An international seminar organised by Cedefop’s Study Visits team examined how migrants, minorities, older workers and people with lower skills can successfully navigate the challenges of the labour market. A full report is to be published later this year.

Participants in the seminar worked together to develop solutions to the challenges that vulnerable adult learners face in finding work. They discussed twenty-nine examples of good practice selected from the Member States. 

These are some of their conclusions on how policymakers across Europe can help such groups:

  • There is a need to provide Individualised services - information, guidance and counselling. Practitioners directly working with vulnerable adults should receive appropriate training. 
  • These groups should be involved in the design, development, delivery, management and evaluation of services meant for them. 
  • The smoother recognition of skills acquired abroad will go a long way toward integrating migrants in high-skilled occupations, and generally makes better use of their skills in the country where they live. 
  •  Measures must be taken to improve participation rates in continuing vocational education and training of people facing transitions within the labour market.  Groups which traditionally have low participation in training, such as the low-skilled and older workers, should be specifically targeted by such measures.  
  •  Older workers (55+) should be encouraged to stay in employment rather than leave the labour market early. But to do so successfully, they should have access to opportunities to improve their skills at any stage of their working life. 
  • All stakeholders – social partners, governments, education and training providers, labour market stakeholders, civil society organisations – need to be aware of their own role in helping vulnerable adults participate in learning and enter the labour market.

Project presentations and discussions focused on ways to support vulnerable adults to overcome the challenges they face, to make full use of their knowledge, skills and competences,  to take part in lifelong learning, to have their skills recognised, and finally to have access to meaningful and rewarding employment. 
The seminar was held on 6 and 7 June 2012 in Thessaloniki.  Cedefop will publish the outcomes in December 2012.