ValidVol: Validation of Key Competencies in Voluntary Service Organizations

ValidVol will develop a system that could be used validate the key competences acquired by senior volunteers.

Grant Agreement Number: 539302-LLP-1-2013-1-IT-GRUNDTVIG-GMP

Funded by:  Lifelong Learning Programme, Grundtvig      Duration: 01/2014 – 12/2015  


Challenge

In its Third Demography Report (April 2011), the European Commission revealed that the percentage of people over 65 increased from 13.7% in 1990 to 17.4% in 2010, while it is predicted that in 2060 approximately 30% of EU’s population will be aged over 65.

The ageing of our societies should not be seen in a negative way, but more positively as it presents a wealth of opportunities for new forms of activity and solidarity. Active ageing includes creating more opportunities for older people to continue working, to stay healthy longer and contribute to the society in other ways.

Volunteering represents one of these opportunities, as it is an effective way to promote citizenship, fight social exclusion, enhance employability and, at personal level, raise self-esteem. It is an opportunity not only to be socially active but also to gain skills. The recognition of the key competencies gained through volunteering can empower, as well as raise the self-esteem of elderly volunteers, and make volunteering more attractive.

Innovation

The project ValidVol aims to increase the employability of people aged 50+ by encouraging them to take up volunteering, as a way to provide social service to their local community. The programme will contribute to the creation of systems, models and schemes, which validate and clearly identify the key competencies gained by individuals through their work in the voluntary sector.

Action

Development and testing of a system which validates the key competences of senior volunteers, at European level, aiming to achieve a better recognition of volunteering as a “natural” learning environment and a complement to formal education and training.
Drafting and publication of a handbook for operators in charge of the validation process, which will explain the validation system.
An international training seminar addressed to operators that will use the validation system. Participants in the training session will be 5 operators coming from each partner organisation and their national network for a total of 25 persons.
The three international seminars will take place in Newport, Barcelona and Athens, with the aim to favour the exchange of information and best practices on validation of key competencies.
In each partner country there will be established a national network of stakeholders, such as voluntary service organizations, training agencies and vocational schools, NGOs, professionals in the educational sector, policy makers, local, regional and national authorities, employment offices, trade unions, and employers’ associations. The main objective of the network is to sustain the implementation of project activities in the country.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Project Partners

KMOP – Social Action and Innovation Centre

Universita del Terzo Settore (Italy) (Project Coordinator)

BFI Oberosterreich (Austria)
Asociacion de Personas Participantes Agora (Spain)
North West Regional College, Derry-Londonderry (UK)

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