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Elektronisch platform voor volwasseneneducatie in Europa



Discussing the main messages of the 2016 Adult Skills Conference - online discussion on EPALE by EBSN

by Zsolt Vincze

The 2016 Adult Skills Conference in Brussels, 'Adult Skills: Empowering people' organized as part of the 1st European Vocational Skills Week, focused on the Commission's 'Skills Guarantee' or 'Upskilling Pathways' initiative that will help help adults with to acquire a level of literacy, numeracy and digital skills that will enable them to progress towards an upper secondary qualification or equivalent (EQF Level 3 or 4 depending on the country).

Now it is up to Member States to put in place, by mid-2018, the partnerships and structures to deliver on the three steps envisaged as integral to the creation of adult learning systems that are capable of meeting the pressing need to equip European adults for the challenges ahead. And the challenge is not only to improve individual employability, but also to promote personal development, encourage active citizenship and increase social inclusion. We believe that EBSN, through the expertise and experience of its members, can play a key role in supporting member states in preparing for this challlenge.

In this online discussion we invite you to join us in beginning to identify the challenges, and possible solutions to those challenges, in delivering the three stages of the Upskilling Pathways initiative:

  1. An individual skills assessment.

  2. A tailored package of education and training to fill any skills gaps.

  3. Validation and recognition of the new skills acquired.

We will of course be focusing in particular on meeting the needs of adults with poor basic skills to ensure that they gain access to meaningful pathways that support them in realising their ambitions and engaging fully in society at all levels. Share with us any existing activity that is relevant as well as your future plans, your ambitions and your worries. But also feel free to post questions or requests for examples of good practice in any of the three stages or related areas.

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afbeelding van Jan EVENSEN

To help adults get the best possible adult education, it is important to offer professional career guidance. Traditionally career guidance has been for the academician who wants to sharpen his / her career on the high level of working life. One of the importan tasks in the near future should be to develope a comprehensive system of lifelong career guidance for adults with lower / less education, who need guidance in relation to a changig working life. 

afbeelding van Graciela Sbertoli

... asking for clarifications about the system.

Welcome, everybody!

I'm the chair of the European Basic Skills Network, EBSN, and will try to moderate this interesting discussion.

In the initial comments to the two threads started by Zsolt, you can see a short explanation about how we plan to run this discussion. We are going to operate always on this page, but there will be different threads. Try to make sure you click on "reply" under the thread you want to comment. If you definitely want to start a new thread, on a theme related to the importance of basic skills in the Upskilling Pathways initiative, you are welcome to do so, but we would like to keep to a limited number of threads, so that the discussion doesn't get too confusing.

Notice also that you can reply to comments to comments.

If you need help or clarification about the functioning of this discussion, reply to this comment and I will try to help you.

Let's start discussing!


afbeelding van Zsolt Vincze

Offering Individually tailored education and training

Central to the Upskilling Pathways is an offer of education and training that is tailored to the specific needs of each individual, as identified in the Skills Assessment stage. Such tailored pathways should lead somewhere that is meaningful . The ambition of the EC is that the pathways lead to qualifications at EQF level 3/4, but that may be some way off for many adults who require support in developing literacy, numeracy and digital skills before they can contemplate higher level study. What is most important is that the learning meets the needs and interests of the adult and supports them in achieving goals that are meaningful to them and to those in their community.

In this thread of the discussion we would like to hear from you about what you think the implications of designing and delivering individually tailored education and training. In particular we would like to focus on the place of basic skills learning in the envisaged pathways. What role does basic skills learning play in supporting adults onto and through pathways that lead to vocational qualifications at EQF L3/4? What do you already do in your country/region/organisation that can contribute? And what more do you think needs to be done for this ambitious agenda to succeed.

Please comment on this thread by clicking on “reply” below this text. If you want to reply to another comment, click on reply underneath the comment.

afbeelding van Zsolt Vincze

Identifying individual skills needs

The first stage in the process of meeting the needs of adult learners through the Upskilling Pathways is to carry out an individual assessment to identify their existing skills and their needs. It is important to note that the assessment should not just identify what the adult cannot do, but also what they can do. High quality adult education is built around the needs of adults, but also their interests, passions, skills and personal qualities.

In this thread of the discussion we would like to hear from you about what you think should be assessed, how the process should be managed and how the information gained through the process can be used to inform the design of meaningful and individualised learning pathways. How are adults’ needs assessed in your country/region/organisation? What is there to build on and what needs further development?

Please comment on this thread by clicking on “reply” below this text. If you want to reply to another comment, click on reply underneath the comment.