Tag Archives: Continuing vocational training

Green Paper on the learning mobility of young people

Green Paper on the learning mobility of young people

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Green Paper on the learning mobility of young people

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Youth

Green Paper on the learning mobility of young people

This green paper launches a public consultation with the aim of boosting mobility opportunities for young people.

Document or Iniciative

Green Paper of 8 July 2009 – Promoting the learning mobility of young people [COM(2009) 329 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Transnational mobility through which young people may acquire new knowledge and skills (learning mobility) enhances personal development and employability. Currently however, the learning mobility of young people is more an exception than a rule, and should therefore be promoted in all disciplines and contexts. As a result, the Commission is launching this public consultation to initiate discussions on how existing and new instruments, as well as public authorities and stakeholders can be mobilised to that end.

The green paper presents a number of issues where further efforts towards learning mobility are needed. The aim is to promote organised mobility that is carried out across borders as well as within and across sectors. While the value of virtual mobility is recognised, the focus is on physical mobility and the challenges arising before, during and after such periods.

Preparing for a period of learning mobility

Preparation is an essential element of any mobility project and needs to be well thought-out in order for the mobility period to be a success. Firstly, this consists of providing good quality and easily accessible information and guidance on mobility opportunities, including on funding, education and training programmes, as well as on any practical issues. Secondly, there is a need to promote and motivate young people to be mobile by informing them of the benefits and guaranteeing the recognition of such an experience. Thirdly, linguistic skills and intercultural competences facilitate mobility, and may be upgraded during mobility periods. However, as a lack of such skills may be a barrier to participation, ways to address these obstacles must be explored.

Other challenges to take into consideration during the preparatory phase include the legal status of the young people in the host countries. A secure framework for the mobility of minors and a European Trainee Statute for the mobility of trainees could help to overcome such legal obstacles. Similarly, the obstacles to the portability of grants and loans as well as to the access to benefits, which often contravene Community law, should be overcome to promote mobility. To this end, the Commission is suggesting the publication of guides for Member State authorities and stakeholders.

There is also a need to assure that the mobility period is of a high quality, to which both the sending and receiving institutions should commit. Appropriate mechanisms should be set up for selecting participants in a fair and transparent manner, as well as for matching participants and receiving institutions. A number of charters, such as the European Quality Charter for Mobility, could be used to guide this work, as could learning/training agreements drawn up by the sending and hosting institutions together with the participants. Finally, measures should be taken to reach disadvantaged groups, so that they may also benefit from the opportunities of learning mobility.

The stay abroad and follow-up

Proper arrangements should be in place to receive young people during their mobility periods abroad. It is particularly essential that the hosting institutions provide mentoring support to young people in order to help them integrate better into the host environment. Concerning the follow-up, mobility periods must be appropriately recognised and validated in terms of both formal and non-formal learning. To this end, a number of European instruments are already available (such as ECVET, EQF, Europass), but greater use should be made of them at the regional and sectoral levels.

A new partnership for mobility

In order to overcome the continuing obstacles to mobility, it is imperative to mobilise actors and resources at all levels. A new partnership should be established between public authorities, civil society and partners from the business world. At the same time, the funding base needs to be enlarged to provide mobility opportunities to all groups of young people.

Virtual mobility can provide an added value by acting as a catalyst for physical mobility, as well as by providing an international dimension to learning for those who cannot or do not want to go abroad. “Multipliers”, such as teachers and trainers at all levels, youth workers, as well as people who have been mobile are important in motivating young people to embark on a period of mobility. Any obstacles to their involvement in promoting mobility should be removed and opportunities for their mobility encouraged.

At the moment, mobility has wide backing. However, it is essential to turn this support into concrete targets, based on which Member States, regional authorities, institutions and organisations may define their mobility strategies. Strategic benchmarks should also be established to complement those developed at European and national levels.

Background

The Commission invites stakeholders and the wider public to respond to the issues raised in this green paper before 15 December 2009. The Commission will propose follow-up actions on the basis of these responses.

A new impetus for cooperation in vocational education and training

A new impetus for cooperation in vocational education and training

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A new impetus for cooperation in vocational education and training

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Vocational training

A new impetus for cooperation in vocational education and training

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 9 June 2010 – A new impetus for European cooperation in Vocational Education and Training to support the Europe 2020 strategy [COM(2010) 296 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Building on and contributing to the Europe 2020 strategy and the ET 2020 strategic framework, this communication proposes a new vision for vocational education and training (VET) in the European Union (EU). It focuses on elements central to the Copenhagen process, drawing on the ET 2020 strategic objectives.

