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EPALE - Platforma electronică pentru educația adulților în Europa


Workplace basic skills learning

de EBSN CBS Editor

/ro/file/workplace-basic-skills-learningworkplace basic skills learning

Workplace basic skills learning


The report „Promoting Adult Learning in the Workplace“ of the ET2020 working group on adult learning is about policies that promote or facilitate any adult learning that takes place at, or prepares people for, the workplace: 

  1. Adult learning for the workplace is when adults obtain the skills and competences needed to successfully obtain and keep jobs and progress in their professional careers. So, it can refer to preparatory learning, for instance, taking place in VET institutions.
  2. Adult learning at the workplace is the learning that adults undertake while working, or while at the workplace. The skills and competences they acquire may not necessarily be those needed for work. 
  3. The workplace in this sense can also function as the ‘outreach strategy’ by which specific groups of adults are approached with learning programmes.

This online discussion will focus specifically on the 2nd and 3rd bullet points. Participants will be asked to answer some of the following questions:

  • How developed is Workplace Basic Skills Learning in your country or region? 
  • Can you shortly describe any policy and programs you know, which include this type of offer?
  • What are the challenges these programs meet in your country – or would, in your opinion, meet if they existed?
  • How can such programs assess their impact?
  • How should such programs deal with the challenge of motivating and engaging both learners and company leadership?
  • Do you know of any specific policy that targets SMEs for this type of learning program?
  • What sort of training of trainers is needed in this field?
  • What are in your opinion the main success factors for Workplace Basic Skills Learning?

The online discussion will start at 12:00, 7 October and finish at 17:00, 8 October. The event will be moderated by Graciela Sbertoli. The results of the online discussion will contribute to the elaboration of further outcomes of the Capacity Building Series e.g. the forthcoming MOOC on Workplace basic skills! Join us here on this platform!



The Capacity Building Series of EBSN provides free open educational resources (OERs) and massive online courses (MOOCs) through EPALE, to help the implementation of the European Commission recommendations on Upskilling pathways in EU Member States. EPALE is funded by the Erasmus+ programme, as part the European Commission’s ongoing commitment to improving the quality of adult learning provision in Europe. The project is implemented with the support of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).
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Se afișează 1 - 10 din 22
imaginea utilizatorului Etelberto Costa
Thanks for your questions. Lot as been done but still...much more to do!
 Are company leaders aware of the need to not only teach digital tools but actually increase the level of functional literacy among their workers?  
In Portugal, even more than the EU, 96% of companies (i prefer organizations, to include public and social sector that is extremely relevant in my country) are sme´s and 51% of their leaders as no basic skills or even a secondary level of studies. They learn (and they are mostly very good entrepreneurs) by doing and the new government elected (elections were last sunday) has on its programme an action line for them. But still---we have to actuate as well on the agencies and institute leaders (private associations and public) in order to emphasize the importance of their action on this field.  The new EC leaders must also focus on this point and be very wised about the mistification that sometimes misleads the purpose and makes the same solutions on different terms and the resources are always short.    
imaginea utilizatorului Etelberto Costa
“And we need to change the culture of education towards lifelong learning that enriches us all”. (Ursula von der Leyen, candidate for President of the European Commission).
It is a great challenge the changing of our Education systems and furthermore of our Training offers. However the means are in place and also the needs. So what is missing? Why the change is not being so speedy as IT advances, like machine learning and deep learning are suggesting? From Learning the Treasure Within by Jacques Delors, UNESCO, 1996 to the ‘Learning for Well-being’ paradigm (O’Toole 2016) we had a long pathway for adapting skills and  STILL change in Training systems are still beyond the request (everywhere at every moment). We are ready in EU to give @workplace basic skills  whenever the person wants and needs it. Trough digital means of course (yes, this includes the emotion and social proportion!). It is mentioned in the new comissioner candidates that all means are favourable to this upskills momentum, including MOOC's explicitelly. No, i'm not a guardion of digital learning but don't like to see EU not miving forward on this field.! 
imaginea utilizatorului Graciela Sbertoli
A lot has been done (an enormous lot, actually) to promote flexible work place based learning, also through the use of digital tools. The problem is, as always, that there is a great difference between putting in place policies, systems and structures and really changing the way of thinking of the population. Exactly as Alex Stevenson points out in its contribution (see below).

I know you are involved in the new literacy developments in Portugal, Etelberto. How do you see the place of basic skills in company-based learning? Are company leaders aware of the need to not only teach digital tools but actually increase the level of functional literacy among their workers?  
imaginea utilizatorului Alex STEVENSON
Hi all, 

The following case studies, recently collected by the National Learning and Work Institute, illustrate some different approaches to basic skills learning in the workplace in England:

However, although we could locate some interesting examples, it was more notable that these were the exception in terms of current practice.  Generally, we found that there is currently a lack of focus by providers on basic skills for adults in the workplace, in part due to reductions in funding and changes in the focus of wider policy for literacy and numeracy.  At the same time, employers are largely unaware that basic skills provision can be fully funded for employees aged 19+ through the statutory entitlement to basic skills provision in England, and unaware of the benefits that the provision can bring to employees and their business.  So there appears to be little external demand on providers to offer workplace basic skills.  We are currently developing resources to help address the issues from both the provider and employer perspectives, which we hope will help boost the amount of basic skills learning offered in the workplace.


