Boosting Human Capital for the 21st century, (BHC21), is a project that aims to help low-skilled jobseekers train for future employment through developing their technical skills so facilitating their entry into industrial / manufacturing enterprises. Boosting human capital involves working with people to improve their knowledge and skills, including their quality of social interaction, wellbeing, motivations, and future plans and ambitions.
The EU-funded BHC21 project covers three countries — France, Belgium and the United Kingdom — and uses innovative learning technologies and individual, family and group support interventions to prepare trainees for their future employment. By ‘innovative learning technologies’, we mean a broad spectrum of technologies such as gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality, e-learning and group support. We continue to research these innovative technologies in real-time.
The BHC21 programme is designed for low-skilled people whose needs were not met through traditional educational and developmental opportunities. The manufacturing industry is varied so not every technology works for every training. BHC21 works with different industries and different industry needs. Flanders focuses on the food industry; France (Hauts-de-France) and the UK (Kent) focus on the engineering sector and machine-building.
The innovative learning technologies have been tested in all three countries and have provided useful insights:
- we learned about the characteristics of our cohort memberships: their motivations, self-confidence, training needs, strengths and weaknesses and future plans;
- we learned about the benefits and limitations of innovative learning technologies;
- we got useful feedback from trainers, mentors and supervisors on their experiences of working with low-skilled people, using innovative learning technologies.
In the recording of the talk, you will hear more about the BHC21 project and the opportunities and challenges of working with low-skilled trainees. We describe the tools that were used to collect quantitative and qualitative data from the training.