Unesco and Pix promote youth employment by developing digital skills

Completed in July 2021, the UNESCO project “Youth employment in the Mediterranean region” (YEM) will have made it possible to support youth employment by improving skills anticipation and evaluation systems, and by promoting quality and relevant Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) over the course of 3 years. Funded by the European Union and implemented by UNESCO, the project paid a particular attention to the transversal digital skills, which are today necessary to foster youth employment.

In this context, UNESCO has recognized the need for TVET actors to better identify the digital skills expected by employers according to each profession, and to develop these skills among young people wishing to follow a specific career. An objective that has materialized thanks to a collaboration with the French platform Pix, an online public service that allows the assessment, development and certification of transversal digital skills.

Thus, 65 program managers, inspectors, trainers of trainers, trainers and heads of TVET establishments in 5 countries took part in 22 training sessions on the Pix platform. “Our collaboration with UNESCO within the framework of the YEM project is our first collaboration on an international scale,” explains Jean-François Plard, Partnerships Officer at Pix. It really aims to renew the approach of the TVET system to digital skills. The trainers who took part in the sessions learned to use the platform, and to develop educational scenarios as well as the digital skills profiles necessary for each profession. They were then able to share this knowledge with their learners and trainees in their respective institutions, and taught them how to use the platform. More than 2,000 young people in 60 training institutions have started to develop their digital skills thanks to Pix and UNESCO.”

Launched in 2017 as a public service, the pix.org platform, accessible free of charge, has so far been used by more than 5 million users. “Our goal is to nurture a general digital culture,” continues Jean-François Plard. We are indeed talking about computer skills in the broad sense for office automation, internet use, how to protect your privacy on the web etc., and not specialist skills. We therefore encourage anyone, pupil, student, working professional or retired, to use this service regardless of their level in terms of digital skills”. On the platform, fun tests offer questions and challenges to first assess the skills of each user, with an adaptive pace, to also satisfy people with a higher skills level.

During the coming school year, training establishments will also retain access to the interface to continue and expand the use of the platform with learners, and will continue to be supported in their use of Pix beyond the YEM project, to benefit the greatest number of young learners. “The trainees begin to assess themselves in class, then finish at home,” explains Saïd Kasbi, a trainer at the Specialized Institute of Applied Technology Roches Noires in Casablanca, Morocco, and who took part in the YEM project. The trainers then analyze the results on Pix and collect them in class. Learners are motivated by the fun and practical nature of the tests, and the results are very useful for the trainers.”

For his part, Jean-François Plard assures that Pix is very satisfied with the collaboration with UNESCO. “We felt a real interest on the part of the participants, he says, despite the difficult sanitary conditions which prevented face-to-face training in the different countries. We will continue to support the trainers and hope today for new projects with Unesco and new avenues of collaboration.”