We are happy to be part of the Project Outplacement Support For Doctorates In Emerging Areas – OUTDOC, an Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliances project. Its aim is to improve the employability of doctorate holders in emerging sectors, such as renewable energies and waste management, digital sector, innovation and technology, by giving PhDs the opportunity to participate in learning mobility. Why? Because research shows that industry does not recognize the values of PhDs and presumes that they lack practical knowledge due to mostly being employed by academic institutions. Therefore, the project aims to show companies the value of highly educated personnel and to support PhDs in entering the labour market. This way, higher education institutions and private companies can improve their collaboration. The duration of the project is three years, during which the partner institutions will conduct a study on the skills that employers see as the most important in their employees with PhD, design a program and test it with a limited number of students.
The project partners are represented by a consortium of four universities and four private companies: Universidad de Salamanca (USAL) and the company Idimás (Spain), Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nurnberg and the company ITQ GmbH (Germany), University of Maribor and the company Gorenje Surovina (Slovenien), and from Romania, University Alexandru Ioan Cuza and Brandweb. We are excited to support PhDs to enter the labour market and to raise awareness about the value that their specialized knowledge can bring in any company. We believe that improving the communication and collaboration between the education sector and the private one can benefit the whole society and encourage enrolment in higher education.
The specific aims of this project are:
1. Identify the specific skills and competences that will be demanded in the markets in the near future with regard to PhD students.
2. Design and execute a Comprehensive Outplacement Program based on the results.
3. Design new approaches and a program of learning for PhD students which might best fit future employment demands. It is expected, with the Education and Training 2020 Strategy, that a million new job posts will require high level research competences.
4. Encourage the mobility of these students and enhance their knowledge through different European countries (2 students per university).
The project involves several meetings in different countries. In December 2018, Patricia was in Salamanca, where the team had the first meeting, got to know each other, understand the project and distribute tasks.
Also, Irina, our project manager, was present in May 2019 at the second meeting, held in Nurnberg (Germany).
If you’d like to find out more information, visit the project site: https://outdoc.usal.es/