Making lifelong learning and mobility a reality

Access to all levels of training must be maximised, which might entail significant changes to the current provision of VET. It is essential that the manner in which learning outcomes are acquired, assessed and lead to qualifications is made more flexible. This includes an enhanced role of, and the need to improve the provision of continuing VET by, employers, traditional initial training providers and higher education institutions. An outcomes-based approach for vocational qualifications based on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the European Credit systems for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) can help validate skills acquired outside of formal education and training. At the same time, the pathways between VET and higher education must be opened up and tertiary VET programmes should be developed. The transition from training to employment as well as between jobs must also be facilitated, to which end guidance and counselling services should be provided.

Transnational mobility must become the norm in VET pathways, particularly in initial VET, for both learners and trainers. It is also essential that mobility periods are recognised via the ECVET. Appropriate support structures should be established to facilitate training placements, and virtual mobility (through eLearning) should be used to complement physical mobility.

Improving the quality and efficiency of education and training

The quality and efficiency of VET, the high standards of VET teachers and trainers, the relevance of VET to labour market needs and the pathways VET opens to further learning contribute to its attractiveness. To improve the quality and efficiency of VET:

  • quality assurance systems must be implemented at national level on the basis of the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for VET;
  • the continuing development of skills and competencies of teachers and trainers must be reviewed in light of their evolving roles;
  • the continuing development of key competences together with vocational skills that are relevant to labour market needs must be ensured, in particular through different forms of work-based learning;
  • forward planning tools to match skills and jobs should be developed and partnerships with relevant stakeholders should be created to strengthen labour market relevance.

Promoting equity, social cohesion and active citizenship

VET systems have an important role in combating social exclusion and promoting inclusive growth. Disadvantaged learners may profit more from non-classroom work-based learning that is relevant to the local labour market. Integrated in mainstream VET, training should be flexible and modularised, providing individualised learning pathways. Upward social mobility can be strengthened by facilitating the transition from VET to higher education. At the same time, accessible and targeted guidance services must be provided. The constant monitoring of VET learners’ employment rates, particularly those of disadvantaged learners, is also essential.

Enhancing creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship

The framework in which VET is provided should foster creativity and innovation, encouraging risk-taking and experimentation. To provide accessible and flexible training, experience-based and active learning should be promoted, including through eLearning. Education for entrepreneurship should also be promoted in order to instil a sense of initiative and creativity and the ability to concretise ideas. Entrepreneurship should also form part of VET teachers’ and trainers’ competence framework.

International dimension

Dialogue and mutual learning on EU VET policy should be further developed with the international community. With the support of the European Training Foundation (ETF), structured cooperation on VET should be strengthened with neighbourhood and enlargement countries, with a view to improving:

  • transnational collaboration;
  • regional development;
  • the management of legal mobility;
  • the fight against illegal migration.

In particular, cooperation in research activities and evidence-based policy making should be further strengthened with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The way forward

At the end of 2010, cooperation in VET should be re-launched in close partnership with relevant stakeholders in EU countries and the Commission. An ambitious modernisation agenda for VET must be set out with priorities for the next 10 years, including reviewable short term objectives. The Europe 2020 national programmes should implement this VET reform.

Priorities for vocational education and training

Priorities for vocational education and training

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Priorities for vocational education and training

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Vocational training

Priorities for vocational education and training (2011-2020)

Document or Iniciative

Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on the priorities for enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training for the period 2011-2020 [OJ C 324 of 1.12.2010].

Summary

The Council sets the priorities of the Copenhagen process for the period 2011-2020. The Copenhagen process aims to improve the quality and attractiveness of Vocational Education and Training (VET) by strengthening cooperation at European level.

These updated objectives will help to achieve the priorities and initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. VET is crucial in achieving two of the strategy’s objectives: by 2020, to increase the percentage of 30-34 year olds graduating from tertiary education to at least 40 %, and to reduce the proportion of early school leavers to below 10 %.

A global vision

The Council estimates that, to be completely effective, VET policies must opt for a global approach taking into account social and employment policies.

By 2020, VET systems should be more attractive and accessible to all, providing quality education with high labour market relevance. They must be flexible enough to allow permeability between the different education systems (school education, higher education, etc.). Continuing VET must be easily accessible and more career-oriented. Options for undertaking part of one’s vocational education or training abroad must be increased.

