On February 26th at the headquarters of the European Commission, representatives of Employers of Poland presented Marianne Thyssen – Commissioner Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility – with a white paper on continuous education in SME’s in the context of maintaining the employment of seniors. The document was elaborated during two years of cooperation between Employers of Poland with business and education organizations from Spain, Belgium and Slovakia.
Partners of the project presented conclusions from the exchange of experiences regarding lifelong learning and continuous training and their impact on the labour market. Starting with the premise that financing the social security system requires prolonged job activity, participants concluded that a new outlook on career development and learning in the course of a career are needed. The key element of the proposed approach to human resources is lifelong learning and its component: continuous vocational training (CVT). The importance of informal education was also emphasized, as was the need to develop a validation system for this form knowledge and skill acquisition.
The following practical solutions were recommended:
– promoting and supporting mentoring programs in companies, including financial and tax mechanisms;
– skill pooling: a program where an older, more experienced employee in a large company is delegated to handle some tasks and advise at a small or medium enterprise;
– training voucher: financing the participation in training, rather than the organization of training.
Within the framework of cooperation with the co-authors of the white paper a publication summarizing good practices from partnering countries will also be elaborated. It will present solutions pertaining to: evaluation of training needs, skill development strategy, financing training, evaluating and certifying skills acquired in informal education and informal learning, as well as the participation of employers’ organizations and trade unions in managing continuous education in SMEs.