Article by Apem
Feedback after the experience in the focus group for the Master the Act project
The mission of the Creative Mentor for employability is to be the guiding hand that accompanies the person from the beginning of the process until he/she finds a new job. This was one of the conclusions reached by the focus group organised by Agencia para el Empleo Madrid on 13 May with representatives of entities related to employment and theatre. This activity was carried out within the framework of the European project Master the Act, whose objective is the definition of this new professional profile that will use dramatization techniques for the employability of job seekers. This European initiative involves theatre and work organisations from Italy, France, Spain, Poland, Romania, and the United Kingdom.
The European project Master the Act, develops and completes a previous initiative: Fake It Till You Make It, based on the use of theatrical techniques for employability, which resulted in a methodology with the name of the project.
The aim of the focus group was to test both the Master the Act project and the Creative Mentor with experts in the world of theatre and employment. To this end, they were asked a series of questions that they answered in writing. In this way, the participants defined the functions of the new professional profile. In this sense, the most important ones were group attention and individual intervention; establishing a series of rules of coexistence and conduct that govern the course and facilitate the creation of bonds of trust so that everyone can give the best of themselves; being a guide and accompanying, step by step, throughout the training and integration process, also inviting reflection; establishing assessment criteria and methods for feedback between both parties, including work on expectations, adapting to the different existing profiles and groups, defining organisational and specific objectives for each of the sessions, being able to transfer them effectively; elaborating professional user profiles, as well as training their competences and providing people with autonomy through the use of theatrical techniques, adapting them to the teaching of employment for employability; training in verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as being a theatrical coach to teach them the staging in order to be able to carry out public presentations afterwards.
In the opinion of the experts that comprised the focus group, the most appropriate competences to form part of the new professional profile were learning to learn, civic and social competence, a sense of initiative and entrepreneurship, digital competence, and communication in the mother tongue.
In terms of transversal skills, the following were highlighted by the participants within each group:
- Personal Skills: Initiative, proactivity, and ability to innovate; resilience; creativity; ability to motivate others and build trust; open-mindedness; optimism and sense of humour.
- Interpersonal Skills: Active listening; teamwork; effective, oral, and public communication/impactful listening; empathy; conflict resolution and negotiation.
- Tasks: Ability to heal, improve, educate, and transform; problem solving; decision making; planning, organising and time management; management and planning skills; educating and improving skills.
- Organisational Skills: Adaptation to change and flexibility; skills transfer knowledge from different disciplines and knowledge to educational techniques; SDG skills.
- Managerial Skills: Leadership; team leadership; planning and management; management by objectives.
Finally, a series of observations were made, which brought together ideas around the personal and professional profile of the Creative Mentor for employability that allow us to further define the new profile. These ideas were as follows:
The Creative Mentor should have a personality that is innovative, creative, motivating, and conducive to change in people who are to be inserted into the labour market. He/she should also be flexible and adaptable to the different conditions and contexts of the individuals and groups with whom he/she will work. The professional profile must be a mix between an employment technician and a theatre professional but giving more importance to the character of an employment technician. In the words of one of the participants, the creative mentor for employability should be 80% employment professional and 20% theatre professional.