JS-toolbox Practical Usage in Cantabria

JsToolSdr1JS-toolbox practical usage in Cantabria: a way to address the lack of methodology in the field of labour prospection

In Cantabria, the economic crisis has had a direct impact on the labour market, resulting in widespread unemployment and a surplus of jobseekers in nearly all sectors, but particularly in the construction and services sectors. Public employment services were oversubscribed and it was unlikely that they will be able to find work for unemployed jobseekers in the near future.

According to information from the National Public Employment Service's Jobs Observatory in Cantabria, our region registered unemployment in September 2011 was 44 367, representing a year-on-year increase of 9.8 %.

JsToolSdr2In this context, different initiatives and studies, such as the JSToolbox European project, have identified an urgent need of well-defined working methodologies to promote employability and improve cooperation and coordination between agents working in regional employment policies, to be used by the public Administrations and Public Employment Services, as well as other related agents.

JS-Tool aims to facilitate detection of the most demanded professional profiles on the local and regional scenarios in the coming years as well as the interpretation of future training needs through the use of a practical online tool. By using this tool, the adaptation or update of the existing training programs to new demanded competencies could be facilitated.

Implementation of practical methods to detect labour market needs in Cantabria

Within this discouraging environment in our labour market, three entities regional entities (Estrategia 4, Códice Cantabria, and Documenta) are now facing a research study to elaborate a Redefinition of the Active Employment Policies in Cantabria proposal, commissioned by the Regional Public Employment Service.

This study is devoted to identify and analyse the Active Employment Policies that are implemented in the Autonomous Community of Cantabria. Active Employment Policies (as government programmes that intervene in the labour market to help the unemployed) are being deeply analysed to design a proposal and recommendations for their improvement and modernization, with the cooperation of the main stakeholders taking part into these policies.

In this framework, 2 out of 4 sectorial workshop sessions have been developed in November 2012 (Santander, 16th and 23th November) with different regional stakeholders, as well as with the participation of different public entities and Administrations, such as: Laredo, Colindres, Astillero and Santander city councils, Local Development Agencies of Santander, Piélagos and Camargo, business associations, Social Economy foundations (Fundación CESCAN).

Regarding the mismatch between the supply of training programmes and the real professional competencies demanded by employers, as one of the main weaknesses seen by the experts within the Active Labour Market Policies, a debate was held, thinking on the use of practical tools to address the adaptation to these competencies. Members of the research team used as an example the JStoolbox, which received a very positive feedback of the experts

What is Js-Toolbox and why is it useful?

JS-toolbox is a European initiative intended to facilitate the anticipation of future regional needs for upgrading the present VET-programs according to the regional forecasts, as well as according to the opinion and recommendations on the main stakeholders and practitioners in the fields of Active Employment Policies.

JS-Toolbox focuses on the development of a model for practical use for VET organizations of any size, both large and small. This model consists in the description and use of different methods and techniques to detect present and future drivers of change for different sectors in different spatial contexts, in order to predict their impact on the labour market and jobs and then, adapting training curricula by making necessary arrangements in order to provide an internal quality assurance system for these organizations.

All the participants in these workshops agree on the need and usefulness of practical tools where a clear description of steps is explained, in order to guide the process of updating of the job training courses, related to the Active Employment policies, both on the local and regional scales.

So far, main results of the seminaries have resulted in an extensive gathering of information given by these experts in the field of employment, in order to establish a set of commons standards and proposals for the implementation of Active Employment policies in a more coordinated and final user-oriented way, that will take into consideration nowadays needs both of unemployed people, as well of the employers demands.