News and insights
Fostering lifelong learning approaches in SMEs
Website of the project: IGTrain
Following the kick-off meeting of the project IGTrain (Innsbruck, 6-8.11.2013) the research activities are about to start..
The age structure of the European population is changing rapidly and radically in the balance between the number of younger and older people. The population of working age is expected to decline between 1 and 1.5 million each year for the next 30 years. Over the course of the current decade the only part of the working age population which will grow is the group of people aged over 50, as stated in Demography, active ageing and pensions, Social Europe guide | Volume 3 European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Manuscript completed in May 2012
The challenge is even bigger when we have in mind that Europe is currently severely underutilizing it’s employment capacity. As indicated by the most recent statistical data and published in the “Annual Growth Survey 2013” of the European Commission unemployment has grown, reaching 25 million people in May 2012. The Survey states that long-term unemployment has reached alarming highs and the risk of becoming long-term unemployed for older workers in 2011 was more than 55%.
At the same time Member States are taking measures to reduce early exit from the labour market and focus on the promotion of longer working lives. The retirement age in many countries is increasing.
In short adult people (50+):
- Are becoming a larger part of the working force;
- Need to work until later age;
- But at the same time it becomes increasingly more difficult for them to find jobs.
In Europe as a whole in 2010 over one third of men and over half of women in the age group 55 to 64 were not in employment. In Bulgaria in the 3rd quarter of 2012 only 47% of the people aged between 55 and 64 have been employed. In Austria the problem of people aged 55+ is that if they get unemployed, they will stay so for a much longer time than younger people. There is a big risk of psychical and social problems for this target group. They cannot contribute to society with their experiences in a useful way. Looking for a new job they have disadvantages because of prejudices concerning health and efficiency, a rewarding system favouring seniority and a lack of awareness of the special qualifications of these employees. Therefore it is very important to raise this awareness of the advantages this group has as employees, one of them being their capacity to be mentors and trainers for the younger generations.
This situation is negative both for the people above 50 years of age who are still in the workforce and for the overall economic development of the EU, which fails to utilize their capacity.
The specific objectives of the project are:
- To develop an innovative train-the-trainer course for people of age 50+, providing them with skills for intergenerational, on-the-job transfer of knowledge
- The course to influence also the attitudes of the beneficiaries and their potential trainees towards lifelong learning and to develop also the learning-to-learn key competence of the older people
- To pilot the training course in every partner country, including both employed and unemployed adults of age 50+
- To test the results of the training course by following the implementation of on-the-job-training by a selected number of participants in the pilot training courses
- To use the results of pilot trainings and their evaluation in conjunction with the information from the observations of the on-the-job training programmes in order to develop good practices case-studies to be able to promote the idea of more structured intergenerational learning at the workplace
- To develop an internet platform as the most cost-effective tools for promotion and dissemination of project results, incorporating features, allowing integration with web 2.0 and web 3.0 platforms in order to achieve more efficient and effective promotion and dissemination strategies.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.