Soufflearning – A EU-project on vocational training for small enterprises

Effective training in the workplace for small companies

The participation rate of SMEs in advanced training and qualification measures has been below average for years. One of the reasons is that SMEs often can not afford to send what little staff they have off to external seminars. What’s more training institutes often offer trainings which are topically removed from real everyday business. Therefore a concept aiming at satisfying the needs of SMEs for vocational training has to be tailored to the staff to be trained.

In Soufflearning trainers or coaches come into the company or organization and cooperatively develop a training concept customized to the company’s needs.

Soufflearning is suitable for single trainings (e.g. for managerial topics) to a group of up to eight attendees. Companies that employ this training concept are usually already aware of their strengths and weaknesses and are open for change. They know about the importance of working with members of their staff and that success is the result of a learning process. Often Soufflearning is the trigger for further measures such as critical self-examination of team structures and work processes.

By means of this website as well as in workshops and meetings providing best practices and guidelines for the implementation, the SME oriented training concept is introduced to relevant stakeholders and put into practice. Based on experiences in Germany, a Europea-wide cooperative network of vocational training institutes, trainers and SMEs was initiated.

Target groups and potential users of Soufflearning as a measure of vocational training in SMEs are training centers, professional associations, businesses and employees and other interest groups in vocational training. The goal is to familiarize selected training institutions and those interested in professional education with Soufflearning and show them how to implement the method in their daily training and education practice.

Development of the project

In a cooperative project of the Initiative for Vocational Training NRW 2005 by netz NRW e.V. and Bonn Science Shop e.V. the method of Soufflearning was developed and tested specifically to answer the needs and requirements of small companies and organizations. In the Leonardo-da-Vinci-Transfer Project (10/2010 – 09/2012) it was transferred to partner organizations in France, the Czech Republic, Italy and in the Upper Lusatia region in Germany.

Soufflearning is currently being implemented for the third time, the second time as part of the Leonardo da Vinci education programm for lifelong learning. The project is aiming to disseminate the training concept further within Europe, adapt it to national contexts as well as seeking a certification process to offer Soufflearning as an additional qualification for trainers. This time partners from Spain, Germany, Greece, and Bulgaria are taking part in the project.

Soufflearning 2 – Expanding the innovative approach of On-the-job Training and Qualification for small and very small companies
DE/13/LLP-LdV/TOI/147 674