Last September, the HECAT team visited our partners in the Employment Services of Slovenia for an intense round of piloting our emerging MyLabourMarket (MLM) Tool. Here, we explored the capabilities of MLM 1.0 with an array of stakeholders; exploring how labour market data could and should be used in job searches by talking to unemployed people and caseworkers at large. Engaging with end-users has been a massively important part of HECAT’s ethos from the very beginning of this project, facilitating the team to work on solutions and ideas that work with unemployed people and PES front-line staff to hear what really matters to them. We fully believe that such tools should be developed with the user at the heart and it’s in this vein we have continued to iterate our project offerings.
At our previous Face-to-Face meetings in both Ljubljana and Bilbao and across our work-package meetings, we collaboratively discussed the direction of MLM, using insights gained from fieldwork and stakeholder engagement to build on a plan moving forward. From this, we collaborated in smaller, multi-disciplinary groups to brainstorm ideas, decide the best manner in which to present information and work on building a friendly, fun tool for use in real-world learning about the labour market. Using all of this collected knowledge, our technical partners in both Tecnalia and JSI got to work on implementing recommended changes and additions.
March 2023 took our teams back to Slovenia for fieldwork, this time with a new iteration of the MyLabourMarket tool. MLM 2.0 was built out of collaboration, and knowledge sharing and at all times, was stakeholder-led. It was especially fascinating to see the process come full circle; returning to the initial fieldwork site to once again show potential users our stakeholder-fronted tool. Here, we build on past fieldwork, trailing our tool in real-life scenarios and hearing from would-be end-users of MLM! Our technical partners Tecnalia also had an opportunity to test the technicalities of this tool with users across these fieldwork sessions.
This visit was also particularly special for our Irish team members, who got to celebrate St. Patricks Day with a wonderful visit to the Embassy of Ireland in Ljubljana. Here, the SETU team got to meet Irish Ambassador Adrian Farrell, his fantastic team and members of the Irish community in Slovenia. A very memorable St. Patricks Day to end a fantastic piloting experience.