The project

The LSE project aims to improve basic skills provision in Europe by explaining, further developing and upscaling the life skills approach. The project final beneficiaries are people from a disadvantaged background, refugees and people resistant to ‘foreigners’ and intercultural exchange.


The LSE project will explain, further develop and upscale the life skills approach with the purpose to support three different groups:

  • People from a disadvantaged background who have few possibilities to escape the low skills trap and often lack the know-how to access social services, proper health care that goes beyond urgencies, and democratic participation.
  • Refugees who not only need to learn the host language, but also acquire the knowledge on how to make a home in their new countries.
  • ‘Native’ population of Europe that respond aggressively to ‘foreigners’ through xenophobic and violent actions.

In order to support these three groups to access learning and other services, increase their participation in a democratic society and develop greater intercultural understanding; partners invite providers and policy-makers to develop comprehensive learning offers. Those should combine basic and digital skills with problem solving, critical thinking and interaction with other people as well as information and support on how to access health and social services, developing family competences and fostering intercultural dialogue and active citizenship.

LSE at a glance:

The LSE project leaflet is available in English, Greek, Danish, Slovenian and French.


Aims and objectives:

LSE aims at:

  • Increasing the participation rates of adults in lifelong learning
  • Fostering cooperation between agencies and stakeholders dealing with refugees on the one hand and the low-skilled on the other hand
  • Improving health situations, better school attendance of children, more chances for employment of the life skills learners
  • Increasing the recognition of the role of non-formal (adult) education in achieving social inclusion in the EU

LSE has the following objectives:

  • Collecting, comparing and further developing the life skills approach to learning for adults (more comprehensive provision of basic skills)
  • Provide tools and recommendations that can be used for and with the three target groups
  • Develop an overarching life skills learning framework and modules that are transferrable across Europe
  • Concrete proposals how to devise and implement a life skills strategy on the local / regional / national levels as well as a concrete advocacy tool to target regional, national and European policy-makers


The project will produce several concrete outcomes:

  • a ‘glossary’ of ‘life skills’ based on a survey among adult education organisations, desk research and interviews, to present the different approaches and understandings of life skills across Europe (IO1-a)
  • a collection of good practices of life skills initiatives across Europe, and an analysis of the practices to help understand what works and how to make it work (IO1-b)
  • a collection and analysis of tools that are being used across Europe in order to promote and enhance life skills and intercultural understanding (IO1-c)
  • a provision framework and transferable modules to create an indicative framework for life skills provision, incl. modules on; e.g., language, literacy and numeracy skills; financial, digital, health and civic capabilities (IO2)
  • an Awareness Raising and Strategy toolkit that will not only provide summaries of the lesson learnt through O1 and O2, but also contain recommendations as well as proposals for life skills strategies at different levels (IO3)

Two multiplier events will ensure a wide and in-depth dissemination of the project outcomes:

  • Workshop in Patras (Greece), April 2018
  • Workshop in Brussels (Belgium), October 2018


Four partner meetings will facilitate the smooth implementation of the project:

  • Kick-off meeting – Copenhagen (Denmark), 9-10 February 2017
  • Second partner meeting – Leicester (UK), September 2017
  • Third partner meeting – Patras (Greece), 18-20 April 2018
  • Final partner meeting – Brussels (Belgium), October 2018

Life skills approach in Europe

The alarming lack of basic skills across Europe, indicated by PIAAC survey, along with the need of skills diversification among the increasing number of newcomers to Europe has highlighted the urgent need for the adoption of a comprehensive approach to learning. Providing adequate and appropriate courses for the above mentioned target group does not only mean allowing them to escape from the low skills trap, but also to empower them to contribute to their own lives, families and communities. Non–formal adult education can and should be the driver of this change by embracing the vision of life skills. The concept of life skills exceeds the basic skills concept, since it promotes more than just a basis for survival. In some countries, adult education providers have already started initiatives to broaden the concept of basic skills and have adopted more holistic practices in basic skills provision.

The first intellectual output of the LSE is threefold.

The first part the definition of Life skills:

Life skills are a constituent part of capabilities for life and work in a particular social, cultural and environmental context. The types of life skills emerge as a response to the needs of the individual in real life situations.

The following illustration represents the eight types of capabilities that are incorporated in the definition of life skills as well as the benefits they bring to the individual and the society:

The second part is a comprehensive analysis, which provides an overview of the understandings of life skills in Europe and beyond as well as a collection of good practices and innovative tools already used in the partner countries and a presentation of the main findings of the project’s research.

The Report on the Life skills Approach in Europe is available in English:



A short 10 page summary is available in English, Greek, Danish, Slovenian and French.


The third part is a database of good practices and tools, which is available here.