2011-2020 objectives

Several strategic objectives to be achieved by 2020 are defined. Each of them is accompanied by short-term deliverables (2011-2014) to be pursued at national level, together with details of the support provided by the European Union (EU) to achieve them. Six strategic objectives have been identified, namely:

  • making initial VET an attractive learning option. In the short term, national authorities are requested to promote the attractiveness of VET, but also to support activities which enable students to become acquainted with the different vocational trades and career possibilities available.
  • fostering the excellence, quality and relevance of VET to the labour market. Between 2011 and 2014, progress must be made in establishing national quality assurance frameworks. Cooperation between VET institutions and enterprises must also be strengthened, particularly by organising traineeships for teachers in enterprises. VET institutions should receive feedback on the employability of their graduates.
  • enabling flexible access to training and qualifications. At national level and in the short term, it will be necessary to review the use of incentives for participating in VET and the rights and obligations of the stakeholders involved. National authorities should also take appropriate measures to encourage participation in continuing VET. Referencing between the levels of the European Qualifications Framework and those of the national frameworks should be established by 2012.
  • encouraging international mobility in VET. To do so, Member States should specifically encourage students and professionals to participate in a mobility programme, and also encourage local and regional authorities and VET institutions to develop internationalisation strategies. Language learning should be integrated into curricula.
  • promoting innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, and the use of new technologies. At national level, partnerships between VET institutions, higher education establishments, and design, art, research and innovation centres should be encouraged. VET institutions should be provided with the necessary equipment in terms of new technologies. Promoting practical experience should also encourage entrepreneurship.
  • making VET accessible to all, in particular by improving its contribution to tackling early school leaving. The participation of low-skilled and other ‘at risk’ groups should be encouraged through the use of appropriate guidance and support services, new technologies, and existing monitoring systems.

The Council also defines four transversal objectives:

  • increasing the involvement of VET stakeholders and making the results obtained through European cooperation better known;
  • coordinating the governance of European and national instruments in the areas of transparency, recognition, quality assurance and mobility;
  • intensifying cooperation between VET policy and other relevant policy areas;
  • improving the quality and comparability of data for EU policy-making in VET;
  • making good use of EU support.

Context

The objectives defined in the conclusions have been endorsed by the Bruges Communiquéof 7 December 2010 adopted by the Education Ministers of thirty-three European countries, social partners and the European Commission. This Communiqué constitutes the last update of the Copenhagen process.

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

European Qualifications Framework

European Qualifications Framework

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Qualifications Framework

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Vocational training

European Qualifications Framework

Document or Iniciative

Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning [Official Journal C 111, 6.5.2008].

Summary

Member States are called upon to create links between the national qualifications systems * and the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

By making competences and qualifications more transparent, the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is an instrument for the promotion of lifelong learning.

This framework covers both higher education and vocational training. It will make it easier for individuals in the EU to communicate the relevant information concerning their competences and their qualifications.

Increasing the transparency of qualifications * will enable individual citizens to judge the relative value of qualifications and improve employers’ ability to judge the profile, content and relevance of the qualifications in the labour market. Education and training providers will also be able to compare the profile and content of their courses and ensure their quality.

The adoption of the EQF will increase the mobility of workers and students. The EQF will allow workers to be mobile and at the same time to have their qualifications recognised outside their own country. This tool will facilitate the transition from work to training and vice versa, on a lifelong basis.

Operation and implementation

The EQF is a tool based on learning outcomes rather than on the duration of studies. The main reference level descriptors are:

  • skills *;
  • competences *;
  • knowledge.

The core element of the EQF is a set of eight reference levels describing:

  • what the learner knows;
  • what the learner understands;
  • what the learner is able to do, regardless of the system under which a particular qualification was awarded.

Unlike systems which guarantee academic recognition based on the duration of studies, the EQF covers learning as a whole, in particular learning which takes place outside formal education and training institutions.

In 2010 a system for comparing the national systems and the European framework is to be established in all participating States. In 2012, all new qualifications issued by EU post-secondary institutions will automatically refer to one of the EQF’s eight qualification levels.

General tool for cooperation

The EQF is not designed to replace national qualifications systems but to supplement the actions of the Member States by facilitating cooperation between them. This European initiative is based on national qualifications frameworks, although these are themselves not based on any single model.

To implement this shared framework for cooperation between Member States, the Commission emphasises the necessary mutual trust and the level of commitment of the various stakeholders at national, regional and sectoral levels.

The Commission also proposes to designate a national centre to coordinate the relationship between the national qualifications system and the EQF by establishing, by April 2009, an EQF advisory group, composed of representatives of the Member States and involving the European social partners and other stakeholders.

The EQF should also help international sectoral organisations * to bring their own qualifications systems into line with this system shared by the Member States.

Background

The Bologna Declaration of June 1999 promoted mobility and transparency in the European Union (EU) in the field of education. Following the achievements of the Bologna Process in higher education, similar action can now be taken which also covers vocational training.

