EAEA's new statement outlines the mutual benefits of the European Social Fund (ESF) and adult education, and presents recommendations on how to improve the ESF.
The European Social Fund (ESF) is a central funding tool for non-formal adult education in Europe. Adult education contributes to supporting the objectives of the ESF, and in turn, the ESF supports adult education in a number of ways.
Adult education supports and promotes the implementation of the objectives of the ESF by providing transversal and generic skills. These skills lead to an improved access to employment, and what is more, to the creation of better employment opportunities and new ways of working.
Adult education can also improve the adaptability of workers to new work environments and needs. It promotes social inclusion and reaches out to those who are furthest away from learning. It creates links between people, communities and the labour market and fosters the ongoing development of human resources and long-term employment. This helps to make the EU 2020 strategy for “generating smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in the EU” a reality.
EAEA outlines in its new statement the mutual benefits of ESF and adult education. While adult education and the ESF mutually reinforce each other, the ESF does have room for improvement. EAEA consulted its members to ask them about their experience with ESF-funded projects, and based on their responses collected recommendations on how to improve the programme.
REASONS WHY THE ESF IS IMPORTANT FOR ADULT EDUCATION
1. ESF promotes policy reform at national and regional level
2. ESF makes innovation in adult learning and education possible
3. ESF enables tailored programmes for specific target groups
4. ESF fosters cross-sectorial and transnational cooperation
5. ESF promotes the professional development of staff in adult learning and education
RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOW TO IMPROVE THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL FUND
1. Give the providers a say in the design of projects
2. Make the administration and management of ESF projects easier
3. Take the needs of the target groups into account and protect private data
4. Avoid too narrowly-defined target groups
5. Improve the accessibility of adult education organisations to ESF
Read the full EAEA statement!