Learning is experience. Everything else is just information (Albert Einstein)

At the beginning of September, representatives of the four countries that make up the partnership of the Fake it till you make it Erasmus + project, met at Melfi, in the Italian Region of Potenza. The purpose was to attend a four-day workshop led by the Drama teachers Mervi Jaako and Ylva Schönfeld from the Norrbottensteatre, Lulea, Sweden.

The European project Fake it, is based on an innovative and practical methodology that uses theatre and Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory to develop soft skills to improve employability and job search and to know one’s strengths. Both employers and future employees would benefit from the implementation of this method and it would generate mutual added value.

The Norrbottenteatre has been successfully providing this workshop to NEETs (youngsters Not in Education, Employment or Training)

As a representative of the APEM technical staff I am familiar not only with that target group (NEETs) but with other groups that extend the range of unemployed people in Spain. We travelled to Melfi with an open attitude and wore comfortable clothes to participate in the workshop.

The first day was a very pleasant surprise. The workshop was superbly directed by Mervi and Ylva. They succeeded in creating a warm atmosphere where it was very easy to get to know our fellow classmates. It also encouraged participation, establishing ourselves according to our own rules. We then started on a four-day exciting adventure during which, by putting ourselves in an unemployed person’s shoes, we explored our inner self through corporal expression, movements and we learned how to show the best version of ourselves. We didn’t do theatre: we were using theatrical skills to improve or to restore our self-confidence – the self-confidence of the person we pretended to be during these four days. We, as participants in the workshop, were creating a network of peers and by interacting with them, we felt stronger and positive. It was true:  this innovative method worked!. So, at the end of the four-days, we were looking forward to implementing the Fake it method in our respective work places so that our users could benefit from it.

On one hand, in the APEM list of services is a new programme called Journey to Employment focused on increasing abilities, employment and personal skills, on disadvantaged people, to facilitate their access to the Labour Market. Fake it method fits perfectly in this new APEM programme. Its target is mainly those vulnerable groups whose labour integration is a challenge, such as: the long term unemployed, female, young people, Neets, Elderly workers, Low skilled and people with disabilities.

On the other hand, and in the short and medium term, the Fake it method would be implemented in the APEM’s own professionals dedicated to job orientation and selection processes to improve the quality of our products and services. Thus, the project impact would reach not only the student’s and their environment but the own organization, its professionals and the society in general.

Finally, Journey to Employment has a workshop called “How to reinvent yourself and be different”, where creativity is being upgraded, as one of the most relevant skills in the career counselling itinerary.  All  these activities coincide with those of the Fake it project so we could bet this innovative methodology will supplement and  improve the training for many unemployed people who are still looking for a deserved chance to access the Labour Market.