The international project Your career is waiting-get ready! (https://epic-org.eu/en/your-career-is-waiting-get-ready-3/#pll_switcher)has been implemented by EPIC non-profit organization since 2019. The aim of the project is to help young people to be better prepared for an open labour market requirements and also to encourage employeers for greater acceptance of disadvantaged groups and youth with disabilities in particular.
In cooperation with the project partners from Czech Republic, Italy and Belgium, EPIC has contacted students of the last years of secondary vocational schools (SOŠ) to enable them to attend the theoretical and practical preparation for job interviews, ie. Job Interview Simulator.
The original intention of the project was to attract the secondary schools in capitol of Slovakia Bratislava and its surroundings and pursue the Job Interview Simulator (JIS) in person, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was necessary to organise the activities online. It allowed more schools, even from the rest of Slovakia, to take part in project. From the schools that showed interest, six schools were selected to conduct 20 JIS trainings within March-April-May 2021:
- Business Academy Nevädzová 3 in Bratislava
- Secondary Vocational School of Mechanical Engineering in Kysucké Nové Mesto
- Secondary Vocational School of Trade and Services in Dolný Kubín
- Business Academy in Liptovský Mikuláš
- Business Academy in Vranov nad Topľou
- Business Academy in Prievidza
During these three months, we managed to train 195 students, 5 of whom were students with disabilities.
Students had the opportunity to go through educational teoretical part focusing on the:
how to look for a job, how to prepare an engaging CV and cover letter, how to prepare for an interview, individual interview types and stages, how to be prepared for the most frequently asked questions in interviews, what are so-called soft skills, business etiquette, non-verbal communication or how to dress appropriately for the interview.
Although the practical part was not planned in the originally agreed project, we managed, at the initiative of involved teachers, to attract the attention and active participation of HR employees from six renowned private companies:
- Jaguar Landrover
- Recruitment agency AU JOB
Thanks to them, students had the opportunity o put in practice the acquired knowledge from the workshop at simulated job interviews.
Important part of the project is the sensitisation of employers towards employment of people with handicaps or with disadvantages. It is being done through a special training titled Disability awareness training (DAT) based on Australian model created by EPIC ASSIST Australia. So far EPIC was able to run 5 special DAT for private companies and for state institution as follows:
- Leon Consulting
- 1st Class Agency
- Haco, a.s.
- Asociácia Partnerstvo Spiša
- Fond na podporu vzdelávania
The feedback from students, teachers and private companies participating in Your career is waiting – get ready! is excellent and calls for the continuation of this practical project.
One of the project outputs will be video available on Youtube with the content of testimonials of several project participants, where they will comment on their participation in the project and lessons they learned.