Position of EARLALL on the review of the 2016 Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning
POSITION OF EARLALL ON THE REVIEW OF THE 2006 RECOMMENDATION ON KEY COMPETENCES FOR LIFELONG LEARNING
The Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning adopted in 2006 by the European Parliament and the Council sets out eight key competences. The review of the Recommendation is part of the New Skills Agenda for Europe and is linked to ET2020, including the Copenhagen process on vocational education and training (VET), the European Agenda for Adult Learning and the Agenda for Modernisation of Europe’s Higher Education System. The review also related to the European Pillar on Social Rights, and it contributes to the achievement of United National Sustainable Development Goal 4 “Education 2013”.
We acknowledge the importance of the common framework and welcome the update and the objective to deliver a relevant tool that can assist stakeholders at local, regional, national and European level in adequately addressing new societal challenges.
First, the number of older adults grows all over Europe unevenly. And the access to volunteering of this target group is not stimulated if the older adult’s richness and capacity are not understood nor recognised. Secondly, the number of immigrants from Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere is higher than any time before in recent history. Third country nationals come with very different backgrounds, which means that they often lack needed competences for a satisfying livelihood in Europe, and have other competences which are not noticed or recognised here.
With the demographic changes accompanying the growing number of older adults and immigrants, it seems to be counterproductive to narrow the concept of Key Competences to skills for labour life. Europe needs more than ever to include these growing groups in society by making the most and the best of their competences for the benefit of our society. By only focusing on competences needed for employability, policies will not be developed to value and take advantage of the existing competences of these target groups, and, thereby, won´t make use of an overall potential for soft integration and cohesion, nor realise how lifelong learning can create true citizenship and worthy intergeneration.
In today's European situation, it is important to emphasize inclusion and cohesion in the competences framework. Diversity and differences between people need to be seen as an asset and not as a problem, and, in this context, understanding and learning are more important factors than ever. Lifelong learning needs to be lifelong, and not just limited to school time.