How to work with the activities in the toolbox

Before applying the toolbox activities, we recommend that you read the pedagogical chapter and the content of activities to get an overview of the opportunities of the programme in its totality. Furthermore, the Workshop Facilitators’ Guide provides you with further information about adult learning principles and methods.

The activities are listed in chronological order, indicating a full Live2Work programme.

The toolbox activities are designed mainly to be adapted to group activities. But can be applied to individual programmes (one advisor and one participant).

The toolbox provides a range of activities group in each dimension. Each activity is accompanied by:

  • A technical sheet for the facilitator
    Activity introduction with brief information about the dimension, duration of the activity, group-size, the aim of the activity, methodology, a step-by-step instruction, and suggestions and links to discover more about the theories from each specific activity.
  • A supporting information sheet
    This sheet serves as background information, to help the facilitator learn more about the activity, and the content or the theory of the activity. Working with diversity among a group of participants, this sheet also can serve as activity support information handout for participants that are able to work independently with the exercise. This could apply for participants without language barriers. The supporting information sheet can be used as a tool to assist the more advanced participants in moving forward independently with a task, or for self-study.
  • A handout for participants
    A brief introduction to the purpose of the activity and the exercise, and a step-by-step description of how to apply the exercise (ready to print).
  • Training resources
    Some activities provide ready to use and printable teaching material such as printable Value image cards and Character Strengths Cards.
  • Keep in mind: The dimensions ‘Self-knowledge’ and ‘World knowledge’ can be followed up by the Sum-up activity allowing to summarising learnings from each dimension in one poster. The dimension “Transitional skills’ are to be followed up by “My-Global project overview allowing the participants to summarise all programme learnings in one global poster.

Working with the toolbox activities

The toolbox holds a collection of mutually reinforcing activities, which can be used separately or combined in training programmes.

A full Live2Work programme offers a total of 21 activities including subactivities.

Whether you choose to apply the entire selection of activities or only wish to work with one or a few of the activities, always start with the pre-activity tool “Individual Contract’. This activity is necessary as it helps the participants to define their goals, level of commitment, and expectations of the programme. If you are working with groups, the next step is to apply the activity “Group Contract’.

When working with these pre-activities, the facilitator should take the opportunity to clarify the resources of the entire group and get an overview of how to put together the most suitable effective sub-groups.

To maximise the output of the activities, each activity should be followed up by using the Goal setting activity and the action plan to anchor the goals.

Applying the Wrap-up activity to finalise each activity will stimulate commitment and knowledge sharing in the group, which is an important step for the repetition of one’s learnings and goals.

Working with any given activity from the toolbox

To structure a session or a workshop applying one activity. For example, Clarification of Values:

  1. Start by applying the pre-activity: “Individual Contract’ and “Group Contract’ to prepare the participant for the activity and create mutual understanding and expectation of the goal of the session.
  2. Follow up with the activity, within the dimension of Self-knowledge: Value Exploration and Clarification: “Values by cards’.
  3. To finalise and anchor the learning and reflection of the activity, apply Goal setting and action plan from the ‘Decision making’ dimension’.
  4. Wrap up the activity: Having the participants share 1-3 of their most important learnings from the workshop and 1-3 goals or actions they wish to apply.
  5. When working with all the activities in the three different dimensions: ‘Self-knowledge’, World knowledge’ or ‘Transitional skills’ use the same structure as listed above.

To finalise and wrap up one dimension in its entirety, apply the activity ‘Sum up’ activity from the wrap-up tools section.

The target group – the participants

The toolbox has been developed to cater to the needs of professionals working with young adults in situations of professional vulnerability, also encompassing migrants and refugees. The shared similarities between this target group is that they, due to a lack of soft skills, are not able to meet labour market requirements. To help this group of people meet these needs, the focal point of the toolbox is on the development of the soft skills needed to thrive in the 21st-century European workforce.

It is a reality for most professionals involved in assisting the vulnerable and unemployed people in becoming self-reliant. The target groups come from different backgrounds, each with their own specific challenges. When working with such a heterogeneous group, with fluctuating levels of competences and skills, it is not always possible to use one recipe for success. For example, some participants can have limited language abilities (i.e. refugees), illiteracy problems due to early school leaving, a lack of academic, personal and/or social resources necessary to work independently or handle abstract thoughts on their own.

For this reason, the facilitator needs to consider the different strategies and approaches necessary for the individual to reach the expected objectives and goals of the programme. This means that the facilitator must differentiate the teaching and facilitation of the activities according to the specific needs of the individuals.

Length of the Live2work programme

As the facilitator running the Live2Work programme (without any other activities, e.g. skill training for young adults, vocational and educational training, or other interventional programme for unemployed, language training or other related courses), it is recommended that you apply one to three activities per week for a period of 7-10 weeks. This will provide time for the participants to reflect and work with the activity in between the sessions or workshops, to increase the learning outcome of the programme.

Depending on the competence levels of the group, we suggest that each activity is followed up by feedback sessions, with input from the participants, on how they have experienced working with the activity, in order to ensure everyone is on the right track.

The duration of each activity is indicated in the technical sheet. The estimated time to carry out the activity will depend on how advanced the participants are and the general learning levels of the group, e.g. according to diversity, competence level, and language skills of the group members.

For participants with a lack of national language skills (migrants and refugees), we suggest that the facilitator places emphasis on working with visual tools, e.g. image cards, strengths cards and storytelling.

The toolbox offers different approaches to working with the activities. Some activities are supporting the visual learning style through the use of pictures/images.

The facilitator should target the language levels of the person or group that he/she works with. To maximise the participants’ learning and outcome, the facilitator can split the participants into groups and appoint one or two persons, speaking the national language and with translation competencies, as facilitating assistants to guide the group members or fellow participants through the activities. The main aim is to maximise learning from the activity – not the national languages.

In groups with high degrees of language diversity, the duration of the activity might differ from the time stated in the technical sheet.

Resources needed to complete the activities in the programme

Live2Work provides, suggestions and recommendations regarding:

End-users as the facilitator
The programme should be facilitated by a facilitator/teacher with a group size of approximately 8-12 participants, depending on the diversity, the level of vulnerability and the learning level of the participants. Working with groups, every session and activity must be introduced, guided, and followed up by the facilitator.

Resources needed to run the workshops

Colour Printer: It is recommended to print out all handouts, as these serve as guiding support tools for the participants. Regarding the activities ’working with the strengths and values cards’ it is mandatory to print the material in colour, to gain the optimal visual effect. Print one set of “strengths cards’ for each participant. If you have the resources, you can enhance the quality of the image cards by laminating them. If your employer allows other printable versions, use a professional printer.

Optional: Images from magazines containing value related images could be used instead of the value cards. Other material can be relevant to collect for some of the activities such as working with, e.g. time management. Review the technical sheet for ideas on what to prepare ahead of a session or workshop.

Room: A classroom, with big post-its or tape to stick the big posters on the wall, markers to write on the posters or a black/whiteboard.

Projector: Use a projector to present different images

Notebook or white paper: It is advisable that the participants receive a notebook to write and draw their reflections in and a folder to save all the handouts and exercises in.