GARAGE ACADEMY+ 2020: the job market during & post COVID-19 crisis
An ESAA-project as an immediate response to the 2020 crisis: The first online academy for students and recent graduates addressing the impact of the COVID-19 emergency on the job market implemented by Fabrizio Bitetto (member of garageErasmus). A one-week programme from 25th to 29th of May to answer questions on how to approach the labour market in the near future.
This project can be considered the beginning of a virtual era for ESAA (Erasmus+ Student and Alumni Alliance) and its partner organisation garagErasmus (gE). The emergency forced the shutdown/blocking of the projects, and we responded promptly with our first online project: GARAGE ACADEMY+ 2020.
It was organised in collaboration with GY Academy in Malta and meant to create a highly professional training academy providing students and recent graduates with concrete answers and suggestions on the job market change after the COVID-19 emergency. In fact, we have noticed a significant amount of disorientation between people that were about to enter the working life, demoralisation and fear on how to succeed despite this sudden and unforeseen situation. The Academy has been an opportunity for many young people to boost their confidence and adapt to new circumstances as they appear.
The programme lasted a full working week from the 25th to the 29th of May and it was organised in two main sessions per day. The first session hosted speakers from various expertise, CEOs entrepreneurs, Human resources specialists, diplomats held lectures every day, giving important information to the participants in regard to the market trends of their expertise sector and most importantly encouraging them with relevant suggestions for their future careers. Some crucial topics were covered, such as confidence boost, adaptation, importance of getting out of their comfort zone, interviewing skills both online and offline, leadership skills, diplomacy skills and more. The main lectures were held by Julian Azzopardi, Clive Cusens and Francesco Cappè, with the participation and moderation of Serena Tenea and Carlo Bitetto.
The second session was dedicated to the Erasmus Alumni personal interviews. It was an interactive session in which the participants could ask questions about the speaker’s experience, their success stories before holding a relevant professional position, in order to get inspiration and motivation about having an experience abroad. The Erasmus Alumni were Eriselda Barjamaj, Giorgio Marinoni, Laura Moreno, Rocco Palma and Mauricio Cuevas, all interviewed by gE members.
The results were beyond any expectations. 337 students and recent graduates registered in only four days of actual promotion on social media and through personal emails to contacts of the Foundation. A selection in order to guarantee an effective programme and personal answers to all the questions asked by the participants was made and the final number of selected candidates that participated to the programme was 77 coming from 25 different countries - ensuring a wide variety of cultural exchange. 32 of them followed all the sessions of the project and received a certificate of attendance.
GARAGE ACADEMY+ 2020 has been a great incentive for the Foundation in understanding the interest of new project modalities, such as virtual programmes, to continue working on similar activities in the future. In regard to this, we have been collecting feedback through an online survey and several students have sent a personal video for gE to be published and to spread the importance of the knowledge acquired during this week. garagErasmus will treasure all the constructive feedback for future online initiatives.
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