The STRENGTh project will focus on increasing Social and Emotional competence in career counsellors. Due to the ongoing deep economic crisis with sharply rising unemployment, theEuropean labour markets are expected to change profoundly and in this respect, lifelong guidance is
increasingly considered as pivotal in assisting individuals to shape and manage their careers throughout their lives.

Therefore the preparation of career guidance practitioners for dealing sufficiently with highly demanding labour market issues is considered vital for providing quality and effective services in career guidance and counselling. As career counselling, is the interaction between a career/guidance counsellor and a person, and is mostly based on understanding clients’ requests, communicating effectively and empathizing easily with others, showing sensitivity to their moods, feelings, temperaments, motivations, understanding and managing other people and
developing healthy personal relationships, it’s absolutely necessary for the counselor to have improved social and interpersonal skills, Social Intelligence Skills, in order to establish a successful professional relationship with the clients and be effective professionals.

The STRENGTh project will examine, analyse and measure the factors that define and form Social Intelligence, with a special focus in the field of career guidance professionals, who face enormous current and future challenges in converting knowledge and ideas into products and tailor made
services according to their client’s diverse needs, for social and economic benefit.

The aim of the project is to propose concrete solutions to train a new generation of socially aware career guidance professionals, able to develop and use interpersonal and social intelligence skills, in order to successfully build professional relationships and navigate diverse social environments. So the specific aims include the development of innovative methods and tools that enable career guidance practitioners in being more effective and improving their competences. The participants of the project are mainly guidance practitioners and their supervisors (700 persons) and other 200 experts and stakeholders in Career Guidance.

The STRENGTh project will foresee the development of 5 Intellectual Outputs. The first intellectual output is a toolkit for developing Social and Emotional Intelligence skills, whichwill be developed according to a revision of the state of the art in International scientific literature and
especially focusing in the research produced in partner countries regarding Social and Emotional Skills, and on other hand, presenting the most effective methods used for the improvement of those skills.

The second intellectual output is a Report on Training Needs of Career Counselors, which will conclude on the main Social and Emotional skills that the practitioners need to develop so as to improve their efficacy as professionals. Based on the findings and conclusions reached by the
Intellectual Output 1 ( Toolkit for developing S.E.I.skills) and Intellectual Output 2 (Handbook on needs), a program with specific techniques focusing on communication, persuasion, networking and several other skills that will evoke from the IO2 will be developed and later tested to Career guidance practitioners. The fourth IO will include an online program based on several strategies, exercises for
improving 3 main social intelligence skills and additional information for counsellors.

Lastly, the partnership will produce as IO5 a useful guide for career counsellors and trainers to improve their Social Intelligence Skills and to use it with the persons to whom they offer their services. The guide will be a practical, “how-to-do” guide for guidance practitioners so that they can implement the developed methodology and train themselves how to evaluate the level of Social and Emotional Skills and how to improve those skills so as to increase their efficacy as counsellors.

The Project Coordinator will adopt a methodology based on participatory management approach in order to empower each partner and to comply with the commitments on which partners agreed during the project design phase and at the following check points. Each Intellectual Output will
foresee a coordinator of the IO and the involvement of all partners.

The STRENGTh project results will lead at improving competences and skills of guidance practitioners, so as to further assist their clients in better career decisions and career planning.

Through the results of the project, the impact will be double : on the one hand the improvement of the competences and efficacy of professional practitioners and on the other hand the improvement of the employability and decision making of their clients.

Regarding the general results, the project's expected results are in line with the strategic framework for education and training (Education & Training 2020 - ET2020) and with reference to other.