University of Economics – Varna

ESSENCE project deliverables were presented at an international interdisciplinary scientific conference

The UE – Varna ESSENCE team presented their research from the completed first stage of the ESSENCE project (Enhance Soft Skills to Nurture Competitiveness and Employability) at the 14th International and Interdisciplinary Scientific Conference ‘Vanguard Scientific Instruments in Management'21’, organised online by UNWE and the Bulgarian Academic Simulation and Gaming Association between 10 and 14 Sep 2021.

Diana Miteva, Petar Petrov, PhD, and Kristana Ivanova made an overview analysis of Bulgarian national policies focused on learners’ soft skills development. In addition, they outlined initiatives and programmes developed by businesses in Bulgaria for employees’ soft skills development. Achievements were highlighted, challenges and underutilised opportunities in the Bulgarian soft skills development area were discussed against the background of current global and European trends. The presented country report is part of large-scale research on soft skills development in Bulgaria involving the other significant  stakeholders:  higher education institutions that work in close collaboration with businesses on soft skills development.

Within this Erasmus+ strategic partnership project the team collaborates closely with universities and business organisations from seven European countries targeting soft skills development in students as a means of improving their competitiveness. In this first part of the ESSENCE project (2021 -2022), researchers from the seven  project partners have surveyed and analysed attitudes on soft skills development in employees/business organisations, as well as the way  the elements of the soft skills set are prioritised in their respective countries (Poland, Croatia, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Latvia, and Bulgaria).

At the beginning of 2022, modules, activities, tasks, decision making games and case studies will be freely accessible on the ESSENCE platform. These online modules, developed by ESSENCE international team, are intended to develop in students, employees and trainees soft skills such as coordination, creativity, emotional intelligence, decision-making, problem solving, critical thinking and cognitive flexibility.

The expected project deliverables are aimed at graduates’ successful inclusion in the open labour market. The modules may be used for training employees in organisations from the public and private sector as well.

23 Sep 2021