As no other education sector, ALE employs thousands of freelance trainers who are struggling hard to cope with this situation. This particular employment model that is precarious for many freelance trainers even without a crisis, has been the result of insufficient structural and financial support of ALE providers over a long period, in almost all European countries.
While, in some contexts, courses and training programmes can still be continued online, a vast majority of them had to be cancelled. Non-formal ALE not only transmits knowledge, skills and competencies, but it is also a key measure for social inclusion of the most vulnerable groups of society. These groups suffer most from the crisis as they are most likely to lack access to ICT devices and strong internet connections. Furthermore, in this difficult economic and social situation, people’s priorities shift to fulfilling their most urgent basic needs and those of their families.
EAEA, the voice of non-formal ALE in Europe will monitor the situation closely and advocate for measures to mitigate the impact of the crisis. We expect national governments and the European institutions to take effective measures to enable ALE providers and staff to manage the consequences of this unpredictable crisis. Europe needs a strong ALE sector to cope with the economic, social and environmental challenges of the next years, now more than ever!
Text: EAEAPhotos: Canva