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B-WISE project publishes research on digital skills needs in work integration enterprises

B-WISE project’s partners have published a report on understanding user digital skill needs in Work Integration Social Enterprises.

In the foreground, a guy with Down syndrome is working on a laptop. In the background, a woman is looking at the laptop’s screen.

B-WISE project has just released their new report, the ‘Report understanding user (digital) skill needs in WISEs’. This publication is the result of research coordinated by the Consorzio Nazionale Idee in Rete, one of the Italian partners of the project, alongside the active contribution of the entire partnership. 

What is B-WISE?

The acronym “WISEs” stands for (European) Work Integration Social Enterprises, whose purpose is to integrate people with intellectual or physical disabilities into the labour market. These represent the core of the project, which aims to develop a European strategy to address the skills needs, especially in terms of digital skills, in the WISEs sector.  

The starting point of the research 

The research started from the assumption that the objective of capacity building can only be realised by understanding that European WISEs are different from each other in their objectives, operational styles, and organisation. People working in WISEs, such as disadvantaged workers, supporters, and enablers are all different too, so it is important to recognise their distinct starting skill levels, life histories, and investment in learning. This means that a capacity building strategy must be designed with reference to the different types of WISEs and the different types of persons working in them.  

The structure of the research 

To take into account as many cases as possible, researchers have created various 'Scenarios' (the different types of WISEs) and 'Personas' (the different types of disadvantaged workers, supporters, and enablers), to ensure that training and learning correspond to different skills needs. The report aims to answer two main questions: 

  1. What skills building action do WISEs need, based on their characteristics, the directions of their development, and their strengths and weaknesses? 
  2. What are the characteristics of the workers (enablers, supporters, workers with support needs) to whom competence building pathways will be proposed?  

Two answers are presented in the publication:  

  1. different “Scenarios”, meaning different types of WISEs (social, training, and productive), with a focus on the use of technology 

  1. three categories of “Personas” – workers with support needs, supports and enablers.  

The next step of B-WISE will be the planning of curricula and training pathways for the three categories of WISEs workers mentioned above, in order to develop effective learning outcomes for each of them.  

The B-WISE project has still a long way to go and more publications on working skills for the future will be published on their website.