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Project

 

 

Why is this project necessary?

In Switzerland, as well as in the majority of EU countries, data on access to lifelong learning and trends of unemployment provide evidence of risks of exclusion engendered by the lack of a qualification. Low qualified workers has 5 less chances of the most qualified to participate to lifelong learning; their unemployment rate is more than double if compared to the average one. Despite openings and good purposes embedded in the new VPET Act (2004), aiming at facilitating permeability of VET/PET streams and the upgrading of qualifications, the lack of an initial qualification still remains a reality in Switzerland for at least 10% of the workforce, a quota that seems to be difficult to reduce.

 

Migrants (both 1st generation ones and youngsters of the 2nd generation, which are often “drop out” from the Swiss school system) are clearly over represented amongst groups at risk of exclusion, due to some factors, such as the low level of recognition of prior learning outcomes and qualifications achieved in their countries of origin and at the workplace in Switzerland, difficulties encountered in finding an apprenticeship and in gaining an initial qualification in Switzerland, and last but not least the complexity and rigidity of qualification pathways enabling adults recovery an initial Vet qualification or validating prior learning outcomes, acquired in non-formal and informal settings.

More than 50% of not qualified workers in Switzerland are foreign residents; only 20% of them, as in Germany, Austria or France, have an access to lifelong learning. Achieving recognition of learning outcomes could represent an important asset for all the people at risk of exclusion: it is a means for preparing a qualification, it enhances self-confidence, participation to lifelong learning, employability. Therefore it assures social cohesion and competitiveness. Gaining a qualification, however, still remains difficult for this people.

 

The Swiss regulatory framework, based - as the German or Austrian ones - on a holistic vision of qualifications, hampers the recovery of a qualification by people at risk of exclusion, as witnessed by the studies and by the reality of how competences are built up and put in practice in the world of work. Job experiences normally lead to partial qualifications, that should be taken in account and accredited. ECVET principles, and the VQTS Model, can effectively contribute to this scope, and more in general to cope with the above mentioned problems.

 

 

 

Aims and objectives

The project aims at implementing and using ECVET principles in order to facilitate access to lifelong learning and qualifications of migrant workers not having a qualification and paying hard difficulties in let their competences and skills be recognized for lifelong learning purposes and access to the job market. The project will address a specific and emblematic sector, defined by professional profiles included in the area of cleaning services (covering a large number of qualifications, such as “Employé en intendance AFP” , "Gestionnaire en Intendence CFC”, "Agent de propreté CFC", etc. only in Switzerland), in which many not qualified migrants (especially women) actually work.

 

The project aims at facilitating the innovation of qualification procedures in all the countries, through exchanges and transfer of good practices: i.e. between France and central European countries, particularly Switzerland, where more open and flexible procedures allowing the recognition of prior learning are currently in the implementation phase. The project will address the strategic objectives defined by the Call, as far as ECVET priority is concerned. Operational aims:

• adopt the VQTS Matrix in order to compare existing qualifications in the cleaning sector and decline them in units of learning outcomes, interfacing the definition of a comprehensive qualification profile coherent with professional regulations of the branch (see procedures defined by art. 32 and 33 of the VPETA);

• define a comprehensive modular system of qualification, including procedures for assessment, transfer, validation and accumulation of learning outcomes achieved in formal, informal and non-formal settings, according to Professional regulations and Guidelines for Validating learning existing in Switzerland and in the partner countries

• define appropriate and flexible means for gaining complementary learning needed for achieving a whole qualification, valuing experiential and workplace learning;

• develop operational partnerships involving stakeholders and key actors of the above mentioned sectors, in order to test and consolidate units and assessment procedures (Guidelines) in the framework of adults qualification pathways (both based on validation of prior learning outcomes and following traditional routes); this objective could be of the utmost importance for delivering suggestions to the Swiss decision makers (implementation of principles embedded in the new Federal law on CVT).

 

 

 

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