EAEA has very much welcomed Upskilling Pathways as it is an ambitious basic skills strategy that would enable many of the adults in Europe with low basic skills to have their skills assessed, receive tailored learning provision and have their learning outcomes validated. The feedback of our members, based on the Country Reports 2018, present a diverse picture of implementation of the initiative in different countries.
Upskilling Pathways has already had an impact in quite a few member states. Nevertheless, EAEA would like to highlight some key recommendations for the broader and better implementation of the Upskilling Pathways.
1. Strengthen the governance of adult education and basic skills in the framework of lifelong learning. A comprehensive lifelong learning strategy will help link learning pathways. Within the Upskilling Pathways strategy the responsibilities need to be clearly spelt out.
2. Reinforce cooperation between ministries, sectors and institutions of different backgrounds. A good strategy needs good cooperation between different sectors and institutions. Upskilling Pathways can be a real incentive to start building bridges.
3. Cooperate with civil society and providers. Including them from the early stages of implementation will ensure outreach, adequate provision and ownership.
4. Analyse and remove barriers that hinder people from participating. Barriers that hinder people from participating, especially from disadvantaged groups, need to be examined in depth.
5. Link adult education and basic skills to existing strategies. In many countries, there are social inclusion strategies for disadvantaged groups, but they do not take adult education into account.
6. Prioritise and invest in adult learning and basic skills. Public investment in adult education and learning and basic skills is crucial for outreach, making the system work and enabling the participation of those who need it most.
7. Fund and support learning in communities. Communities are essential when wanting to support increased participation of potential learners who have had the least opportunities in the past.
8. Strengthen non-formal structures. Better infrastructure for non-formal adult education through legislation, institutional development and continuous financing is needed.
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Text: EAEA Photo: European Commission