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Online discussion Reskilling & Upskilling: Fostering Intergenerational cooperation.

Participate in this online discussion, where we will explore why and how we need to move towards reskilling and upskilling across the different sectors or age groups.

On Thursday, 17 November, from 10 am to 4 pm CET, EPALE will be hosting an online discussion on "Reskilling & Upskilling: Fostering Intergenerational cooperation".

The written discussion will be introduced by a live stream (10:00 to 10:40 am CET) moderated by Panagiotis Chatzimichail (Project Officer at UNICA Network) with invited experts María Rodríguez Alcázar (Board Member of the European Youth Forum) and Rareș Voicu (Board Member of OBESSU) sharing their perspectives, experiences and recommendations. 

Watch the streaming here:

The live stream will be followed by a moderated written discussion, hosting the contributions of our EPALE community members.

The goal of the online discussion is to share and identify together what are

  1. the reasons we need to move towards reskilling and upskilling across the different sectors or age groups and

  2. how can different educational sectors and age groups support this process. 

To achieve this, the discussion seeks to explore questions like:

  • What is the role of each educational sector in the processes? 

  • What are the gaps between different sectors and age groups that either make this process slow or inaccessible?

  • Are there and which are ways to support workers and employers in this process?

  • And, at the core of this discussion, how can we support different generations in empowering each other in this common process?

You are warmly invited to share your experience and initiatives.

Comments are already open, so you can start sharing your thoughts, resources and suggestions.

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Comments

Dear everyone, 

I wish to thank our speakers from this morning and each and everyone of you for the contribution to today's online discussion. 

This is just the formal closing of the discussion, but if you wish, feel free to continue the discussion on the issue by using this space.

Take care and thank you all once more. 

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Seeing the comment made by Ingrida Muraskovska ~ "It is difficult for people of the older generation to start retraining. The skills they need to learn are too different from what they know. It seems scary."

I am more on the NFE youth education and Higher Education sector, but what are your opinions here? I think this is where intergenerational cooperation is highly important. Where civil society and volunteering can bring down this reservations and fears. 

What do you do, when it comes to hesitate people from your target groups?

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I have a question that is relevant at the moment. We have so called service pensions when people can receive pension well in advance (but only in some sectors for particular professions). Government wants to limit these pensions saying that people should requalify for another profession at age 55 and above. Can requalification be mandatory? 

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Hello everybody,

The first thing that we must be clear about is a legislative framework that recognizes criteria to identify age groups, and the needs of each group.

Based on these permissions we must act, with it obviously expert people in training and instructing, according to the needs, so that they integrate into our society, the values, the needs... but always in a real context, what they need, what they need, want and what we can contribute...

Greetings.

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If it's of any help, i think this is indeed vital in putting things in line and kicking off a better framework. One that includes needs assesment and meaningful engagement of the groups (representatives) and their educators and Civil Society organisations. 

 

One side I would recommend the work done by thecouncil of Europe - youth department (- this is on terms of youth sector of course) and the partnership of CoE and EU on the field of Youth 

A lot of recommendations and projects, really highlight how to push for such frameworks and what do take into account while doing so. A successful example is the EU youth dialogue, but we really need something more intergenerational and across different levels - local, regional, national and European. Using the Youth Dialogue and the Conference on the Future of Europe to build something more meaningful and engaging in terms of labor market, workers, social rights and thus also reskilling and upskilling. 

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Yes, true, but I say this from the point of view of being practical, after all, the vast majority of our students are adults, and they come looking for our help so that their merits are recognized, they want to be an active part of citizenship not only from the point of view of their inalienable rights, but also from a labor sense, and these merits are needed to reach the goal of feeling integrated, to be part of the workforce dedicated to the production of goods or services of our economy, otherwise it would remain a utopia. It needs to be recognized in all senses, which is why I am talking about a legislative framework for its training and instruction.

Greetings and thanks for your comment.

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Dear colleagues

Today' s topic is really acute. It leads us also to think how are we all succeeding with the implementation of EC document  Green Paper on Aging.People are aging very rapidly , but at the same time we all  would like to be useful in the development of society and economy.We all are implementing different projects on skilling, up skilling and re skilling,but at the same time we have to analyze  more carefully  how sustainable and effective are these projects.

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Good morning, 

When we discuss these issues, I can't help thinking that probably the problem we have is that we are not yet able to develop true lifelong learning, which accompanies people throughout their lives. Most education and training systems tend to offer education and training programs at certain stages of people's lives but are not able to provide answers for a person's entire life course.

