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Effectiveness of VPL Policies and Programmes for Labour Market Inclusion and Mobility – Individual and Employer Perspectives
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

CONTEXTThe VALIDATION and RECOGNITION of PRIOR NON-FORMAL and INFORMAL LEARNING (VPL) is a priority of EU educational policies and central to lifelong and life-wide learning. The aim is to strengthen the flexibility of learning pathways to increase labour market transition and mobility across Europe. Key objective is to enhance employability and labour market opportunities for disadvantaged individuals such as the low skilled, unemployed, migrant workers, refugees and individuals with restricted labour market and learning opportunities. Many different VPL initiatives at the national and European level have been taken and led to significant advancement of VPL in the last decade, particularly in terms of creating policy frameworks for VPL and piloting validation methods and procedures. Still, VPL in Europe presents a fragmented picture with some countries not yet having engaged in the process. To move from fragmentation to stronger coherence, common European principles for VPL have been formulated. This includes the European Councils’ recommendation of 20 December 2012, specifying that each EU-member state should have started to implement VPL processes by 2015.OBJECTIVESThe project will evaluate the advancement and effectiveness of VPL policies and practice in Denmark, Germany, Poland and Turkey considering how VPL initiatives benefit the individual. It will assess how the VPL procedures available have supported individuals’ labour market inclusion, employability and further learning pathways. Through introducing biographical perspectives into the validation process and identifying the role of employers for VPL, the project seeks to enhance the effectiveness of VPL practice. Outcomes on VPL effectiveness will continuously be channelled into the current VPL policy dialogue and on-going VPL activities. This is done by strengthening cooperation between regional and/or national VPL actors and multipliers and enhancing mutual learning for VPL across Europe. The project contributes to enhancing the transparency and recognition of skills and qualifications and facilitating labour market inclusion through access to training and qualifications for all through C-VET. It is cross-cutting in its apporach, addressing adult education and VET at the same time.TARGET GROUPSThe project will involve approximately 400 people in the different project activities. The majority will be VPL actors and individuals responsible for implementing validation procedures (mostly affiliated to vocational schools, social partners, chambers of crafts, employment agencies, adult education centres, etc.). Additionally, individuals with restricted labour market and learning opportunities will also be involved. Here, the target groups are the low qualified, formally unskilled workers, migrant workers, female and female migrant workers and people coming from ethnic minorities.ACTIVITIES AND METHODOLOGYThe project activities combine various methodological approaches to assess and increase the effectiveness of VPL policy and practice, involving secondary analyses, biographical approaches, company case studies, training activities and significant networking and peer learning through multiplier events.RESULTS(1) Evaluation Report on VPL advancement and effectiveness in terms of benefits to the individual; (2) two manuals targeted at VPL actors, stakeholders and multipliers and individuals and institutions implementing validation procedures. Manual I focuses on individual benefits of VPL, while Manual II addresses the role of employers for labour market inclusion and enhancing the VPL of their employees; (3) Training Module for individuals and institutional representatives responsible for the implementation of VPL, introducing transition processes and biographical perspectives in the validation process; (4) regional VPL networks for enhanced cooperation, information exchange and peer learning to increase the effectiveness of validation procedures.IMPACTThe project contributes to enhance the effectiveness of VPL practice in DENMARK, GERMANY, POLAND and TURKEY and across Europe. It will provide support, guidance and training to VPL actors and implementing agencies and will inform the current VPL policy dialogue and on-going VPL activities at the regional, national and European level. It will also introduce new perspectives on VPL. Enhanced awareness and cooperation between regional and/or national VPL actors and multipliers will be of benefit for individuals disadvantaged on the labour market, who seek to undergo a validation process. VPL will receive more recognition at the workplace through sensitising employers for VPL and their role in realising labour market inclusion.

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