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Empowering Public Employment Service Practitioners’ peer facilitation with peer coaching training

The EmployID Peer Coaching and Evaluation teams had an article published this week in the International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring.

In a changing world of work with high youth unemployment rates, an ageing society and flexible work force, practitioners in Public Employment Services need to cope with continually growing demands. In this paper we present the EmployID project which introduced a blended learning approach for Public Employment Services in Croatia, designed to support professional identity transformation through peer facilitation and learning. The evaluation shows that learners benefited from higher knowledge and skills development related to peer coaching, along with an increase in activities related to collaborative, reflective learning.

Full text available here.

And you can find the materials used in the online courses in the EmployID Academy


Peer coaching, problem solving and support.

EmployID Academy launches a free one week course introduction to peer coaching on Monday 15th January. Enrolment is open now at

Tutors Carmen, John, Pablo and I will be on hand throughout the week and joining you in the discussion forum. The materials provided will give you a short overview of coaching and peer coaching.

Peer coaching skills are used in supporting each other and solving problems, supporting people in stressful situations and improving personal well being. The importance of different techniques will be introduced as well as the core peer coaching skills such as powerful questioning and active listening.

The objectives are

  • reflecting on the move towards peer coaching, importance of coaching techniques
  • knowledge, skills, behaviours for successful peer coaching
  • personal well-being in stressful situations and mutual peer learning

Hope to see you there!

You can find more information about Peer Coaching on the EmployID Academy in the Open Peer Coaching Online Course. 

A New Digital Era

Reflections on the contents and conversations from weeks 3 and 4; A New Digital Era

I’m a tutor on the EmployID MOOC “The Changing World of Work” on the EMMA platform which is still has a few weeks left to run and is still available to join via the link above! I’ve mostly been the lead techie but really enjoyed being joint lead – tutor with the wonderful Dr Deirdre Hughes on the New Digital Era content. Here is my reflective blog post…

A new digital era – the fourth industrial revolution.

As the next lesson (LMI) opens up on EmployID’s Changing World of Work MOOC I’m taking some time to reflect on the contents and comments on weeks 3 and 4; A New Digital Era.

The video on the fourth industrial revolution got everyone’s attention and kick started the discussion. I have watched it many times now and this is the stand out quote for me;

“We need a shift towards a new system that will allow us to meet the basic needs of every human on the planet, that will live within planetary means, that will be fairer and that will be focussed as it’s key goal, not on growth per se, but on maximising human well-being. And history tells us that a value shift is triggered by creation of a new story about how we want to live.” Stewart Wallace, New Economics Foundation UK

The ensuing conversation covered the optimistic and exciting ideas of transforming cities to make them more efficient – SMART cities. But there was also a lot of concern about those who may get left behind. What about rural areas? Why aren’t we talking about SMART villages? As work tends towards dispersed teams, flexible hours and self employed workers in home-offices it should be possible for rural communities to access the high tech developments of the future too.

Excitement about the possibilities of the future was tempered with a worry that the reality may bring wider societal divisions. A key issue now and in the future is that people don’t and won’t have the digital skills to access and engage with the fast changing world.

Privacy in future will become a bigger concern. Big Brother is already watching us. If future technology will be able to read our thoughts and emotions what will it be used for? Will we be able to opt out?

The Future of Work and Skills

“Within the next two decades, 90 per cent of jobs will require some digital proficiency, yet 23 percent of adults lack basic digital skills. This is a barrier to people fulfilling their potential and to a more productive workforce.” (House of Commons, London: Science and Technology Committee (2016) ‘Digital Skills Crisis’)

Digital is not just skills but also a mindset, old habits, like reaching for a pen and paper, die hard. Lack of confidence can be a barrier to keeping up with the changes and massive changes in the way we work have already been witnessed in the past couple of years.

There is a lot of concern that the fast paced changes in technology create an even bigger skills gap. It is harder to keep up to speed if you are out of work without access to staff training, CPD courses or the new systems in use. Yet individuals must become responsible for recognising their own skills gaps and for their own continuing professional development.