For this reason, I think that we should not continue to talk about education for young people or for adults or for the elderly. Education has to be transversal in our lives.

 

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I would say something that we highlighted in the discussion, is this luck of support to cross-sectorial cooperation and the need to open cooperation between educational sectors. That can help address several of your points mentioned, but at the same time that needs strategic, political and financial planning. 

On one side, bringing all stakeholders together, but at the same time building up schemes and structures that support cooperation but also lead to recognition and validation of learning outcomes of these cooperation. Especially when it comes to labor, reskilling - upskilling and reintroduction to the labor market. 

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I agree Jana with you as to strategic documents, but thinking about relations between  generation and learning we have to pay attention also to informal  education where sometimes the wisdom of seniors is ten times worth than 10 non formal courses.Some seniors need communication in the learning process not to be left alone,they are not thinking about skilling and reskilling,because it is really very important to know what learners need .

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It is difficult for people of the older generation to start retraining. The skills they need to learn are too different from what they know. It seems scary. To involve these people in learning, the "driping" method is useful. Before inviting seniors to the courses, they are shown a certain technique that is practically useful and easy to learn. Then another technique. And so interest gradually arises and fear passes. I watched the application of this method in a seminar, where it looked very easy and engaging.

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Hello everyone,

as already mentioned by many of you in the comments and also in the live stream, learning processes between generations offer opportunities for all different generations.

In this regard I would like to take the chance to point you to our Erasmus+ project "AGE:WISE - Across Generations at Eye Level : Ways to Integrate Seniors by Education" in which we want to, on the one hand support seniors in recognising their personal, valuable competences and knowledge and empower them to slip into the role of a teacher/trainer and pass on their knowledge to the younger generation (specifically Generation Z). Thus, learning with, from and about each other and filling the growing gap between Generation Z and seniors with the means of Interngenerational learning (IGL) is the major vision of the project.

To enable this we are working on different project results:

  • Research report and marketing guideline for adult education institution: the report contains a best-practice example of IGL activities and includes also information on the learning needs of seniors
  • Web platform with self-reflectoin tool: This online tool should help seniors to raise their awareness about their rich pool of competencies 
  • Success Story Videos: motivation should be initiated to take over the role of a teacher by showing success stories about seniors working in the Intergenerational Learning Setting.
  • Trainer package: including guidelines for adult education institutes on how to implement IGL in adult educational institutions and a course setting for the training of senior trainers
  • Learning package: this provides training material for seniors for becoming teachers and trainers in the IGL setting.

Have a look at our website or facebook channel for more information:

 

 

 

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How do you see the acceptance of volunteering in youth groups in the transition to work? 

I have personally volunteered in a youth organisation for many years and this has shaped my choice of studies and also my career aspirations. For me, this was one of the most important influential period and perhaps also one of the most beneficial. In job application processes, however, I have never had the feeling that this activity is taken seriously by employers and that there is an awareness of how much is learned in these settings. 

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In my opinion, as a vestige of the analog past we are teaching people how to use digital tools instead of showinng and teaching how these tools works and interacts with the digital onjects we have to manage on digital world. Maybe one of the skills should be understanding the phisical propierties and the relationships of the inhabitants of this new digital world, you know: digital documents, digital images...

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Hello everyone! Thanks for the interesting discussion! 

A large part of the Bulgarian population has very low digital skills. These are mostly the elderly and people from vulnerable groups because Bulgaria has an ageing population, which is a serious problem and at the same time a big challenge. The problem of low digital skills was particularly accentuated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In order to address the socio-economic consequences of the Kovid-19 pandemic, and in response to the challenges of the increasing digitalization of society and the emergence of new forms of employment and new business models, the Ministry of labor and social policy has launched a project to enhance digital skills, which will be funded under the National recovery and sustainability plan. The priority in the work of the ministry is the improvement of qualification and retraining of the workforce, especially of people from vulnerable groups on the labor market.

The expectations are by mid-2026, 500 000 unemployed and employed people will have acquired digital skills and at least 100 000 unemployed and employed people to get the opportunity to validate their digital skills.

