Strategic Mentorship for Inclusion, Learning and Equality (SMILE) is a project that will produce a working model for strategic mentoring in vocational education. The model will be based on a combination of tutoring and mentoring where pedagogical knowledge and practical experience are combined.

Bo Gustafsson, Sävsjö kommun, Conny Gustavsson, Swerea SWECAST och Cecilia Bjursell, Encell.

Bo Gustafsson, Sävsjö Municipality, Conny Gustavsson, Swerea SWECAST and Cecilia Bjursell, Encell

The main objective is to promote equality in the labour market by facilitating foreign-born workers’ entrance into the workforce, while simultaneously meeting the skills needs of industry.

Sävsjö Municipality is the project sponsor and is collaborating with Swerea SWECAST AB, Smålandsvillan Vrigstad and Encell. SMILE builds upon the knowledge and experience gleaned from the INGJUTA project.INGJUTA was started because the foundry industry urgently needed new workers and increased competencies, and those within the industry realized that they themselves had to act to solve the problem. The INGJUTA project provided an intensive education in foundry technology to people with foreign backgrounds. There is, therefore, a solid foundation to build upon as we now move into the next phase of development. The objective of SMILE is to make use of the lessons learned from INGJUTA when developing a working model for mentorship and tutoring.This model can then also be used in other branches; the lumber industry will be the first to try it. We will report on the project’s development during the year. We conclude here with a comment on the concept of tutors and mentors. We have used both the terms tutor and mentor. The reason for this is that we realise that the model will need to rely on a combination of these two roles, which we will continue to develop.

In general, the tutor relationship involves providing pedagogical support for a raised level of competence, often based on a structured model. Mentorship focuses on one’s own experience and on developing, through partnership, proficiency within a field. During the fall, this model will be tested in the lumber industry.