This exciting new Digital Media qualification recognises the increased importance of digital skills in today’s workplace and has been developed to assist learners wishing to enter this dynamic environment.

At the Grupo Absolute offices in Seville

The Digiblox (EfDM) project was started in 2018 to address the skills gap and strengthen the abilities of young people as they move into the new world of work, a world that is shifting and changing at an almost unprecedented rate. The project was led by Capacity Ireland and we have worked with partners across Europe in countries including Spain the Czech Republic, Italy, Ireland the UK.

The project created a common Scheme of Work based around units and learning outcomes but the major focus was on upgrading existing City and Guilds level qualifications in Digital Marketing, which were made industry-ready for today’s workplace. Through meetings with employers leading digital development in several European countries, we discovered the skills new hires are most likely to need and we examined our teaching materials to encompass these findings.

This way, we were able to create a qualification that directly meets employer needs and ensures graduates are fully equipped with the skills and tools they need to succeed in the workplace, by learning how to apply these techniques in the real world. Led by marketing industry experts and practitioners, our fully-funded course features a blend of lectures, class exercises, individual and group work, plus a bespoke work experience placement.

At the Thinkhouse Digital Marketing agency in Dublin

Of course, the best-laid plans don’t always work out as intended, and the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the project as it affected people’s lives, families, careers, and businesses all across Europe. Tutors, teachers, and training providers all had to navigate these strange and often stressful times during the timeline of the project – and we quickly had to adopt new digital tools that we were not familiar with and had no experience using. On the upside, this helped us to develop a digital media qualification that was not only practical but also reflected the latest technologies.

Piloting the new qualification in the UK

At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we switched to online learning, but again, this enhanced the Digiblox qualification as it meant that individuals across Europe – and even as far away as South America – could access the training and find it beneficial to their career goals. Again, we developed strategies around virtual teaching, in particular, content, delivery and communication based on challenges encountered by students while learning virtually during the pandemic.

The Digiblox qualification is now available across Europe in a variety of colleges and universities and the feedback we are receiving from learners is fantastic. The signup rate is also much higher than we originally anticipated, with over 500 people registering for the qualification in Italy alone. Among the reasons for its success were its exemplary online delivery – something we never would have imagined when we began the project and came about as a result of the crisis – but ultimately proved very beneficial for the qualification.

At our third Transnational Meeting in Villa Montesca, Italy

Working on this new qualification, over the past three years, has not only established new friendships and cultivated professional relationships with our international partners – Third Sector International (Spain), Capacity London (UK), Cybersalon (UK), Villa Montesca (Italy), and EDUART Projects (Czech Republic) – but even in the face of the toughest challenges, we learned to press on and work towards a common unifying goal.

While we set out to create a qualification that would address the skills gap, we never anticipated the immense speed and digitisation that COVID-19 would unleash on our working life and culture. The need for digital skills is no longer merely desirable; it is imperative. We have developed a qualification that we are proud of as a team, and we strongly believe will lead to the development of long and meaningful careers in digital media for many people, a success for everyone involved.

At our third Transnational Meeting in Villa Montesca, Italy

Duration:

2018 – 2021

The Partnership Team:

The multidisciplinary project team is drawn from 5 different European countries and includes Third Sector International (Spain), Capacity Ireland, Capacity London (UK), Cybersalon (UK), Villa Montesca (Italy), and EDUART Projects (Czech Republic).

Funding:

The project is funded under the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership initiative.

Project Objectives:

The main priorit y for the ECVET for Digital Media (EfDM) project has been the development of qualifications and curricula for the Digital Media sector, focusing on developing and integrating an ECVET approach within the creation of a suite of new ‘European Digital Media’ VET qualifications .The project partner ship comprises VET institutions based in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the UK working to support recognition of digital skills and qualifications to facilitate learning, employability and labour mobility within digital media and related sectors .

The EfDM project has worked to develop, update and enhance existing qualifications accredited by City & Guilds , working with both VET partners and a specialist Digital Media partner – Cybersalon – to adapt the course curricula and assessment processes to integrate ECVET functionality in the context of the different accreditation and recognition systems for VET qualifications within each of the partner countries .

The new European Digital Media qualifications that the EfDM project has created are designed to facilitate integration with work experience within the sector and thus replicate key aspects of apprenticeship type training. In particular, the course explores the crossover between VET and the world of work and enterprise and is ideally suited to adult VET learners who already have some skill s and qualifications but lack the experience and workplace skill s to secure employment in their target job role.

The integration of work experience alongside the course is specifically designed to tackle the dilemma faced by many young people whereby their target job roles require experience but it is difficult to gain experience without first having a job!