On June 6th, the products and results of the CULTOUR project have been presented in national seminar in Sofia. The project aims to contribute to enhancing the skills and stimulating the mobility in tourism through the recognition, validation and improving the intercultural competences of the employees in the sector. The seminar involved almost 50 trainers, career guidance practitioners, vocational education experts and representatives of the tourism sector.
The project is implemented in 6 European countries, in which more than 10% of the working population is employed in the tourism sector. The majority of them have no relevant qualification, which affects the quality of services. The high level of mobility provides larger job opportunities, however it also brings challenges related to the lack of key skills. These skills gaps concern specifically the intercultural competences, which are important for all skills levels and profiles in the organizations in the global and diverse world.
The CULTOUR partnership involves 6 organizations: SUD Concept – France, ISQ – Portugal, INFODEF – Spain, The Governship of Istanbul – Turkey, Business Foundation for Education – Bulgaria and ERIFO – Italy. During the project lifetime they develop the following intellectual products:
1: The State of the Art report on skills gaps in tourism sector
In the first phase of the project the partners reviewed the national legislation, strategic documents, researches and analyses in tourism; they also conducted survey among 150 participants and interviews with 60 professionals in the 6 countries. A detailed analytical report in English has been elaborated, and the main findings have been summarized in short presentations in all partner languages.
The report identifies 6 key intercultural competences, most necessary for the staff, employed in tourism:
Intercultural team work
The report also highlights the main challenges for the staff in the sector, as well as the needs for training materials and methodologies for development of the intercultural competences, addressed by the project.
2: CULTOUR Curriculum in Intercultural skills for tourism sector jobs
The program and the linked instruments for evaluation of results are based on the European Qualification Framewok (EQF) and ECVET. The program is with overall duration of 60 hours for the 6 skills and is directed to level IV of EQF.
3: CULTOUR Handbook
The Handbook contains pedagogical approaches and good practices in training of intercultural competencies for tourism sector jobs. This product will be developed on the basis of State of Art. It states numerous useful links to resources for informal and non-formal learning, as well as to existing mobility opportunities in the European union, which are still generally unknown and underutilized by the employees.
4: CULTOUR Toolbox
The toolbox is a useful resource of practical information for the direct implementation of innovative methods in training of intercultural competencies for tourism sector jobs. It contains exemplary plans of the training modules for each of the 6 intercultural competences, specific methodological guidelines for the application and evaluation of the competences, as well as instruments for measuring the progress.
5: CULTOUR Open Online Center
The Open Online Center provides detailed information about the implementation of the project CULTOUR – achievements, events and news, description of good practices, links to important resources and other useful information. The open online center is linked to social media networking platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) to multiply dissemination and make possible peer learning and virtual mobility.
CULTOUR Training activity:
The project included one-week training activity for the partners’ teams, aiming at exchange of experience, discussion and piloting of the elaborated methodologies. Thus, capacity was built training of trainers, which was applied for piloting of the program on national level.
CULTOUR project produces impact on several levels:
Pedagogical impact by generating learning/teaching approaches, methodologies and tools based on previous research
Impact on training practices of VET trainers, teachers and counselors, and their organizations
Impact in terms of improving skills and competences for employability and mobility of direct beneficiaries
Economic impact through improving preparation for the labour market and matching with new emerging skills
Technological impact by creating Open Educational Resources available online
Social impact promoting a better labour integration of beneficiaries in participant countries.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. Project No: 2015-1-FR01_KA202-015290.