The EQF meets one of the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy for employment with a view to the transition to a knowledge society. More specifically, it is designed to implement the work programme “Education & Training 2010”.

Key terms in the act
  • “National qualifications system” means all aspects of a Member State’s activity related to the recognition of learning and other mechanisms that link education and training to the labour market and civil society. This includes the development and implementation of institutional arrangements and processes relating to quality assurance, assessment and the award of qualifications. A national qualifications system may be composed of several subsystems and may include a national qualifications framework.
  • “Qualification” means a formal outcome of an assessment and validation process which is obtained when a competent body determines that an individual has achieved learning outcomes to given standards.
  • “Skills” means the ability to apply knowledge and use know-how to complete tasks and solve problems. In the context of the European Qualifications Framework, skills are described as cognitive (involving the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking) or practical (involving manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and instruments).
  • “Competence” means the proven ability to use knowledge, skills and personal, social and/or methodological abilities, in work or study situations and in professional and personal development. In the context of the European Qualifications Framework, competence is described in terms of responsibility and autonomy.
  • “International sectoral organisation” means an association of national organisations, including, for example, employers and professional bodies, which represents the interests of national sectors.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Recommendation of 23.4.2008

23.4.2008

OJ C 111, 6.5.2008

Key competences for lifelong learning

Key competences for lifelong learning

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Key competences for lifelong learning

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Lifelong learning

Key competences for lifelong learning

Document or Iniciative

Recommendation 2006/962/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning [Official Journal L 394 of 30.12.2006].

Summary

Key competences for lifelong learning are a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the context. They are particularly necessary for personal fulfilment and development, social inclusion, active citizenship and employment.

Key competences are essential in a knowledge society and guarantee more flexibility in the labour force, allowing it to adapt more quickly to constant changes in an increasingly interconnected world. They are also a major factor in innovation, productivity and competitiveness, and they contribute to the motivation and satisfaction of workers and the quality of work.

Key competences should be acquired by:

  • young people at the end of their compulsory education and training, equipping them for adult life, particularly for working life, whilst forming a basis for further learning;
  • adults throughout their lives, through a process of developing and updating skills.

The acquisition of key competences fits in with the principles of equality and access for all. This reference framework also applies in particular to disadvantaged groups whose educational potential requires support. Examples of such groups include people with low basic skills, early school leavers, the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, migrants, etc.

Eight key competences

This framework defines eight key competences and describes the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes related to each of these. These key competences are:

  • communication in the mother tongue, which is the ability to express and interpret concepts, thoughts, feelings, facts and opinions in both oral and written form (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and to interact linguistically in an appropriate and creative way in a full range of societal and cultural contexts;
  • communication in foreign languages, which involves, in addition to the main skill dimensions of communication in the mother tongue, mediation and intercultural understanding. The level of proficiency depends on several factors and the capacity for listening, speaking, reading and writing;
  • mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology. Mathematical competence is the ability to develop and apply mathematical thinking in order to solve a range of problems in everyday situations, with the emphasis being placed on process, activity and knowledge. Basic competences in science and technology refer to the mastery, use and application of knowledge and methodologies that explain the natural world. These involve an understanding of the changes caused by human activity and the responsibility of each individual as a citizen;
  • digital competence involves the confident and critical use of information society technology (IST) and thus basic skills in information and communication technology (ICT);
  • learning to learn is related to learning, the ability to pursue and organise one’s own learning, either individually or in groups, in accordance with one’s own needs, and awareness of methods and opportunities;
  • social and civic competences. Social competence refers to personal, interpersonal and intercultural competence and all forms of behaviour that equip individuals to participate in an effective and constructive way in social and working life. It is linked to personal and social well-being. An understanding of codes of conduct and customs in the different environments in which individuals operate is essential. Civic competence, and particularly knowledge of social and political concepts and structures (democracy, justice, equality, citizenship and civil rights), equips individuals to engage in active and democratic participation;
  • sense of initiative and entrepreneurship is the ability to turn ideas into action. It involves creativity, innovation and risk-taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives. The individual is aware of the context of his/her work and is able to seize opportunities that arise. It is the foundation for acquiring more specific skills and knowledge needed by those establishing or contributing to social or commercial activity. This should include awareness of ethical values and promote good governance;
  • cultural awareness and expression, which involves appreciation of the importance of the creative expression of ideas, experiences and emotions in a range of media (music, performing arts, literature and the visual arts).

These key competences are all interdependent, and the emphasis in each case is on critical thinking, creativity, initiative, problem solving, risk assessment, decision taking and constructive management of feelings.

A European reference framework for European Union (EU) countries and the Commission

These key competences provide a reference framework to support national and European efforts to achieve the objectives they define. This framework is mainly intended for policy makers, education and training providers, employers and learners.