imaginea utilizatorului Graciela Sbertoli
The examples of good practice are very valuable - but even more interesting are the facts you point out, particularly the lack of awareness about the need and the lack of information about possible ways of funding. These issues are so central to the implementation of the Upskilling Pathways! We seem to need a focus on awareness campaigns...
imaginea utilizatorului Anita Apine
Jau pieminētā Nodarbinātības Valsts aģentūra sniedz atbalstu konkurētspējas veicināšanai darba tirgū un īsteno aktīvos nodarbinātības pasākumu, reaģējot uz izmaiņām darba tirgū, kā arī balstoties uz bezdarbnieku vajadzībām, spējām un vēlmēm. 
Atbalsts darba meklējumos: CV/vakanču portāls, karjeras konsultācijas, profilēšana, pamatprasmju apguve, mobilitāte.
Prasmju pilnveidošanas un apmācību iespējas: neformālā izglītības programmas, apmācība pie darba devēja 
Darba pieredze un nodarbinātība: subsidētā nodarbinātība, pagaidu sabiedriskie darbi, atbalsts uzņēmējdarbības uzsākšanai.

Aģentūras mājaslapā redzams, ka nodarbinātības valsts aģentūra nepārtraukti piedāvā pieteikties dažāda veida kursos: apgūt svešvalodas (angļu, vācu, krievu, zviedru, norvēģu valodu ar/ bez priekšzināšanām); valsts valodu ( atviešu) atbilstoši pamat/ augstākajam valsts valodas prasmes līmenim; datorprasmes grāmatvedībā, "C" kategorijas autovadītājs; Datorzinības (ar/ bez priekšzināšanām); Corel Draw Graphics; Web risinājumu izstrāde; traktortehnikas vadītājs; kategorijas traktortehnikas “Meža mašīnas, ekskavatori, iekrāvēji un speciālās pašgājējmašīnas”; Aprūpētājs; Mazā biznesa organizēšana (160 st.); Auto CAD; Klientu apkalpošanas operators; Grāmatvedība (160 st.); Projektu vadība (160 st.); Mazā biznesa organizēšana (160 st.); Lokmetinātājs metināšana ar mehāniskām iekārtām aktīvas gāzes vidē (MAG); Pavāra palīgs; Loģistikas darbinieks; Autodiagnostiķis. 

imaginea utilizatorului Graciela Sbertoli
Not just basic skills
The State Employment Agency, mentioned above, supports the promotion of competitiveness in the labor market and implements active employment measures in response to changes in the labor market, as well as to the needs, abilities and wishes of the unemployed.
Job search support: CV / Job Portal, Career Counseling, Profiling, Key Skills Training, Mobility.
Skills development and training opportunities: non-formal education programs, employer training
Work experience and employment: subsidized employment, temporary community service, start-up aid.

The Agency's website shows that the State Employment Agency is constantly offering to apply for different types of courses: foreign languages ​​(English, German, Russian, Swedish, Norwegian with / without prior knowledge); the official language (cooled) according to the basic / advanced level of proficiency in the official language; computer skills in accounting, category C driver; Computer science (with / without prior knowledge); Corel Draw Graphics; Web solution development; tractor machinery manager; category "Forest machines, excavators, forklifts and special self-propelled machines"; Caregiver; Organization of small business (160 hours); Auto CAD; Customer Service Operator; Accounting (160 hours); Project management (160 hours); Organization of small business (160 hours); Arc welding with mechanical equipment in an active gas environment (MAG); Cook's helper; Logistics Officer; Car diagnostician.

See: https: // # eyJvZmZzZXQiOjQxNSwibGlta ...
imaginea utilizatorului Graciela Sbertoli
I realize the importance of all the other skills mentioned, but I am particularly interested in the fact that you do mention key skills - which I guess does include basic skills.

The reason we insist on this, is that the lack of a functional level of literacy and numeracy in low-qualified workers is to a large extent still a hiddeln problem in most European countries.

No work-based qualification program will be completely successful unless policy makers, implementers, company leadership and teacjers/trainers truly understand the issue!

Let's hear more about how this works, both in Latvia and other countries!
imaginea utilizatorului Laura Austen-Gray
The significant yet hidden levels of illiteracy you mention certainty hold true in Ireland. Ireland's National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) explains this problem clearly and succinctly on this webpage, discussing comparative literacy rates and the perceived stigma attached to illiteracy that prevents many seeking literacy education. 

One of the many ways NALA have been successfully reaching these individuals reluctant to avail of help (often for fear of losing their jobs or of stigma) is through working directly with employers. NALA asks employers to complete "four simple actions which will help you to help your workers, and improve your business at the same time.

Action 1: Scan your working environment – this gives you a general idea of how frequently different basic skills are used in your workplace.

Action 2: Think about the job – you break down the tasks involved in specific jobs where you employ people, and work out what basic skills they need to carry out particular activities.

Action 3: Think about the people – you identify strengths and weaknesses in how employees do their job, and identify problems which might be a result of problems with basic skills.

Action 4: Decide how to help – depending on what you learn from Action 2 and 3, you offer employees a suitable basic skills support strategy, chosen from a menu of options."