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In the Czech Republic, we have created a methodology and procedures for identifying new competencies required by the labor market in relation to new technological trends.
Regardless of the age of workers, soft skills are important for job performance. Soft competences are always manifested in a certain form of behavior. In the Competence 4.0 project, we proposed a new comprehensive model of 20 soft competencies, including characteristics of their levels (descriptors, behavioral scales).
The project was focused on maximum use of the opportunities that the 4th industrial revolution brings to the labor market in the Czech Republic. The expected contribution is a qualified worker of any age, orientated in new trends and adequately educated.
One of the competences described relates to lifelong learning. Competence for lifelong learning means the ability and willingness to receive new information, to expand one's knowledge and skills, to acquire new skills in the form of self-study or in short-term and long-term educational programs.
Furthermore, the willingness to learn, curiosity and desire for knowledge, expanding one's knowledge and acquiring new skills, the ability to search and find resources and information, to invest time and energy in one's own development on one's own initiative, to use what has been learned in practice.

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Jana, I agree with you on importance of developing soft skills and how imperative they can be for job performance. Gen Z have had access to the internet for their whole lives, resulting in the majority having strong tech skills and being great multi-taskers. However, pair this with the fact that many will have started their careers working remotely due to the pandemic, the return to the office has shone a light on the 'soft skills gap' which is emerging for the generation. The soft skills, which in the long-term will be absolutely critical to the success or failure of these individuals in the workplace. The older generations however are quite the opposite - some sort of cross generational exchange of these soft and hard skills could be extremely impactful in the lifelong learning for all generations. 

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Fully support the idea of co-creating the curriculum by engaging students in designing their education curriculum. Discussion about the goals of the learning and how to achieve them, e.g., selecting topics to dive in deeper, methods, tasks and practical experience to enrich the learning experience would be very motivating and helping to engage students into the learning process. In line with the idea of student centered-learning.

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Hello Everyone,

I'm very glad that you have taken up the discussion on this topic because I have the impression that we are still focusing more on young people and generation Z, which is critical. I'm a big fan of multi-generational teams, I think we don't explore them enough, and they have huge potential. They offer great opportunities for learning and intergenerational knowledge transfer. Empowering each other is crucial but also concentrating on their strengths and building on them instead of escalating differences.

All my best 

Anna from Poland

 

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Hi everyone,

We are about to start the streaming!

We are so glad to see that the discussion has already started on this page. Please feel free to continue exchanging and to address any question or comments to our speakers.

Sara - EPALE Team

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A comment regarding situation at the workplace and the role of employers. My own research about employers in Latvia shows mentorship when more experienced employee educates and supports newly recruited employee is the most often applied employee training method. And also the data by Eurostat (2020) on Continuing vocational training in enterprises show that training during the work process is the most common. Courses, self-training and e-learning courses, conference and seminars, exchanges and training in groups are much less often. So I would like to argue that skills and experience is what counts at the workplace, not age, and that the employers are mainly successfully utilising the existing human capital to develop new, which includes intergenerational training. Most notably in occurs, when interns/trainees are accepted into the companies.

Providing the training on basic skills, however, is challenging at the workplace. Indeed, employers mostly provide specific/professional training, not basic skills. BusinessEurope argues that basic skills is within the remit of formal education system, not labour market. Of course, it is not always possible, so targeting vulnerable groups with limited access to the labour market due to the lack of basic skills should be the priority for state support schemes.

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Each generation brings its own unique skills to the collaboration. For example, younger generations may have more developed digital competence, while older generations may have strong interpersonal skills. Bringing these different generations together in one team encourages the use of creative approaches and finding innovative solutions. Everyone benefits from such intergenerational cooperation, as everyone can enrich themselves in this cooperation process.

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We have been using intergenerational learning for several years in the school where I work. It is an invaluable resource for promoting mutual respect, interest in past events, and a deeper understanding of the meaning of intergenerational collaboration. For example, in history subject, students are asked to interview their relatives about their lived experiences. Everyone benefits from intergenerational learning.

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 I am glad that an essential aspect is being discussed, i.e. promoting the acquisition of skills for different generations. Each generation has particular strengths that differ. In the ageing society, it is crucial to acquire skills and attitudes that promote mutual understanding and the ability to function successfully in age-diverse communities. Both adult education institutions and workplaces must take measures to adapt to the aging of society and prevent age restrictions.

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Thanks for starting this meaningful discussion! Working in a higher education institution, every year, I am more and more faced with the need to rethink the organization of the study process to meet the unique needs of age-diverse students. Demographic changes make educators consider the meaningful involvement of students of all ages in the study process. Educators must create conditions in which students of non-traditional age can learn the necessary knowledge, and develop skills and competences, according to their unique needs.

