The UOC is coordinating a European project to improve employment skills for young people

Rubn Permuy
Analysing the strategies of different countries to promote ties between higher education and the employment market

Skill Up. Under this name, the European Union is financing – via the Erasmus+ programme – a project coordinated by the UOC to analyse employment policies for recent university graduates, in order to strengthen the ties between higher education programmes and the employment market, by promoting the development of professional skills.

Adriana Ornellas, professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, researcher at the eLearn Center and project coordinator for the UOC, says that “with this project, the UOC wants to improve the employability of its students by bringing the curriculum closer to the reality of the employment market, promoting new career guidance services and new categories of professional practices”.

Promoting the employment of young people in different countries

The researchers of Skill Up are taking as a starting point the various initiatives implemented in Spain, Germany and Sweden in this field. In Spain, they point out, a strategy has been drafted for entrepreneurship and employment for young people which entails the development of courses and higher education curricula guaranteed to meet the demand for skills from the business sector and facilitate the transition from education to the job market.

In the case of Germany, with a low rate of unemployment among young people, the government is implementing various initiatives, such as the dual system based on the combination of learning and employment, a successful strategy that will be taken into consideration in the study to be conducted with Skill Up. As for Sweden, another of the countries used as a point of reference in the project, its government is adopting measures to improve the participation of young people in the job market, by providing incentives for the development of occupational skills in secondary education. Thanks to the so-called apprenticeships, students have an alternative route to obtain a vocational training qualification and to improve the transition from education to the job market.

Skill Up will analyse the different strategies, such as the ones referred to, which have been designed and implemented in various EU countries, in order to respond to European priorities in education and training until 2020.


The project, led by the UOC, includes the participation of Fundaci Factor Hum, University of the Federal Employment Agency (HDBA), Institut Obert de Catalunya (IOC), Stockholm University (SU) and Technische Hochschule Wildau, and in addition to Adriana Ornellas, also participating on behalf of the UOC are Alexandra Bos, from the Office of the Vice President; ngels Fit and Maria Jess Martnez, from the Management & eLearning (MEL) research group; Carles Rocadembosch, from UOC Alumni; and Elsa Santamaria, from the Life Balance, Gender and ICT (CGTIC) research group.

Skill Up was launched in Berlin – at Technische Hochschule Wildau, on 12 and 13 January 2017 and will continue until 2019.

Funded by Erasmus+ of the European Union