Archive of European Projects

Europa 50 plus
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

There are huge challenges that Europe faces nowadays: the economic crisis, demographic changes, evolving labour market and need for new skills. The statistics show that the effect of aging will be difficult to eliminate after the year 2020. Numerous authors indicate that among the initiatives implemented in the Member States should be those relating to an extension of the retirement age as well as to introduction of legislative solutions facilitating the employment of people over 50. On the other hand, numerous surveys exploring the attitude of employers towards the employees aged 50 + point out that people in this age group are seen as unable to deal with the changing reality, basing their professional activities on a routine only and being reluctant to innovation. Respondents point to a lack of key competences among which are: poor knowledge or lack of knowledge of foreign languages, poor computer literacy and unwillingness to raise qualifications, which results in having obsolete skills. The reluctance of mature workers to change, and their lack of interest in further training translate into the difficulty in taking full advantage of their potential. Consequently, their work is inefficient and does not bring measurable benefits to the employers. All that has contributed to a recognition that adult learning and lifelong learning strategies should play a key role in the policies for social inclusion, competitiveness and employability. At the same time the benchmark target for adult participation in lifelong learning across the EU established by the Council at 15% by 2020 is far from being reached. It shows how much there is yet to be done. We address the project to two target groups. The first one involves training staff, coaches and training organizers in adult education from 4 partner countries: Poland, Italy, Germany and Czech Republic. The choice of both project participants and participating partner organisations is made in the way that ensures a variety of perspectives, which are supposed to provide fruitful experience exchange as well as a comprehensive view and approach to the development of the project results. The other target group consists of people aged 50+ as a disadvantaged social group of people who while left on their own would be exposed to social and professional exclusion due to their age and low qualifications. The main objective of the project is to develop innovative methods of reintegration and activation of people aged 50 +. It involves the following measures: targeting this special social group, recognition of their barriers, needs and expectations, recognition of key competences, breaking the barriers associated with age, often worse state of health, anxiety, alienation, a sense of “being behind the today's world", etc., motivation to take up new challenges, encouraging lifelong learning, and teaching foreign languages and basic ICT better adjusted to elderly needs and possibilities. Innovative solutions in adult education are especially important also for the reason that the previous actions targeted in particular at the unemployed in this age group did not deliver the expected results. In spite of special support designed for people aged 50+ (e.g. strategic criteria in ESF based projects) there are no explicit methodologies of dealing with the process of motivating and training. Numerous preferences at the stage of recruitment facilitating the participation of the elderly in these projects often do not translate into the expected results (trainings interruptions, not keeping pace with curricula, not taking exams, worse exam pass rate, etc.).The impact of our project on this target group will be of a long-term nature contributing to more efficient process of encouraging lifelong learning and in result, extending the period of professional activity. The developed solutions related to active ageing are also expected to reawaken self- esteem, feeling of being needed and the desire to live fully in older people. The psychological aspect is an important part of the whole process which in the long run will lead to a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment. An important result of the project will also include the improvement of competence of project participants through the exchange of experience with international partners as well as staff training and workshops. Jointly developed solutions will be checked in practice during the testing period provided in project and a guide including recommendations and guidelines for the implementation and application of the new methodologies will be available for the general public.In view of the universality of the issue of too short period of professional activity in Europe the positive impact of the project will be visible at all levels: local, regional and European level. Methodologies and good practices developed within the project will be implemented on an ongoing basis in partner institutions and disseminated on the outside.
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