speakers gave during the Forum. Capacity building in this regard was given much focus during the talks, especially how to promote and incentivise innovation and enhance employability among young people of the region.

PROJECT GALLERY

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