Civil society for lifelong learning
Unity between all government, civil society and private sector stakeholders will be crucial to advance the aims of skills development embodied in the European Year of Skills, which kicked off on 9 May 2023. The Year of Skills is an opportunity to develop more and better skills partnerships and the skills needed to create and operate them.
The ETF, the Lifelong Learning Platform (LLLP) and the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) joined forces to promote policy dialogue and partnerships – at all stages of skills policy-making and delivery – between governments and civil society organisations (CSOs) active in skills development and lifelong learning across Europe with a joint conference held on 23 May in Brussels at the European Commission Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. The hybrid event was titled “Civil Society for Lifelong Skills Development in Europe and Partner Countries”.
Dragoș Pîslaru, a member of the European Parliament and Chair of its Employment and Social Affairs committee, said that in order to meet Europe’s vast skills needs, ideology must be muted, dialogue with CSOs entrenched, and the work of the ETF supporting civil society engagement in skills development in the EU’s neighbouring regions promoted.
Without CSO actors who can deliver skills training at local level, “we have a big problem in implementing skills development”, he said, calling for structured dialogue and more best practice sharing across the Europe and beyond. Gina Ebner, secretary general of the EAEA, stressed that CSOs help to bridge formal and non-formal learning, they reach out to diverse groups of people, and know people’s skills needs.
Manuela Geleng, Director for Skills in the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion at the European Commission, highlighted the importance of skills development whatever people’s age, and the important role that CSOs have to play in passing on the message. And Gina Ebner, Secretary General of the EAEA, stressed that CSOs help to bridge formal and non-formal learning, they reach out to diverse groups of people, and know people’s skills needs.
The above is an excerpt from an article in the ETF newsletter Learning Connects No. 14. Click on the link to keep reading!