It is a reference tool for EU countries and their education and training policies. EU countries should try to ensure:

  • that initial education and training offer all young people the means to develop the key competences to a level that equips them for adult and working life, thus also providing a basis for future learning;
  • that appropriate provision is made for young people who are disadvantaged in their training so that they can fulfil their educational potential;
  • that adults can develop and update key competences throughout their lives, particularly priority target groups such as persons who need to update their competences;
  • that appropriate infrastructure is in place for continuing education and training of adults, that there are measures to ensure access to education and training and the labour market and that there is support for learners depending on their specific needs and competences;
  • the coherence of adult education and training provision through close links between the policies concerned.

It forms the basis for action at Community level, particularly within the Education and Training 2010 work programme and, more generally, within the Community education and training programmes. In this respect, the Commission should make a special effort to:

  • help EU countries to develop their education and training systems, apply the reference framework so as to facilitate peer learning and the exchange of good practices and follow up developments and report on progress through the progress reports on the Education and Training 2010 work programme;
  • use the reference framework for the implementation of the Community education and training programmes whilst ensuring that these programmes promote the acquisition of key competences;
  • use the reference framework to implement related Community policies (employment, youth, cultural and social policies) and to strengthen links with social partners and other organisations active in those fields;
  • assess, by December 2010, the impact of the reference framework within the context of the Education and Training 2010 work programme as well as the experience gained and the implications for the future.

Background

The transversal nature of key competences makes them essential. They provide added value for employment, social cohesion or young people (European Youth Pact), which explains the importance of lifelong learning in terms of adapting to change and integration. The reference criteria, which make it possible to judge improvements in European performances, featured in a 2005 report with contrasting results.

In response to the concerns expressed at the Lisbon European Council on 23 and 24 March 2000, which were repeated in the revised Lisbon strategy in 2005, the key competences form part of the objectives of the Education and Training 2010 work programme, the Commission communication of 2001 on making a European area of lifelong learning a reality and the subsequent Council resolution adopted in 2002. These last two put forward specific proposals on making key competences a priority for all age groups. For its part, the 2004 joint interim report on the progress of the Education and Training 2010 work programme made the case for drawing up common European references and principles.

Development of statistics on education and lifelong learning

Development of statistics on education and lifelong learning

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Development of statistics on education and lifelong learning

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Lifelong learning

Development of statistics on education and lifelong learning

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 452/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 concerning the production and development of statistics on education and lifelong learning.

Summary

In order to develop education and lifelong learning strategies, and to monitor the implementation of these strategies, the production of comparable statistical data is of utmost importance. It is also essential that the statistical data production is based on a framework of consistent concepts. Consequently, this calls for the establishment of an integrated statistical information system on education, training and lifelong learning at the European Union (EU) level.

DOMAINS

This regulation applies to the production of EU level statistics on education and lifelong learning, covering the following domains:

Education and training systems

Comparable data is sought especially on the participation in and completion of educational programmes and on costs and resources used for education and training. The data covers domestic educational activities and includes all student types and age groups. It also allows for the calculation of indicators on education and training systems. EU countries must supply data falling under this domain annually.

Adult participation in lifelong learning

The comparable data collected on the participation and non-participation of adults in lifelong learning concerns individuals in the 25-64 age group. The supplementary collection of data on participation in social and cultural activities is on a voluntary basis only. Data for this domain must be supplied every five years, beginning in 2010 at the earliest.

Other statistics on education and lifelong learning

This concerns comparable data that support specific EU policies not covered by the above two domains, such as statistics on human capital or on the social and economic benefits of education. This data is obtained from existing EU level sources.

STATISTICAL ACTIONS

Individual statistical actions are used to implement the production of EU level statistics. These include the following:

  • for the first two domains, regular and timely delivery of statistics by EU countries;
  • within the scope of the third domain, provision of supplementary variables and indicators through other statistical information systems and surveys;
  • developing, improving and updating standards and manuals that define frameworks, concepts and methods;
  • within the context of the quality framework, improving data quality.

The Commission will take into consideration the existing capacities of EU countries with regard to the above actions. For the collected data, consideration will be given to the regional and gender aspects whenever possible.

The Commission (Eurostat) will also strive to collaborate, where appropriate, with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) Institute for Statistics (UIS), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and other international organisations to guarantee the comparability and avoid the duplication of data at an international level.

When new data requirements arise, or when the quality of the data is insufficient, the Commission will first launch voluntary pilot studies to be implemented by EU countries before the actual data collection.