Good practices and tools

Themes and relevant capabilities
 Target group
Good practice Project Learning for Young Adults (1999/2016) Civic, personal and interpersonal School dropouts, young adults SL
Good practice Learning for Successful Life (2003/2014) Literacy, numeracy, digital Vulnerable and marginalised groups, unemployed people SL, EN
Good practice Study circles (1993) Personal and interpersonal, civic Open to anyone SL
Good practice Citizens’ Curriculum (2014-2017) Literacy, numeracy, digital, health, civic, financial Vulnerable and marginalised groups, unemployed people EN
Good practice Royal British Legions industry (RBLI) Lifeworks (2012) Personal and interpersonal Ex-armed forces personnel (disabled, unemployed) EN
Good practice St Mungo’s Broadway Citizens’ Curriculum Pilot (2012) Arts and culture; Residential programme; literacy, numeracy, digital, health, civic, financial Homeless adults, vulnerable and marginalised groups EN
Good practice Take Care Project (2012-2014) Literacy, health Immigrants and refugees AR, BG, ZH, HR, NL, FR, DE, EL, LT, PL, PT, RO, RU, ES, TR, UK
Good practice  Language for Life (Taal voor het leven) (2012-2015) Literacy and numeracy Low socioeconomic background, low-skilled, immigrants and refugees  NL, TR, RO
Good practice  Letters for Life (2015-2017) Literacy, civic, personal and interpersonal, digital School dropouts, people who never attended school  PT
Good practice  “Welcome to Belgium” Pedagogical kits (Mallettes pédagogiques “Bienvenue en Belgique”) (2010) Literacy, civic, health, personal and interpersonal  Immigrants and refugees  FR
Good practice The Second Chance – Systemic Development of Functional Elementary Education of Adults (2012-2013)  Civic, personal and interpersonal Adults above 15 with incomplete elementary education or without vocational qualifications,  priority given to socially vulnerable target groups.  SR
Good practice Together within (Pratto apo koinou) (2014) Literacy, personal and interpersonal, digital, civic Low socioeconomic background, low-skilled EL, EN
Good practice Public Second Chance Schools (Public Adult Education School) (2000) Literacy, numeracy, civic, digital School dropouts EL, (EN)
Good practice Life Long Learning Centres (KeDiViM) (2010) Environment, digital, literacy, civic, financial, personal and interpersonal Open to anyone; vulnerable and marginalised groups, school dropouts, Roma, offenders, immigrants, people with disabilities, religious minority EL, EN
Good practice Danish Language and Culture (2015) Literacy, civic, personal and interpersonal Young refugees between 18-30 DA
Good practice Recycling Design (2016) Literacy, civic, personal and interpersonal, environmental Refugee and native Danish women DA
Good practice Fitness – a healthy body (2009)  Health, personal and interpersonal, literacy, numeracy, civic, environmental Young adults, people with physical/mental health issues, low socioeconomic background, low-skilled DA
Tool Educational movies  about key competences (2012-2014) Key competences (literacy, digital, civic, personal and interpersonal) Vulnerable and marginalised groups SL, (EN)
Tool BBC Skillswise (2002/2011) Numeracy, literacy Adults EN
Tool Citizens’ Curriculum resources (2015-2017) Literacy, numeracy, ICT, health, civic, financial Immigrants, homeless and vulnerably housed adults; young adults; offenders/ex-offenders; people experiencing or recovering from alcohol or substance misuse; people with physical/mental health issues; vulnerable and marginalised groups EN
Tool Value My Skills for Young Adult Carers (2014-2017) Personal and Interpersonal, health, civic Young adult carers, could be tailored to support careers guidance for other target groups EN
Tool Dialogic Literary Gathering (1980) Civic, literacy, environmental, personal and interpersonal Open to anyone, low socioeconomic background / low-skilled; children; teenagers;
young adults; families; adults, elderly people;
Tool Voices In Pictures project – picture databank (2013-2015) Literacy, civic, personal and interpersonal Immigrants and refugees EN, FR, DE, ES
Tool I want to learn ( (2004) Numeracy, literacy Low socioeconomic background / low-skilled; autonomous learning tool for individuals, but can also be used as part of a course DE
Tool I want to learn German ( (2011-2013) Literacy, personal and interpersonal Adult learners, Immigrants and refugees; Autonomous learning tool for individuals, but can also be used as part of a course DE
Tool The Real Game (1994/2012) Personal and interpersonal, civic Teenagers DA, NL, EN, FR, DE, EL, HU
Tool e-Reflect (e-Regenerated Freirean Literacy through Empowering Community Techniques) (2015-2017) Civic, digital, personal and interpersonal Educators working with school students, educators working with university student, educators working with adults EN, EL
Tool NESSIE Personal and interpersonal Disadvantaged groups, vulnerable and marginalised groups NL, EN, DE, EL, IT, RO, SE
Tool Us & Them (2015-2017) Civic, personal and interpersonal Educators working with adults EN
Tool The Competence Game (2014) Civic, personal and interpersonal Adult learners, educators working with adult, guidance counsellors DA, EN
Tool Board of Overview (2013) Civic, personal and interpersonal Adult learners, young vulnerable adults Any
Tool Value-cards and drawings (2012) Civic, health, personal and interpersonal Adult learners; school students from lower and upper secondary education Any


Life Skills for Europe (LSE)

The LSE consortium brings together 5 organisations from as many countries.

European Association for the Education of Adults – EAEA (Europe)

The LSE project is coordinated by EAEA – the European Association for the Education of Adults. EAEA is a European NGO with around 141 member organisations in 45 countries working in the field of adult learning.

Danish Adult Education Association – DAEA (Denmark)

DAEA is a branch organization for 34 Danish member organizations which are all operating on a countrywide basis. All its members represent non-formal or informal adult learning and participatory democracy (‘folkeoplysning’).

The Learning and Work Institute – L&W (UK)

L&W is a new independent policy and research organisation dedicated to lifelong learning, full employment and inclusion. They bring together over 90 years of combined history and heritage from the ‘National Institute of Adult Continuing Education’ and the ‘Centre for Economic & Social Inclusion’.

Dafni Kentro Epaggelmatikis Katartisis – DAFNI KEK (Greece)

DAFNI KEK basically plans and implements actions and learning activities targeting to social disadvantaged population and groups at risk (unemployed, single mothers, rural habitants, migrants and Roma) responding to the Official Calls either in National and European Level or in local area by organizing workshops on active consciousness.

Slovenian institute for adult education – SIAE (Slovenia)

SIAE is the main national institution for research and development, quality and education, guidance and validation, and promotional and informative activities in the field of adult education since 1991.