The Annual Conference of the Lifelong Learning Platform on “Lifelong Learning Culture: A partnership for rethinking education” took place at the crossroads of Bulgarian and Austrian Presidencies of the Council of the EU. On 5-6 July over a hundred representatives from the education and culture sectors including political representatives, civil society organisations, academics and practitioners gathered in Vienna (Press Release).

Soft-Skills for Lifelong Learning: ICARO project

Europe needs to place a greater focus on its citizens’ transversal skills, as described in the Key Competences for Lifelong Learning, to increase their employability, but also and especially, to make socially included and active citizens. However, skills and competences in Europe are only recognized within the context formal education, and thus there still persists the need to make all learning visible and to validate skills acquired from other learning environments.

The Innovative Curriculum on Soft-Skills for Adult Learners (ICARO) Erasmus+ funded project is working to develop an innovative online curriculum which will include transversal skills into unemployed adult learners training, as the described in the Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. Even more, ICARO is working with long-term unemployed adult learners, low-skilled and people facing difficulties to access to labour market and aims to designing a customised training path adapted to the needs of each participant in order to get their (re)integration in labour market. That’s why EfVET selected this project to be introduced during the Lifelong Learning Platform Annual Conference Gallery Walk. The relevance of soft-skills, and even more for unemployed people, is a priority to increase employment rates.

EfVET informed to LLLP delegates about the last ICARO updates. Right now, partners are working on the collection of soft-skills assessment tools. This tool is targeting adult educators who have been unemployed for a long term and with a need to reinforce their basic skills. Besides, finishing the “Soft skills assessment toolkit” and first draft of the “Training curriculum.”

Some of LLLP delegates were interesting in the development of the Innovative Curriculum on soft-skills for unemployed adult learners which underdevelopment. The main questions raised were focused on how the online training  could improved employability, and how ICARO partners are thinking to involved other stakeholders. Replying to this, EfVET team explained that partners are working with Local Action Groups of experts on this field and that the first course will start in October 2018 in Hamburg, in addition of the the online learning platform ( the programme will introduce in 12 modules).

The participants were impressed by some of the outputs results which highlight the need of soft skills/competences that unemployed adult learners are lacking and are being the most important for the improvement of their training and increasing their employability.

Ms. Ricarda Motschilning, representing the ICAE (International Council for Adult Education) and Mr. Per Paludan Hansen (President of the European Association for the Education of Adults) showed their interest in ICARO. AfterwardMr. Per Paludan Hansen expressed his commitment to disseminated the training curriculum/handbook through the European Association for the Education of Adults network.