IMPLEMENTING MEASURES

In order to supplement the regulation, certain additional implementing measures are used to amend its non-essential elements. These include measures that provide for economic and technical developments in data collection, transmission and processing. If, on the basis of these measures, the need for supplementary data collection arises, any decisions will be taken only after a cost-benefit analysis is effectuated.

For EU countries, limited derogations and transition periods may be granted if need be, provided that these are based on objective reasons.

The Statistical Programme Committee assists the Commission in its work with regard to the production and development of statistics on education and lifelong learning.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 452/2008

24.6.2008

OJ L 145 of 4.6.2008

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EU) No 88/2011 of 2 February 2011 implementing Regulation (EC) No 452/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning production and development of statistics on education and lifelong learning, as regards statistics on education and training systems [Official Journal L 29 of 3.2.2011].

Commission Decision 2010/786/EU of 17 December 2010 granting derogations for implementing Regulation (EC) No 452/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the production and development of statistics on education and lifelong learning with regard to Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Finland and the United Kingdom [Official Journal L 335 of 18.12.2010].

Commission Regulation (EU) No 823/2010 of 17 September 2010 implementing Regulation (EC) No 452/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the production and development of statistics on education and lifelong learning, as regards statistics on the participation of adults in lifelong learning [Official Journal L 246 of 18.9.2010].
This regulation establishes the implementing measures for individual statistical actions to produce statistics on adult participation in lifelong learning.
The first Adult Education Survey covers the participation of adults in education and training during the period 1 July 2010 – 30 June 2011 and any related aspects, such as difficulties encountered. The data is collected during the period 1 July 2011 – 30 June 2012 and then every five years. The survey covers the 25-64 age group, though the 18-24 and 65-69 age groups may also be covered.
In close collaboration with EU countries, the Commission produces an “Adult Education Survey Manual” to ensure a high level of harmonisation between their survey results.
The regulation establishes minimum requirements in order to ensure that the data to be transmitted is of high quality. Its annexes specify the variables concerning the survey subjects and the sample and precision requirements. EU countries must submit quality reports on the survey to the Commission, to which end quality requirements are also set out in the annex to the regulation.

Adult learning: It is never too late to learn

Adult learning: It is never too late to learn

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Adult learning: It is never too late to learn

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Lifelong learning

Adult learning: It is never too late to learn

Document or Iniciative

Communication of 23 October 2006 from the Commission to the Council – Adult learning [COM (2006) 614 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Promoting lifelong learning is part of the Lisbon Strategy, which sets targets for economic growth, competitiveness and social inclusion. Although the Member States recognise the importance of lifelong learning, the number of adult learners in Europe today remains below the target set by the Member States. In this Communication the Commission encourages Member States to ensure the quality of their adult learning systems and their overall skills levels.

Better adult learning can play a key role in vocational training in Europe and in the social inclusion of groups which are at a disadvantage on the labour market, such as migrants and older people, who are growing in number in Europe. Moreover, improvements in adult learning are a considerable advantage for both individuals and society. Raising overall skills levels helps to improve economic indicators, such as productivity and unemployment, and social indicators, such as civic participation, criminality and healthcare costs.

Responding to the challenges

With a view to consolidating lifelong learning, the Commission identifies the following challenges:

  • economic competitiveness: raising general skills levels in all Member States is important for the economy, as it helps to achieve the growth, employment and social cohesion objectives set by the Lisbon Strategy. The positive results achieved by other countries which have invested in their education systems confirm that this is a reliable prediction. The economic objective is becoming even more urgent in view of the developments expected in the labour market. According to a Eurostat survey, by 2010 half of all new jobs will be for workers with higher skills levels, whereas today a third of the labour force in Europe remains low skilled and many still lack the ability to employ printed information in daily activities;
  • demographic change: education and training systems must take into account the ageing of the European population and the growing role of the immigrant population. According to the OECD, in thirty years a third of the EU population will be over 60 years old. This means that measures need to be taken to extend the working life of older workers and increase the number of young workers. To this end, Member States must undertake to reduce the number of early school-leavers and improve the skills of low-skilled workers over the age of 40. Immigration is a major challenge for education and training systems in Europe yet at the same time offers enormous human potential which can counterbalance the ageing of the European population and the lack of skills in certain sectors;
  • poverty and social exclusion: adult learning can play a key role in tackling poverty and social exclusion, which marginalise a significant number of people in all Member States. This problem stems mainly from low levels of initial education, unemployment, rural isolation and reduced opportunities. New forms of illiteracy exacerbate social exclusion: for example, adults who are not computer literate are deprived of essential information and facilities.

