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Alpha Skills Project 

Equipping Youth for a Green Future

The Alpha Skills project, funded by the Erasmus Plus program, stems from a simple yet powerful idea: to provide young people with the tools they need to build a better and more sustainable future.

The initiative aims to provide teachers and educators, in Italy and Europe, with cutting-edge tools and methodologies to support young people between the ages of 11 and 15 in their educational and career choices, with particular attention to Green Skills, generating a positive impact on multiple levels:

  • On teachers and educators: by jointly building and testing new methodologies for students’ career guidance and education in the green economy.
  • On young people: by providing them with the tools to acquire green skills and make informed educational and career choices oriented towards the future.
  • On local communities: by contributing to the creation of a more sustainable and inclusive work culture.

Alpha Skills, a collaborative initiative 

The development of the project involves a network of national and international professionals engaged in the development of innovative toolkits, the organization of workshops and training sessions, the creation of educational materials, and the activation of local practice communities:

  • The Beroepenhuis (Belgium), lead partner of the project, a non-profit center of excellence for youth career guidance, offers its expertise in the labor market and student needs.
  • Studio SHIFT (Italy), brings its experience in design thinking and in the design of career design toolkits.
  • Cooperativa Margherita (Italy), a non-profit organization committed to social inclusion, provides its expertise in community work.
  • Imago Mundi Association (Romania), an association dedicated to supporting youth development, particularly in rural areas, offers its experience in education and citizen engagement.

Each partner organization proposed its own school guidance practice, which was shared and adapted to different cultural contexts and to European objectives related to Green Skills in both school and extracurricular settings.

Alpha Skills, the work packages

Alpha Skills has a total duration of three years and is divided into five work packages with specific objectives:

  1. Project definition (objectives, methodology, and work plan).
  2. Development of innovative tools for school and career guidance, talent development, and green skills acquisition.
  3. Adaptation to the specificities of each partner country.
  4. Testing and final evaluations (the project’s effectiveness will be rigorously measured and tested in real contexts through quantitative and qualitative data analysis).
  5. Dissemination of results, which will be shared with the international community through the creation of a comprehensive open-access guide and dedicated events.

Regarding Italy, in October 2023, the first community of practice in Lombardy led by Studio SHIFT was launched: the aim is to involve teachers and educators in experimenting with the developed methodologies. Local outcomes will be shared at the first international meeting with project partners, which will take place in Morbegno at the end of March 2024.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the progress made, share the results of testing the first prototyped methodology (the #FutureMe – Green Version format), and outline the next steps. Additionally, it will be an opportunity to engage participants in a co-creation workshop for the project’s first User Generated Content campaign.

Alpha Skills: a replicable model

Through the active involvement of teachers, educators, and youth workers, Alpha Skills aims to innovate the way young people approach school guidance and, consequently, expand options for their future careers. With appropriate design tools, it is possible to increase awareness and the skills necessary to make more informed and satisfying choices about their future, with a view to shaping a sustainable world.

The initiative serves as a replicable model, making the project’s results a valuable resource for generating innovation in the educational field. Furthermore, it exemplifies how design and future-thinking can support processes of pre-vision and anticipation of possible futures, both in schools and in relation to labor markets. This is a concrete and positive example of design tools serving good (international) collaboration and the community.

Make a Shift is Studio Shift's e-magazine, focused on design and social innovation, where you can find articles and case histories of our projects.

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