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First prototype of the Tycon app to foster entrepreneurial skills among students and construction professionals

From October 2018, Fundación Laboral participates in this European project, led by Open Universiteit of the Netherlands, together with other entities from Germany, Slovenia, Italy and United Kingdom, whose final result is expected in September.


Students and teachers from Fundación Laboral de la Construcción of Navarra, Cantabria and Andalusia are participating in the testing of the Tycon prototype, an application to promote business skills in construction professionals. More specifically, three teachers from each Territorial Councils; and five students between 17 and 22 years old from their first year of the Intermediate Vocational Training (VT) cycle of Excavations and Surveys, from Navarra; five students from the Advanced VT cycle of Renewable Energy Technician and the Intermediate VT cycle of Technician in Interior Works, Decoration and Rehabilitation, from Cantabria.

Tycon is the name of the European Erasmus+ project in which Fundación Laboral has been participating since October 2018, and also is the name of this 'serious game', whose first pilot is being tested by nearly one hundred students and teachers of Vocational Training (VT) in the construction industry of Spain, Germany, Slovenia, Italy and United Kingdom.

Five chapters, five countries

The game develops through a tour around different scenarios of these five countries, in which five business competencies are addressed. This skills were detected after a previous study as key for business development in the construction sector: Taking the initiative (Italy); Learning through experience (Slovenia); Mobilizing others (United Kingdom); Ethical and sustainable thinking (Spain), and Motivation and perseverance (Germany).

In the context of the testing, the time foreseen to complete the game will be between 35 and 40 minutes: 10 minutes to learn about the project and the instructions of the game; between 15 and 20 minutes to complete the first chapter of the game; and 10 minutes to fill in a final questionnaire about the game. The game is supported by podcasts and videos, to make it more enjoyable.

This 'serious game' is being developed in accordance with level 4 of the European Qualification Framework (EQF), which in the National Catalogue of Professional Qualifications (CNCP, Spanish acronym) is equivalent to level 2 or 'middle level technician'.

Real-life scenarios

The user will have to overcome different scenarios and difficult situations that arise in the day-to-day business. In addition to making business decisions that will embark him or her on construction and project planning opportunities, managing resources, selecting equipment or conducting negotiations with suppliers.

Users will receive guidelines to learn how to design communications within a business, such as letters of introduction to a company; how best to deal with crises and conflicts between colleagues and superiors; how to train motivation and perseverance; even, how to analyze the impact of projects on the community or to always take into account ethical and professional behavior.

After an initial test carried out by the University of Coventry (United Kingdom) and this small-scale pilot, the Tycon application will go into beta and be tested on a large scale in order to launch the final application, probably during September. Although it may be extended until the beginning of January 2021 due to the circumstances of Covid-19.

Although this app is designed for students and professionals in the construction sector, it is also aimed at anyone in any sector who wants to improve their job situation or start their own business.

Because, as the slogan of the Tycon game says: "The road to success is always under construction". It is necessary to upskill continuously and this tool offers a comfortable, simple and easy to use opportunity to learn.

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