T-Cap, capabilities for creating opportunities
The aim of the T-Cap project was to strengthen capacities as part of the training and social and vocational insertion of adults at risk of precariousness. It was officially launched at a meeting on 18 February 2014 and ended with a seminar on 21 June 2016 (see the summary of the news published on the AID website, with limited formatting). The productions and further information relating relatives to the project are available on the site www.t-cap.eu.
Why the T-Cap project?
In the case of training for people in precarious circumstances, the skills-based approach helped the training courses to be organised in a way that was closer to the realities of the labour market and to link them to other levels of training or validation of skills. Nonetheless, it is clear that accumulating technical and transverse skills, limited to short or medium-term employability, is not sufficient if the goal is sustainable vocational and social inclusion for the most deprived people. it was thus necessary to examine how training practices, such as those developed by the partner centres involved in the project, strengthened or - to the contrary - hindered the trainees’ ability to mobilise their skills to transfer the educational resources into genuine opportunities for social and vocational development. This reflective and analytical work was carried out based on the “capacity/capability” approach defined by Amartja Sen.
Methodology and results
The goal was to carry out a pedagogical translation of the way to work on “empowering” job seekers: rebuilding social connections, returning to being actors in their vocational and social progression, increasing their autonomy and freedom of action to escape precariousness in a lasting manner… The practices of the partner centres were therefore thoroughly examined in order to understand how their methods contributed (or didn’t) to increasing the freedoms and social and vocational opportunities of their trainees.
Research and analysis was carried out in 18 training centres - 6 in Belgium, (AID) and 3 each for the partners: Spain (Trinijove), Italy (SCF), France (IDF) and Slovakia (M-Promex) – to examine the contexts, methods and practices to facilitate the development of “capabilities”. This research was resolutely participatory by closely associating the management, trainers and trainees of each training centre at every stage. recommendations were formalised in a research report produced by the FTU (available in French, English, Spanish, Italian and Slovak) in order for them to be made available, transferred and applied in any other training centre.
In order to test the relevance of these recommendations, 15 participating centres were supported in implementing them in their training practices. An assessment of this “testing” phase was carried out in the second part of the project in order to validate the recommendations, which have now been translated into best practice sheets.
Finally, in order to share the fruits of this work, it was important to subject it to a critical and experienced external gaze: a seminar in Namur in June 2016 brought together university experts, specialists in education, government representatives (‘employment’ and ‘training’) and political representatives to discuss the results of this project. The exchanges were broadcast live and exclusively via a radio station (the podcasts are accessible via www.radio27.be). The various research documents, tools and best practices are offered to as many as possible for possible inspiration on the project website.
T-Cap is a project led by AID and rests on a partnership between providers of vocational training for jobseekers from five European countries:
- Grupul Pentru Interare Europeana (GIE), Romania
- Fundacion Trinijove, Spain
- Institut pour le Développement et la Formation (IDF), France
- Scuola Centrale Formazione (SCF), Italy
- M-Promex, (Slovakia)
Along with the Fondation Travail Université (FTU), Belgium, for the project’s research component.
These bodies share a common doubt about the relevance of employment policies led by the different states, which are ever more individualising, finger-pointing and instrumentalising. These policies hinder the emancipatory work carried out by the training centres with their trainees and do not seem particularly effective in terms of sustainable occupational integration of job seekers and those most removed from employment.
This project was funded with the support of the European Commission.
This publication 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.
T-Cap project launch day
The T-Cap project was launched on 18 February 2014 on the occasion of a study meeting on the concept of capabilities. It was rather successful, in terms of the participants, the quality of the contents presented and the dynamic of the exchanges.
On the links below, you will find: