Validation of New Skills to strengthen social cohesion and active citizenship

The European Platform for Adult Learning in Europe (EPALE) has launched a new community of practice with the objective of gathering good practice examples from all over the EU to inspire all organisations active in promoting Upskilling Pathways. This new community is part of the initiative ‘Upskilling Pathways, New Opportunties for Adults’ which resulted from the ‘New Skills Agenda for Europe’ that was created by the European Commission. The overall aim of the initiative is to improve the minimum levels of literacy, numeracy and digital skills among adults and to encourage them to pursue an upper secondary or equivalent qualification. In order to accomplish just that a three step plan is proposed consisting out of:

  • Skills assessment. Through individual assessments individuals should come to understand their current set of skills and which ones are in need of upskilling.
  • Learning offer. A tailored learning offer based on the specific needs of the individual and the needs of the labour market is to be developed.
  • Validation and recognition. The final step is to have the acquired skills validated and therefore recognised.

SOLIDAR Foundation has been promoting the validation of education for many years, based on our network’s strong conviction that recognising and validating the skills and competences acquired would support the social inclusion and empowerment of people, especially those with limited opportunities to access formal education (see our background paper on validation). The process of validation of non-formal and informal learning helps to bridge educational inequalities, and offers further pathways for the development of the skills needed in life and in the labour market.  At times like these, where strong forces are driving up the levels of inequality in our societies and where radicalisation is becoming increasingly common, education and the role it can play in ensuring greater social inclusion and active citizenship is of utmost importance.

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