Promoting students' employability competences

Laurea University of Applied Sciences has a key role in Virtual tools in Business culture (V-TOURS) project, which aims at increasing and improving opporturnities of dialogue between university students and enterprises. The project creates online courses for promoting knowledge on working life and professions. Moreover self-reflection and self-assessment exercises will be offered for promoting learning of working life skills and competences.

V-Tour creates students opportunities to participate on virtual tours (online events) in companies where the company managers present their organisation and processes and answer students' questions. The V-TOURS platform will make available a relevant set of learning opportunities fostering understanding of work environments; promoting acquisition of career development skills; improving employability of students; facilitating mobility; supporting employer branding from the enterprises' point of view.

Virtual tools in Business culture is a two year research and development project receiving financial support from the EU Erasmus+ programme. The project is coordinated by the University of Padova (Italy). The consortium consists of altogether six other partners: Laurea University of Applied Sciences, the International university of Rioja (Spain), Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje (Macedonia), Madrid University business foundation Fundacion Universidad Empresa (Spain), Melius srl (Italy) - a private company working in the field of educational and vocational guidance and of lifelong learning, focusing on employability and entrepreneurship and Anthea Consulting srl (Italy) - a private company specialised in employer branding.     

Laurea's role concentrates in developing the virtual service concepts and online courses. This project is integrated in Laurea in various studies and local development. V-Tours makes use of our and develops further our expertise in virtual learning.

European graduates submit some 60 applications for their first job and with time some give up hope of getting employed in their field. In average half of European graduates and over 80% Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain youth are worried about their career. "Education to Employment: Getting Europe's Youth into Work" report (McKinsey, 2013) highlights 74% of European education providers but only 38% of youth and 35% of employers consider that graduates are prepared for work. At the same time, over a fourth (27%) of employers have left a vacancy open in the past year because they couldn't find anyone with the right skills (McKinsey, 2013).

Most European universities offer their students some career guidance and placement services. At present, all universities recognise bottlenecks that should be tackled:

  • All students do not have working life experience and they are not familiar with the world of work, working settings and environments. Therefore education and working life need to intensify collaboration and offer students opportunities to understand professions and get in real contact with working world.
  • Students are not aware of the competences needed in working life.  They need to learn about the working life, required competences and about professional roles. Education should offer students possibilities to learn and practice the modern working life competences.
  • Students are not taught nor encouraged to assess their own learning needs. Education should encourage and offer tools to young people to promote reflection, self–assessment and self-awareness of the needed competences and aptitude for working world.

For more information please contact: auli.guilland(at) or tuija.marstio(at)

Modified 2/10/2017 7:18 PM