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Upskilling Pathways: New Opportunities for Adults

Thematic Area: ; Employment and Employability
Year/Date: 07/12/2016


Access and outreach are key to getting low-skilled adults back into education. This is at the heart of the European Commission’s new initiative to help low-skilled adults acquire a minimum level of literacy, numeracy and digital skills.

Detlef Eckert of the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion presented the newly adopted EU recommendation on Upskilling Pathways for Adults during the #EUVocationalSkills Week in Brussels.

The non-binding common approach, agreed among the EU Member States, involves a three-stage approach targeting low-skilled adult: a skills assessment, followed by a tailored offer of education and training, and validation and recognition of the competences acquired.

Countries will start by setting priorities and identifying beneficiaries, then activate arrangements reaching out to learners and guiding and supporting them on their pathway, while ensuring cooperation, partnership and coordination between the different actors: local and regional authorities, employers, employment services, learning providers and NGOs.

“Motivating adults to learn is key,” said Mr Eckert. “It’s one thing if people are unemployed and enrolled in active labour market schemes, but you need to reach out to people and motivate them to get them on board”.

The Adult Skills Conference is part of #EUVocationalSkills Week, running from December 5-9. The initiative includes more than 800 activities in Europe and beyond its borders in ETF partner countries, which are showcasing the benefits of VET for learners, business and society.

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