Project outcomes
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The main goal of the current project proposal is to improve the recognition of formal and informal learning acquired through work experience in SMEs as an important part of lifelong learning. This will be achieved by carrying out of research on informal learning practices going on at the work place, identifying the main problems in the partner countries related to promotion and recognition of informal learning, providing methodology with concrete tools for evidencing and recognition of owned knowledge and competences.
Development of procedures for recording and recognition of competences acquired in non-formal and informal circumstances to promote life long learning has been defined at European level as one of the factors to achieve the Lisbon strategy objectives. Therefore this project is considered part of a larger programme since the intention of the partners is that the results from its implementation i.e. the developed methodology will be the essence of another bigger project proposal which will be submitted under another call for proposal.
The concrete objectives of the partnership are as follows:

  • definition of key concepts concerning non-formal and informal learning in SMEs;
  • dentification of problems, needs and constraints in Bulgaria, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium on the topic;
  • exchanging, analyzing and comparing good examples of policy practices concerning recognition of non-formal and informal learning throughout Europe;
  • developing and offering a methodological guide for employers and employees helping to detect, recognize and support different learning approaches;
  • ensuring access of the target groups to the methodology that will be developed;
  • assessment, refinement and consolidation of concepts, recommendations and conclusions for  strengthening polices
  • evaluate the project and consider the wider implications and applicability of the project’s outcomes.

The target groups at which the project aims are: SME owners, SME managers, HR managers, employees, SME consultants. The developed under the project methodology will be also useful for people who have been kept away from the labour market for some time and want to start again their professional activity such as parents who have raised children, people recovered from sickness, prisoners once set free, etc.
The project addresses two groups of problems related to recognition of non-formal and informal learning. The first group of problems is related to SMEs and their owners. On the one hand, SMEs are poorly informed about the benefits of and need for assessment of competences acquired in a non-formal and informal way. On the other hand, the lack of human, temporal and financial resources very often is a major obstacle in adopting procedures for assessment of competences and skills as practiced by large enterprises. The ignorance of those problems weakens the competitiveness of European SMEs and is a barrier for the transition to knowledge based economy.

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