One goal of the Europe 2020 new skills and jobs agenda is the improvement of job quality through better working conditions. One cornerstone of the agenda is the occupational safety and health (OSH) legal framework under the Rights at Work directive, part of the EU policy on employment and social affairs. The Strategic Framework on Health & Safety at Work 2014-2020 underlines the importance of preventing work-related diseases and health hazards by tackling new and emerging risks namely derived from the use (or overuse) of digital technology (DT).  Most recently, the use (or overuse) of digital technology aggravated these problems and introduced new health issues like difficulty to focus, cognitive losses, deficits in social skills, sense of isolation, etc.

“In Europe 25% of workers say they experience work-related stress for all or most of their working time, and a similar proportion reports that work affects their health negatively”

Project target group

  • Employees and owners/managers of SMEs as end users and main beneficiaries;
  • VET trainers, HR and Health & Safety consultants
  • Professional associations
  • OSH decision makers and governmental entities

Developing Competences for Stress Resilience @SMEs (DeSTRESS) aims to provide an innovative VET-based solution to this problem. Building on existing research, partners will identify a required set of competences leading to the development of a VET curriculum and a new VET Digital Training Platform using the latest techniques in game-based training and gamification complemented by a set of practical tools and resources to facilitate the transfer of learning into the workplace. This e-environment will expose the main health risks arising from DT and their real impact on the individuals’ life and on the companies’ productivity. Players will assume roles, enabling them to realize if they have already experienced specific situations and how it happened, and which solutions are available for each scenario. Besides raising the awareness of the problem it will enable owners, managers and decision makers to plan for and to mitigate the occurrence and the negative consequences of work-based stress. For that purpose, a policy report and recommendations will also be produced.