If you don’t constantly up-skill you can’t compete in the labour market

Ability to use new technologies needs to be embedded throughout the system from early years education but this means that the teachers have to also have tech skills.

Digital Jobs, Digital Workforce

We tried to imagine what the jobs of the future might be and discussed automation – if your job can be automated, it will be,  so how do you become future proof?

Some future jobs might be in the form of de-digitising retreats and low tech leisure time whilst others will be high tech, designing SMART architecture, digital personal trainers, sustainable cityscape developers and vertical farmers.

Digital Jobseekers, Digital Employers

With so much of recruitment happening online it is vital for jobseekers and employers to have a digital presence but whilst people are clear about which content is personal and which ispr ofessional, there are always crossovers between platforms. Something like LinkedIn is clearly for professional networking whereas most of Facebook is for friends and family. However some Facebook tools are very useful for networking, skills sharing, and disseminating information; the groups and events functions in particular. Having the digital skills to be able to keep certain things to certain audiences is paramount.

Lots of information is stored digitally and we have a responsibility to keep our own and each other’s information safe, whether it is clients on a work system or friends on Facebook.

Digital revolution

I’m putting the finishing touches on the content for the 3rd week of the Changing World of Work MOOC by the EmployID project and hosted on the EMMA platform. You can sign up here. Infographic created with Canva

4th revolution.png

 Creative Commons Licence4th industrial revolution infographic by Angela Rees is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

Free course on The Changing World of Work

Do you want to be prepared for the challenges of the changing labour market?

Do you want to better understand and apply skills related to emotional awareness, active listening, reflection, coaching skills, peer coaching and powerful questioning?

Do you want to explore tools for handling Labour Market Information (LMI) and the digital agenda?

This course has been devised as part of the European EmployID project, for Public Employment Services (PES) practitioners and careers professionals. Our 5 lessons will run over a period of 6 weeks with an estimated workload of 3.5 hours per week; the total workload is expected to be 17.5 hours.

The course starts on March 28th but enrolment is open now.

Sign up here 

Mooching around MOOCs

I’ve been researching MOOCs by joining and participating in a few. I’m sure you don’t quite get the whole MOOC experience unless you’re signing up for something you’re genuinely interested in and with hindsight I was never going to get on well with Citizenship and US Immigration.  However, I had high hopes for the Anatomy of the Abdomen, (I once took an Anat. and Phys. subsidiary class) the discussion in the forums was good and there was lots of interaction with the lecturer, but I just couldn’t get through the videos.  I looked for more; an introduction to clinical neuropsychlogy, understanding the economy, basic dentistry… MOOC after MOOC of watch the video, answer the questions.  By video I mean 15 minutes of lecturer talking to the camera.

I want to be inspired and I want to go and find things out for myself.

That said, I do like the look and feel of FutureLearn, there is a discussion forum and comments function, you don’t have to follow the formula.

Some good MOOCs; WordPress based course by ALT in using technology in teaching and how to make a MOOC

FSLT14 Oxford Brooks Moodle based Mooc First steps in teaching and learning – activity based, so if you don’t participate in the blogging, discussing and collaborative document making you don’t learn anything. You can earn open badges for completing the activities.

TOOC14 (Teaching Open Online Course) begins 10th March

OOE13 another WordPress blog, lots of inspiration to go and do something and to embed it in your practice (in this case teaching) Uses Credly for awarding open badges. Course runs for a whole year rather than in short sessions of 2 or 3 weeks. Lots of related networking and peer to peer sharing and discussion via Twitter also assignments shared via Twitter.

Interesting reading;

I found this blog post on who is attempting to complete a four year BA in one year through the medium of MOOC.

Great interactive learning ideas I saw today;

Using a Google document to collate a collaborative annotated bibliography by inviting collaborators to use the comments feature to discuss/reflect on the contributions.

Using twitter to facilitate peer to peer learning amongst MOOC participants.