Nordic Contact Seminar
on guidance for low-skilled adults
Held in Reykjavík, Iceland 9 - 10 November 2016
On 9-10 November, the Nordic + Erasmus National Agencies in Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, Nordic EPALE, the Nordic Network for Adult Learning (NVL) and Euroguidance in Iceland held a contact seminar with participants from all the Nordic countries. The aim was to establish contacts with potential future partners on an Erasmus Plus project. From my country Sweden came about 5 participants.
According to the EU's new skills agenda has 1/5 of adults in Europe, minimal or just basic literacy or numeracy, 2/5 of the population has low or no digital skills and 1/4 of adults lacking high school. In order to participate in public life in Europe these skills are required. As I see it, it becomes a question of democracy and with this in mind; something has to be done in the future, if we will be able to get a society in which people can participate equally and where labor can be brought together with available jobs.
The seminar lasted for 2 days of which the first day included various interesting lectures and workshops. In total, about 85 people participated during this day. Issues discussed were how to reach the target audience and how to use modern technology and social media in outreach. We, who work professionally with training and guidance of adults, must ask ourselves these questions: Where are the people who are in need of education and how do we reach them? During the day we got a few options for this. My favorite was the Danish Professor Peter Plant who in a committed and caring manner told about new and different ways of guidance, to make contact with the short-educated adult workers in their workplace.
Jaana Kettunen, researcher from Finland talked about how we can use social media for outreach. Is social media the new arena where we as professionals have to be present to find people in need of guidance and education? How are we supposed to act not to scare people of in this sphere? And how are we supposed to keep up with the development in this area?
In summary, the first day of the seminar landed in that the professional part of society needs to start thinking outside the box if we want to find ways to people who do not voluntarily seek out educational and vocational guidance or training.
The second day of the seminar, we were led, around 50 participants, in a furious pace through the formation of a project before an application for an Erasmus Plus project. I was impressed by the moderator's ability to bring us as far in the process, given the limited time we had available.
The group that I attended was working out a project idea that involves tailoring education in different areas and topics that can be used flexibly by companies, organizations or individuals in order to match labor market and different business needs.
Today's market and the inhabitants of European countries require education to be flexible and available. How do we do this the best way? This project idea is a way to try to meet the need for skills and also to make the education flexible so that those people, who for various reasons are not able to come to school, still may develop the skills required for employment in Europe today.
Sara Nilvér, authorised teacher, Vuxenutbildningen Landskrona