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Research phase main milestones and VET training course first considerations

Despite the current situation of difficulty in every EU Country that requires more flexibility in managing the planned activities, the EN ROUTE Project is arriving at a turning point of its first year of life.

The project has produced its first results both in research and in training fields.

In the Research framework, three different kind of surveys have been designed. Their focus was, on the one hand, the collection of data relating to the sports-tourism job market, and, on the other hand, the skills and tasks that the hypothetical "Sport and Tourism Manager” should possess in order to operate effectively in this field.

For this purpose, the following target audiences were involved in each participating Country:

  1. Sports Federations (total amount 61);

  2. Tourist associations (total amount 44);

  3. Sports experts/professionals already operating in the sports-tourism sector.

A specific questionnaire was prepared and delivered for each of these target audiences. Specifically, the questionnaires relating to Sports Federations and Tourist Associations consist of these parts:

  • the first one explores the level of agreement on some items relating to the sports labour market and the sports tourism sector;

  • the second one investigates skills and sub-skills gap of profiles operating in this sector.

More than 23 Sport experts in 5 Countries (Italy; Spain; The Netherlands; Rep. of Macedonia; Romania) have been involved in our surveys. They highlighted key issues of their professional experience in the tourism sector. In particular they expressed:

  • information on their business with particular attention on how it was developed and that obstacles they faced in their professional pathway;

  • self-assessment of their own competences / sub-competences;

  • self-assessment of their ability to perform some tasks.

First reports underline these milestones:

a) In the opinion of the 100% of the Institutions, eco- sustainable tourism and outdoor activities could be new sectors in which to employ sport qualifications;

b) Institutions were asked to evaluate the most difficult tasks to be accomplished by Sport experts employed in the tourism sector, and they pointed out:

  • To carry out tourist market analysis;

  • To exploit digital tools potential to realize new tourism-experiential products, ensuring the continuous involvement of specific expertise to satisfy customers’ needs or in order to create new needs;

  • To collect information on customer needs and to prepare an intervention plan;

  • To implement a stakeholders’ involvement strategy, stimulating development of a public/private partnership.

c) The perfect matching between the first 4 skills that Institutions assessed as lacking and the first 4 skills that Experts considered less effective (Promotion and Marking; Negotiation; Creativity and innovation; Sectors’ Law and Economics).

We are particularly satisfied because these outcomes also confirm the preliminary investigations we carried out during the project design phase and these are actually the final results we expected to obtain.

In the Training framework, we have developed a common path for the delivery of our VET course for “Sport and Tourism Outdoor Manager”. The training has started with more than 6 participants in each Partners’ Country, with different starting date in each territory. The first phase of training we shared in all Countries was about Life Skills development. Life Skills essential for our final profile have been identified in:

  • Teamworking/Leadership

  • Problem-solving/Critical thinking

  • Creativity/Innovation

  • Effective Communication/Empathy

In the first 4 days, our participants improved the awareness on their strengths and weaknesses in all these skills activation. It was also interesting to emphasize again in our project that sport does not lead to an automatic development of life skills if there is no real awareness of learning them intentionally.

Then we focused on the Technical Modules of the training programme. They have been designed on the basis of skills’ need analysis results emerged from the intense work of the research staff. Given all that, the list of the training units connected to Sport experts’ competences needs is:

  • Promotion and Marketing;

  • Sectors’ Law/Economics (Tourism in EU: Funds; Programmes and best practices; Tourism legislation: National and Regional Level);

  • Project Management (Main elements and specifically for the Sport and Tourism field);

  • Sport and Tourism Business Strategy (Stakeholders Roles; Budget and Economic Plans; Entrepreneurship Development).

We are now working on the demanding phase of the Life Skills Assessment.

Stay in contact with us to find out about new assessment tools for transversal competences and other news about training on the Technical Modules.

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