The competence subject is a key item in the policy and learning environment programmes of the European Community and very often it is one of the main topics in the discussion and programming agendas. Very recently (March 2014) Cedefop organisation launched a survey “European Skills Survey (eu-SKILLS)”, with the scope to better understand what are the competences preferred by the labour market and how they are utilized. Cedefop will present the survey’s findings in 2015. From the European Community policy perspective, the initiative "New Skills for New Jobs", inside the "Europe 2020" development strategy, aims to:

> promote better anticipation of future skills needs;

> develop better matching between skills and labour market needs;

> bridge the gap between the worlds of education and work.

Particularly significant for this project (LEVER) is the item “Forecasts by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP)”.

It defines the eight key competences that everyone should have to thrive in a knowledge society:

1. communication in the mother tongue;

2. communication in foreign languages;

3. mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology;

4. digital competence;

5. learning to learn;

6. social and civic competences;

7. sense of initiative and entrepreneurship;

8. cultural awareness and expression.

The rationale of this project is focussed on the mutual, shared recognition of these eight key competences, in particular:

> the communication competences;

> cultural, social and civic;

> learning competences and social entrepreneurial skills.

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The general scope of the project is summarized in its title: "Modelling informal learning and transversal competences in the voluntary service experience to increase employment and mobility of citizens - LEVER". Therefore, we intend to begin with a European survey to measure the level of awareness on this opportunity, expressed by the voluntary service world and the world of work. Namely, the opportunity to consider the voluntary service as a non-formal learning setting, where young people as well as adults can improve their skills, to be validated and certified; consequently, the rotation of work - voluntary work outside the company, as an alternative way of training and learning, recognized by employers and even by schools; hence, the assignment of credits to voluntary service itself as a reality in the near future. The purpose is then to collect good practices and examples to feed a shared model of competence/transversal skills certifications, in line withy EUROPASS (and even coherent with the new EU Parliament directive on non-regulated professions, 2013/55/UE), fostering the virtuous connection between the informal education environment (voluntary environment) and the profit environment, with a special focus on the Small and Medium sized enterprises against the large multinational companies; and provide common guidelines to implement the model and the approach. The project will also stimulate young people and the community to recognize the volunteering experiences as a valid practice for young people personal development and to increase the social unity where they live.



In some EU countries, efficient and well-experimented tools to measure and certify the acquired competences have been already deployed, as stated by the European Inventory report (last issue 2010). However, the implementation level and the competence measure and certification processes are quite different from each other and very often unknown or not recognized in different countries. With reference to the European Guideline for Validating non-formal and informal learning (Cedefop 2009), the aim of this project (LEVER) is to:

> collect all the current experiences developed by the various partners on this topic;

> design, test, implement and disseminate a standard model and process for the measure and certification of the soft skills (namely the above mentioned reference key competences) developed/acquired by volunteers during their activities in the non-profit organisations;

> elaborate recommendations for policy makers to embed the model and the process in the active labour market policies.




The Italian partners have been chosen to guarantee a mix of stakeholders able to really influence the local cultural approach and together facilitate the effective implementation of the proposed model.

The overall partnership has gained experience in the main LEVER areas, namely, recognition and certification of competences acquired in non-formal, informal environments, transversal competences, voluntary service. Moreover, the partners strongly believe in the voluntary service as a relevant learning set for skill enhancement and employability. For the last two years, the Italian partners have been carrying on local projects to foster unemployed people's transversal skill recognition by the labour agencies.

The aim was to value people's attitudes and capabilities and help them become more self-confident (FPM with the Province of Milano and the labour agencies); FPM has also developed the competence certification procedure in Lombardy and carried out a project with CIESSEVI Milano, the public agency offering services... 


expected results


Tangible deliverables and intangible results are expected. Tangible outcomes are:

1) The LEVER cross-national survey. A collection of local experiences and practices on: a) recognition of informal, non-formal learning/prior learning and transversal skills, i.e. certification procedures of competences acquired in non-formal, informal learning environments; transversal skills/competence reference standards/frameworks against which evaluating voluntary service competences; the application of the ECVET system and the EQF. b) examples of voluntary service experiences as effective learning paths and sets for the enhancement of competences/transversal skills, as well as virtuous experiences from companies able to integrate voluntary service initiatives into their training programmes;

2) The LEVER e-book: a) a summary of the best practices/state of the art detected by the survey...