By improving the provision of education and training for adults, Member States can help to consolidate the linguistic, cultural and vocational skills of those who are often at a disadvantage in the labour market. The Member States must implement these projects, using existing resources to the full. In order to achieve this they need to establish better coordination between the groups involved in these projects: the public authorities, which make decisions at different levels, and all partners involved in drafting and implementing the policies. Coordination can play a key role in identifying priorities, drafting policies and communicating with potential learners. The European Structural Funds can help to improve infrastructure and the adult learning programmes offered.

Types of action

The Commission identifies five types of action to enable Member States to meet the above challenges.

  • setting up more equitable adult learning programmes and increasing the number of participants: Member States must undertake to ensure participation in adult learning activities in order to make it more equitable and to move closer to the 12.5 % objective to be achieved by 2010. They need to encourage everyone, especially those with fewer qualifications, such as older people, those with disabilities and people living in rural areas. They must increase targeted public investment, widen the dissemination of information on adult learning opportunities and make better use of the potential of educational institutions which already exist;
  • ensuring the quality of adult learning programmes: Member States must ensure that teaching methods and teaching staff are efficient and meet the needs of adult learners. With a view to promoting quality of learning, the Commission identifies four factors to be taken into consideration:

– teaching methods: methods and materials must be adapted to the needs of learners, who must agree explicit objectives and learning support resources with teaching staff;

– quality of staff: the profession of adult learning practitioners needs to be recognised and valued, promoting their development and ensuring fair pay;

– quality of providers: the public authorities must undertake to ensure the quality of teaching by means of quality assurance mechanisms and standards;

– quality of delivery: a series of parallel measures, such as availability of learning sites and childcare facilities, and flexible teaching arrangements, can significantly improve the delivery of adult learning;

  • developing systems for the recognition and validation of learning outcomes: Member States must develop systems based on common principles which enable them to measure and value learning. These systems facilitate self-evaluation and encourage students to continue to learn. To this end, the Education Council identified common principles in 2004 and some Member States have put in place mechanisms to serve as a basis for creating the evaluation systems. In an effort to ensure that these systems are developed efficiently, the Commission highlights the challenges to come, such as the inclusion of all stakeholders in the validation process, the improvement of the systems and the clarification of learning programmes’ objectives;
  • investing in education and training for older people and migrants: Member States must ensure that education and training programmes target older people and migrants, two categories which represent enormous human potential in today’s societies and economies but are often disadvantaged in the labour market. Member States need to take a two-pronged approach to older people: older workers can and must extend their working lives in the context of active ageing, and retired people must have the opportunity to make learning an integral part of their lives, and can in turn become educators. With this in mind, the Commission wants universities to offer courses to meet the needs of adult learners, but most countries have not yet done so. Member States must also promote the integration of immigrants by making the most of their skills. Accordingly, the Commission supports actions which include education and training programmes in neighbouring countries, the development of systems to recognise skills already acquired and opening up effective learning opportunities;
  • promoting research and analysis in relation to adult learning activities: indicators such as databases play a key role in observing and evaluating adult learning activities. Such data are currently quite limited but international organisations such as the OECD and the European Commission, including the research unit recently set up in Ispra, are working on this.

By the end of 2007, the Commission intends to draw up an action plan based on this Communication.

Background

In the framework of the Lisbon Strategy, which aims to promote a knowledge-based society, the Commission supported the creation of a European area of lifelong learning by means of an initial Communication in 2001.

The Council contributed to the Lisbon Strategy objective by means of a 2002 Resolution. By the end of 2007, an action plan will be drawn up in line with this Communication, taking account of the experience gained from the Socrates and Grundtvig programmes.

A new dimension for European judicial training

A new dimension for European judicial training

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A new dimension for European judicial training

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Justice freedom and security > Judicial cooperation in criminal matters

A new dimension for European judicial training

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 13 September 2011 – Building trust in EU-wide justice A new dimension to European judicial training [COM(2011) 551 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

National laws and European law coexist within the European Union (EU). Legal practitioners must have sufficient knowledge of national legal systems and of EU law to guarantee legal security and the uniform application of European law. The recognition and execution of judicial decisions and cooperation between the judicial authorities of different Member States are also dependent on this.

The Commission has therefore set itself the objective of ensuring that half of legal practitioners have participated in a European judicial training activity by 2020. Although priority is given to judges and prosecutors, the goal is to target all legal practitioners.

Training content

Above all, training should be practical and be given both on entry to the profession (initial training) and throughout a person’s career (continuous training). Priority should be given to the areas of activity identified by legal practitioners as being those where the need is greatest, those which are particularly technical, and those where the legislation is poorly implemented. Training should also include the teaching of foreign languages, to facilitate exchanges between Member States.

