Soft Skills for Hard Hats

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Soft Skills for Hard Hats


EU Commission




Berufsförderungswerk der Bauindustrie NRW gGmbH, Düsseldorf, Germany, Centro Edile A.Palladio, Vicenza, Italy, Gospodarska Zbornica Slovenije - Chamber Of Commerce, Industry Of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Bildungszentren des Baugewerbes, Krefeld, Germany, Fundacion Laboral de la Construccion, Madrid, Spain and Open Universiteit Nederland, Heerlen, Netherlands.

Project Team

Stephen Austin, Amela Bogdanovic, Janet Campbell, Andy Reid, Liz Rowlson, Faye Brown and Gurjinder Sahota.

Project Objectives

Soft Skills for Hard Hats project will create online, semi immersive interactive scenarios aimed at first level construction supervisors to help develop soft skills. The project focuses on 4 different soft skills: teamwork, communication, leadership and problem solving. The material created can be used both in a formal learning setting or by individual in their own time. Each unit will enable participants an individual journey based on the choices they make. At the end of the journey the individual will receive feedback focusing on why some choices made were wrong and why were correct. Training material is adapted from the approach used with construction courses students at Coventry University’s Simulation Centre.

Research Impact

Soft Skills for Hard Hats is a project that is a result of a successful bid to 2016 Call for Erasmus+ KA2 –Cooperation for innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices, Strategic Partnerships for Vocational Education and Training. The project consortium consists of 7 European partners from Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Slovenia and Italy and Coventry University as the project lead and coordinator. All the project partners are part of the Conference on project Development (CPD), a European network formed by more than 25 organisations that include universities, vocational training institutions, technology institutes, chambers of commerce, employer associations etc. The main focus of the CPD is on Vocational Education and Training in particular within the construction sector. Partners within the consortium have a wide experience in European funded projects. The consortium has a good cross section of organisations from different European countries and are working with different target groups (students, apprentices, adult learners, teachers, trainers, unemployed, self-employed). The Coventry University team has an extensive experience in Erasmus+ projects such as Build Your English, CoLa, SOCCES, Microlearnings to name the few.

Each project partner will lead on one or more work packages. Four partners will lead on intellectual outputs:

  • Teamwork - Bildungszentren des Baugewerbes, Krefeld, Germany
  • Communication- Fundacion Laboral de la Construccion, Madrid, Spain
  • Leadership - Centro Edile A.Palladio, Vicenza, Itally
  • Problem solving - Berufsförderungswerk der Bauindustrie NRW gGmbH, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Before producing the interactive on-line tool, all materials for each intellectual output will be reviewed by all partners and, if necessary, adjusted to best suit the cultural and national diversity.

Apart from overall coordination and lead on the project the Coventry University team is also responsible for overall quality control of the produced outputs. Open University Nederland is the project technical lead and is responsible for the production, operation and the quality of the final on-line tool. The overall output will also be independently tested by target groups in each partners’ country.