The Romanian Ministry of Labour and Social Justice and the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in cooperation with the European Commission organised a conference on Upskilling adults, that took place on the 6th and 7th of June 2019, in Bucharest.
The conference provided a forum for discussing the key findings of the Stocktaking report on Upskilling Pathways. It aimed to generate a new momentum for
- sustaining implementation efforts in the future,
- identifying innovative solutions and
- financing mechanisms for the delivery of upskilling and reskilling opportunities for all.
The conference was opened by the Romanian Minister of Labour and Social Justice, Marius Constantin Budăi and Stefan Olsson, Director of Employment in the European Commission's DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.
There were three captivating keynote speakers, who highlighted the issue of upskilling and reskilling of adults from different perspectives.
During series of parallel sessions participants had the opportunity to learn about existing solutions regarding Upskilling pathways, how they work and how are they being implemented (best practices from Germany, Spain, Ireland, Croatia, Finland and Romania).
They could also get acquainted with innovative and effective tools and instruments that can enhance the outreach and impact of adult learning. Here, the participants had the chance to exchange with the representatives of Google, Microsoft, Simbound - edutech start-up from Romania, Adecco, OECD, KBC, Euroguidance, Dutch National Library and University of Wroclaw.
Given the scale of the challenge regarding upskilling and reskilling of adults and the budget constraints, financial instruments will gain more and more on importance in the future; if well designed they could be very successful when targeting companies.
There is a growing need for upskilling and reskilling and developing skills, which can help individuals and employees to adapt, to think creatively, interact in multicultural environments and act in cross-disciplinary fields.
There is a growing interest in the individual learning accounts. However, experts underlined that this is only one instrument to support lifelong learning and it should be embedded in broader skills ecosystem and co-exist alongside other policy measures targeting employers, employees or job seekers.
Guidance and validation are essential for effective adult learning system.
In 2016 EU Member States took a voluntary commitment to support the most vulnerable adult population: those who have already left initial education and training pathways, but whose levels of skills and/or educational attainment put them at risk of social and labour market exclusion.
They adopted in December 2016 the Council Recommendation on Upskilling Pathways: New Opportunities for Adults. It is time now to take stock of the actions taken so far to support access to flexible pathways for acquiring a strong foundation of basic skills.