To address the time constraints faced by legal practitioners, eLearning should be developed. The European e-Justice Portal will be further developed, to provide more information about judicial training.

Starting from 2014, the Commission also intends to launch a programme of short term exchanges for newly appointed judges and prosecutors to improve their knowledge of the legal systems of other EU countries.

Implementation

The most effective way to achieve the objective of training half of the legal practitioners is to use the existing structures, actors and networks at national and European level.

At national level, training is provided, depending on the Member State, by judicial training structures, the ministry of Justice, the Council for the judiciary, court services and professional associations. The Commission aims to reinforce cooperation with and between these different stakeholders.

At European level, European associations of legal practitioners and judicial training providers such as the Academy of European Law (ERA), the European Centre for Judges and Lawyers of the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), the European University Institute of Firenze and the College of Europe are a way of increasing European judicial training.

The European Judicial Training Network (EJTN), which brings together the ERA and the national training structures, should be reinforced to ensure that its activities reach more members of the judiciary. For the network to play a more active role, Member States should increase their financial contribution. The goal is for the network to be able to organise 1 200 exchanges in courts per year.

European Commission action

The Commission will support a number of measures such as public-private partnerships to develop innovative training solutions and the organisation of an annual gathering of all legal professions to facilitate exchanges of good practice.

With regard to funding, the Commission aims to make European judicial training a priority of the new financial framework and to increase EU financial support. It will encourage, notably through grants, high-quality projects with a considerable European impact and reaching a large audience.

Related Acts

The Stockholm Programme – An open and secure Europe serving and protecting citizens [Official Journal C 115 of 4.5.2010].

Council conclusions of 27 October 2011 on European judicial training [Official Journal C 361 of 10.12.2011].

Promoting creativity and innovation through education and training

Promoting creativity and innovation through education and training

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Promoting creativity and innovation through education and training

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Education and training: general framework

Promoting creativity and innovation through education and training

Document or Iniciative

Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 22 May 2008 on promoting creativity and innovation through education and training [Official Journal C 141 of 7.6.2008].

Summary

The ‘Education and Training 2010’ work programme promotes the common European objectives of quality, access and openness to the wider world. Since creativity and innovation are also relevant for dealing with global challenges, they should be incorporated into the future framework of European cooperation in the education field. Education and training can develop creative and innovative capacities, which in turn contribute to sustainable economic and social development in Europe.

The 2006 Recommendation on key competences for lifelong learning lists eight competences that contain skills relevant for creativity and innovation. Among them, the abilities to see change as an opportunity, to be open to new ideas and to respect others’ values are particularly important. Inclusive education policies that promote tolerance and understanding should be designed in order to turn multiculturalism into an asset for creativity, innovation and growth.

New research is needed to identify, measure and document learning outcomes, especially on soft skills like creative and innovative capacities. In addition, to promote these capacities, substantive data need to be presented to policy-makers. The contribution of the EU in this process must also be considered.

Consequently, the Member States are called upon to:

  • promote the incorporation of creativity and innovation at all levels of education and training;
  • support the professional development of teachers as mediators of creativity and innovation;
  • encourage the development of a learning culture where networks and partnerships between educational institutions and related bodies are forged with the corporate sector.

It is suggested that both the Member States and the Commission:

  • consider complementing the objectives of European cooperation in education with the promotion of creative and innovative capacity, and supporting the implementation of the 2006 Recommendation on key competencies for lifelong learning;
  • develop environments that favour creativity and innovation by promoting multi-level cooperation, intercultural dialogue and cultural production;
  • promote creativity and innovation in collaboration with appropriate international organisations, such as the Council of Europe, Unesco and the OECD;
  • promote the development, exchange and dissemination of good practice on evidence-based education policies relating to creative and innovative skills;
  • promote creativity and innovation at all stages of lifelong learning through the EU programmes and instruments.

Finally, the Commission is called upon to:

  • support relevant research, analysis and exchange of data on the promotion of creative and innovative capacity through education and training;
  • incorporate the development of creative and innovative capacity through education and training into the European education cooperation beyond 2010 and the broad-based European innovation policy.

Background

These conclusions build upon the outcomes of the Conference on Promoting Innovation and Creativity: Schools’ Response to the Challenges of Future Societies of 9-10 April 2008 and on the political background set out in the Annex to these conclusions. The latter includes notably the Council conclusions of 4 December 2006 on a Broad-based Innovation Strategy: Strategic Priorities for Innovation at EU level, which were based on the Commission Communication COM(2006) 502 of 13 September 2006 on a European innovation strategy. These perceive education as one of the pre-conditions for innovation, indicating the importance of supporting the development of talent and creativity from an early age through education.