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Reskilling and Upskilling is an important process in education, but do we also think about senior reskilling and upskilling? What about those seniors having competencies obtained during their lifetime and professional career but are not formally certified and recognized? Portugal is a great example of adult competence recognition and validation since 2005. This helped Portugal to increase the formal number of educated adults by almost 1 million people. But what about other countries and skills recognition of senior learners?  I am promoting Senior University idea in Latvia since 2019, we learned from Portugal and we still learn from this country. I have asked my senior learners whether they have a formal digital skill education certificate. The usual answer is “No, we learned at work”. But this is not sometimes enough to say to employers that a person has obtained this skill at work, sometimes employers ask for the formal papers – lifelong learning certificates,  certified continuous professional education, and University diplomas.  I would like to raise the question of senior competence recognition and validation process as senior adults do not stop working when they retire. They may continue part-time work to socialize and earn additional income.

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In Slovenia, we have an established system of certification of previously acquired and informal knowledge for more than 20 years. More than 100,000 certificates have already been awarded, mainly to older people who have knowledge that they have gained in their professional careers.

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 Prasmju pilnveide un darbinieku pārkvalificēšanās jautājums uz šo brīdi ir ļoti aktuāls, jo kvalificētu darbinieku trūkst un līdz 2025. gadam apmēram 50%  būs nepieciešama pārkvalifikācija. Jau ne pirmo gadu šis jautājums veiksmīgi tiek risināts projekta  8.4.1. «Nodarbināto personu profesionālās kompetences pilnveide» ietvaros. Nākotnē jādomā par elastīgu sistēmu pieaugušo izglītības attīstībai, gan paredzot ilgtspējīgu finansējumu (t.sk. valsts budžeta finansējumu pieaugušo izglītībai), gan pārskatot nodokļu politiku un darba likumdošanu, dodot tiesības uz apmaksātām darba dienām mācībām. Runājot par Latgales industriālo tehnikumu, uz šo brīdi veiksmīgi realizējam kvalifikācijas paaugstināšanas kursus būvspeciālistiem un citām ieinteresētām personām, kā arī sākam sadarboties ar uzņēmumiem, apmācot un tādējādi paaugstinot darbinieku kvalifikāciju.

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Unfortunately I am not able to join the discussion on Thursday. However, I would like to take the chance to refer to the Erasmus+ projects "Dreamlike Neighbourhoods" and "invisible talents", which aimed at fostering social participation of older people and making their skills, interests and valuable contributions to their communities visible. 

Both projects are presented in the publication of the EPALE conference "Life Skills" (p62 & 63).

The general motto of our projects is: “Everyone has something to give, and everyone can contribute to the community – age has nothing to do with it.” Experiences gained within the projects are also summarized in Handbooks, available at the project website: www.invisible-talents.eu and www.dreamlike-neighbourhood.eu. A very lively example of how older people shape their communities and bring in their interests, personalities and enthusiasm in their neighbourhoods is also the short video, in which our participants give an insight into their "Chat at Hofferplatz" – an activity in our EU project "Dreamlike Neighbourhood". I wish you an interesting and inspiring discussion on Thursday and am looking forward to your feedback and ideas!

Anita Rappauer, queraum. cultural and social research, rappauer@queraum.org

 

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Dear Anita, thank you for sharing really valuable insights! I will explore web pages project website: www.invisible-talents.eu and www.dreamlike-neighbourhood.eu

We - Latvia Senior University and NGO Project Net, work with senior learners at projects ADULTS 50+, WOMEN 55+, HEALTHY 50+, GEN Z friendly Seniors. This experience and also senior interest to learn and share their experience is leading us now to Intergenerational Silver Incubator development in 2023. This will be a common online and onsite platform to meet idea and business idea promoters across many generations - Baby Boomers, Gen X, Y, Z.  I will contact you on e-mail provided in a near future! Kind regards, Iveta Cirule, EPALE partner, Senior University Coordinator, naturalproducts@inbox.lv 

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Manuprāt, strādāt kopā dažādām paaudzēm ir izaicinājums, bet tajā pašā laikā ļoti liels ieguvums. Viena paaudze no otras var mācīties un kopā apgūt jaunas prasmes. Kolēģi ar lielāku dzīves pieredzi un stāžu var palīdzēt jaunajam kolēģim apgūt organizācijas kultūru, bet jaunākie kolēģi var palīdzēt ar IT lietām vai svešvalodām, ja ir nepieciešamība. Kad sāku strādāt pašreizējā darbā, man bija izcila mentore-kolēģe (57 gadi), kura man ļoti labi palīdzēja iejusties jaunajā kolektīvā, bet es savukārt viņai palīdzēju dažādās digitālajās platformās, kur bija kas nesaprotams. Arī viena otru motivējām mācīties un piedalīties profesionālā pilnveides kursos.

