EPALE has started a new community of practice to gather examples of good practice from around the EU to inspire all the different organisations in member states who will play a part in putting in place the Upskilling Pathways.
To join the community, please first register to EPALE and then start sharing your or your organisation's best practice examples.
Karine Nicolay will be moderating this group.
If you have any difficulty with contributing to this group, please ask her help at email@example.com
Karine Nicolay is EPALE coordinator for the Flemish Community in Belgium.
Close to 70 million Europeans lack basic reading and writing skills. Even more cannot use numbers or digital tools properly in everyday life. Without these skills they are at high risk of unemployment, poverty and social exclusion.
In the New Skills Agenda for Europe, the European Commission therefore proposed that Member States should tackle this. The result is the initiative 'Upskilling Pathways, New Opportunities for Adults'. This aims to help adults with low levels of skill to acquire a minimum level of literacy, numeracy and digital skills and/or progress towards an upper secondary qualification or equivalent (EQF level 3 or 4 according to the country), through three steps:
• Step 1 – Skills assessment
An individual assessment of skills to enable low-qualified adults to identify their existing skills and their upskilling needs.
• Step 2 – Learning offer
An offer of education and training tailored to the specific needs of each individual (as identified by the skills assessment) and the needs of the labour market.
• Step 3 – Validation and recognition
Validation and recognition of the skills acquired.
Who are the Upskilling Pathways for?
Upskilling Pathways targets individuals without upper secondary education (who are not eligible for support under the Youth Guarantee). They might be unemployed but might also be in employment or economically inactive with a need to strengthen basic skills. Each Member State will decide which specific groups should be a priority.
How will it work?
Member States should put in place flexible pathways for upskilling in cooperation with social partners, education and training providers, and local and regional authorities. Systems need to build on national structures and will therefore vary between Member States. Many countries already offer elements of the Upskilling Pathways (such as skills assessments, or validation of informal learning) and can build on these.
The key tasks to be undertaken in establishing the Upskilling Pathways include reaching out to, engaging, guiding and supporting individuals as they progress on their upskilling pathways.
Many different partner organisations could be involved in working together to deliver the Upskilling Pathways, through a coordinated partnership approach. These could include public, private and third sector organisations working in the fields of education, training and employment, but also social and cultural policy and provision.
For example, employer organisations, employers, trade unions, chambers of industry, trade, commerce and crafts, education and training providers, sectoral organisations, civil society organisations, local and regional economic actors, libraries, and community services could all have information or good practice to share.