Business and young people working together to improve opportunities for young people entering the job market.[/caption] However, many young people have lots to offer. They have spent the first 15-25 years of their lives becoming whole people, learning social skills, language, and a variety of other complex skills that are merely waiting to be put into play in a leisure, study -, summer holiday or full-time job.

Uncertainty and rejections

The importance of one’s first job is great for a young person. After several years of school, it feels like a quantum leap suddenly making your own money, or having to be responsible to an employer and often also customers. But if you lack the proper network to draw on, this process can also be full of uncertainty and rejections. This autumn, CfDP has teamed with British YouthNet with a focus on developing digital courses that will help increase young people’s awareness of their inherent resources while also increasing the visibility of these resources to potential employers. When completing the course, participants will receive a digital badge that can be inserted into their CV/website. The phenomenon of ‘digital badging’ is growing abroad, but in Denmark it is still relatively unknown.

The most important quality

First, we develop a single badge which hopefully will be the start of a new trend concerning young people’s skills. The digital course should be free and available to everyone. The specific design is underway, and we have implemented a creative workshop involving a group of young people and representatives from the business community to find out what resources the two parties felt would be important to highlight in order to boost job prospects. The most popular features that the young party of our workshop focussed on were empathy and tact. Properties which, according to our young people, are as important as they are difficult to convey in a resume or in an interview. Our business representatives favored perseverance as an important quality.

What is People Skills?

Over christmas, CfDP and YouthNet will collaborate on developing our first badge which can best be described as ‘People Skills’. But how would a course in empathy be carried out? A young person from our workshop suggested that you could show a series of complex facial expressions and ask participants of the course to put into words how the pictured person may feel. Another task may be reading a short piece of text about a conflict and then having to describe in words how the involved parties may have felt. We look forward to venture further into the actual design of the first course. Obviously, empathy is a challenging skill to acquire from an E-course, so initially our aim is to make young people aware of their inherent resources, rather than learning them from scratch.

Enthusiasm for the concept

At the workshop, it was clear from the start that no one had heard of digital badging, and only one in five had tried taking a digital course. All participant, however, agreed that they would be very interested in taking a course if it was free and aimed at young people. Several of them could easily imagine sharing a badge on facebook and possibly attach a badge as part of their email signature. The participants were convinced that digital badging would become common in the future, and they looked forward to being able to compose their own palette of badges in order to show their full breadth of job-relevant properties. By Jonas Sindal, consultant and project manager, CfDP Learn more about Skills Connect:
This project is funded by the ERASMUS Programme