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Ērika, lieliska ideja, ka mūsu seniori varētu mācīt latviešu valodu, arī attālināti! Tikai  dažreiz mani studenti Senioru universitātē ir ĻOTI aizņemti un viņu grafiks saplānots pilnai dienai. Kā saki studenti - mums nav laika, visu laiku kaut kas jādara)))) Bet gan jau kāds atrastos, kas varētu šo misiju uzņemties, sazinamies, jauku svētku laiku, Iveta 

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It's great to learn about the discussion. I'm a lecturer teaching English at university level. We are in an era in which learning languages are so important. I heard about seniors practicing English with learners from their senior home room . I've been thinking about this brilliant idea and how it can be spread to many languages and people across countries. Looking forward to hearing other ideas, perspectives and potentials. 

Best.

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Reskilling and upskilling usually refers to vulnerable groups, e.g., unemployed, migrants and senior citizens who lack necessary skills to survive in the modern society. The solution is usually to teach them the skills they are lacking. Nobody is interested in skills they already have and can share. This creates a vicious circle of seeing deficiencies in people and trying to "fix" them, which makes the 'clients' of adult education feel even more helpless: "Look at me, I am 65 and I need a training to fill out an online form for tax return!" 

The way to avoid this vicious circle is to involve vulnerable people in sharing their own skills, give them an opportunity to contribute to society and gain respect for their knowledge and experience. This will bring them closer to the young generation and empower them to gain more 21 century skills. 

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Man šķiet, ka faktiski piedāvājums mācībām un pārkvalifikācijai ir ļoti plašs, bet lielākais aspekts ir tajā jautājumā, cik par šo iespēju uzzina tie,kam tas būtu adresēts un cik no viņiem saņemas vai uzdrošinās to izmantot. Neformālās un pieaugušo izglītības centri un atbalsta personas cenšas informēt savas teritorijas iedzīvotājus par iespējām, bet šeit rodas dažādi škēršļi, tiem,kas vēlas to izmantot. Vecākā gadagājuma cilvēkiem tās nereti ir ierobežotas IT prasmes un piekļuve atbilstošām tehnoloģijām, jo lauku teritorijās daudzi vēl lieto parastos podziņu telefonus un "nedraudzējas" ar datoru. Viņiem atrast motivāciju braukt uz pilsētu un piedalīties aktivitātēs nereti šķērslis ir gan sabiedriskā transporta ierobežota pieejamība un tam sekojošās finasiālās izmaksas vai tīri cilvēciskais kūtrums. Vislabākais risinājums ir "pieejamība uz vietas" un vismaz sākumposmā atbalsts IT apguvē. Šķiet, kur problēma- bet piemēram mūsu biblitēkā ir pieejams apmeklētājiem tikai viens dators, tas pats lēns kā gliemezis. Jā, skolā ir datorklase, bet lai to izmantotu pašvaldībai ir jābūt labajai gribai to atļaut.. It kā sīkumi, bet ja pašvaldībā vadošie šaubās vai vispār tāda pieaugušo izglītība ir nepieciešama atbalstīt no pašvaldības resursiem, jo cilvēkiem taču ir viss tik pieejams e- vidē, tad paliek skumji domājot par iespēju izmantošanas pārklājumu...

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I provide a google translate translation of this very relevant comment:

It seems to me that actually the offer for training and retraining is very wide, but the biggest aspect is how much those to whom it would be addressed learn about this opportunity and how many of them receive it or dare to use it. Non-formal and adult education centers and support persons try to inform the residents of their territory about the opportunities, but there are various obstacles for those who want to use them. Elderly people often have limited IT skills and access to appropriate technologies, as many people in rural areas still use ordinary payphones and do not "make friends" with computers. For them, the limited availability of public transport and the subsequent financial costs or purely human laziness are often an obstacle to finding the motivation to go to the city and participate in activities. The best solution is "local availability" and at least in the initial stages support in learning IT. It seems that there is a problem - but for example in our library there is only one computer available to visitors, it is as slow as a snail. Yes, there is a computer class in the school, but in order to use it, the municipality must have the good will to allow it.. As if it's small things, but if the leaders of the municipality doubt whether such adult education needs to be supported from the resources of the municipality, because everything is so accessible to people in the e-environment , then it becomes sad to think about the coverage of using the options...

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Intergenerational learning is great for providing opportunities for reciprocal learning, but also for building community cohesion and breaking down some generational barriers. Looking forward to hearing how it can help in re-skilling and up-skilling older adults, especially with the new generations bringing different values and morals.

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