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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

Research project: ‘Retail Sector Competencies’ (ReSeCo): Developing self and social competencies in vocational training for the retail sector (Brockmann)

Currently Active: 

European Commission (Leonardo-da-Vinci): October 2011 to September 2013Dr Michaela Brockmann is the English partner in this large EU Leonardo-da-Vinci Project, co-ordinated by Professor Matthias Pilz at the University of Cologne and involving partners in Germany, England, Poland and Italy.

The project is concerned with enhancing the quality of vocational education and training in the retail sector and, in particular, young people’s personal and social competencies. It constitutes an ‘innovation transfer’ of a set of teaching and learning arrangements (team work ability, time management, ability to deal with criticism, and self-evaluation of strengths and weaknesses) originally designed for German secondary schools, into vocational colleges in each of the four countries. In the light of changing skills needs in the labour market, the material is designed to develop the personal and social competencies of young people and thereby to facilitate the transition from school to work. As part of the project, the teaching and learning arrangements will be adapted according to the national contexts and implemented into vocational colleges or, in the case of England, colleges of further education. They will subsequently be evaluated and revised as necessary. One of the key outcomes will be a module handbook for use in colleges across Europe. This is a timely project in the light of the increasing need for social competences in today’s labour market.

Please follow the link to ReSeCo website at the University of Cologne


Funded by the European Commission, this is a high profile research project. The results will provide the basis for developing teaching material to be used in countries across Europe. In the light of current UK government initiatives to enhance the status of apprenticeships, the project will be of great relevance and interest to the policy-making and practitioner communities.


If you are interested in our Newsletter please email Michaela Brockmann:

Social Competencies in Retail book
Social Competencies in Retail book

The book titled titled ‘Social Competencies in Retail: A Toolkit for Teachers in Vocational Education and Training’ results from the Retail Sector Competencies (ReSeCo) project. The personal and social competencies, namely, team competency, time management, dealing with criticism, and self-evaluation of strengths and weaknesses are the focus of the four teaching and learning arrangements covered in this book.

The book provides helpful tools and valuable resources for teachers in a variety of vocational education and training settings in retail. Each unit comprises a range of learning tools, such as case studies, role plays, hands-on exercises and theories and includes specific aids such as sample materials, suggested solutions, worksheets and slides for use in class. Practitioners will find the book a very timely contribution in view of the growing importance of vocational education and training in the retail sector.

Please contact Michaela Brockmann to obtain a copy of the book.

Related research groups

Centre for Research in Inclusion
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