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Guidance and outreach for inactive and unemployed

These reports on guidance and outreach for the upskilling of vulnerable groups were prepared by Cedefop’s ReferNet network. They are part of the series Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspectives and complement other available general information on VET systems by country.

Many young people and adults in Europe are unemployed and not engaged in learning processes. They are also frequently beyond the reach of traditional employment and educational measures, having been inactive for long periods. Standard policies tend to be ineffective in these cases and tailored measures must be developed to successfully reintegrate individuals in learning and employment. Outreach measures are growingly necessary to track and reengage the hard to reach and vulnerable in combination with career guidance support.

Outreach measures are distinctive aspect of high quality guidance policies for the support of groups at risk, consigned by the European Guidelines for Policies and Systems Development for Lifelong Guidance. The integrated role of lifelong guidance and outreach is also underlined by the Estonian Presidency Communiqué on the future of lifelong guidance.

These reports inform on efforts done by Member States to reach vulnerable groups affected by unemployment and inactivity and help them reengage in learning and employment. They particularly focus on the support provided to young adults not in employment, education or training (NEET) and adults undergoing long term unemployment (LTU). Whenever possible, efforts to develop large scale outreach programmes are described.

These reports provide an important characterisation of current opportunities and challenges which member states face across the EU to develop outreach and guidance support for vulnerable individuals. This exercise has particular relevance for the national take-up of initiatives under the New Skills Agenda, particularly the Upskilling Pathways – New Opportunities for Adults.  The Upskilling Pathways urge member states to integrate skills assessment measures with flexible learning and validation solution, ascribing a key role to guidance services and outreach measures.

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