The Young Generation in an Innovative, Inclusive and Sustainable Europe

Budget: €9,450,000
Deadline Date: 28-05-2015
Programme: Horizon 2020
MAX Co-funding rate: 100%
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Topic: Lifelong learning for young adults: better policies for growth and inclusion in Europe

Specific challenge: It is obvious that investing appropriately in lifelong learning will contribute to overcoming the economic and social crisis and meeting the Europe 2020 targets on employment, poverty reduction, education, sustainability, innovation. The need and markets for adult education (after initial education and training) are thus likely to rise in the coming years. However, despite sustained attention over the years, adult education in Europe remains inadequate. Firstly, it is now well documented that those who are more in need of adult education, such as young, unemployed, low skilled, disabled and vulnerable workers, actually benefit less from adult education opportunities than other more advantaged groups. Secondly, the costs of adult education are footed largely by enterprises and individuals/families while the public resources invested are largely less than the private ones: this fragmentation actually shows the persistent weakness and ineffectiveness of adult education policies.

In this context, it is important to review thoroughly the situation of adult education in Europe and look for ways to take the most out of the numerous initiatives taken by a large number of often isolated actors. Such policy and programme learning should as a priority address young people, in particular those with low levels of basic and functional literacy, those not in education or training or those in situations of near social exclusion, who could be helped much more effectively if adequate adult education policies were designed.

Scope: The research will address adult education in general (for all ages), with a specific focus on young adults and vulnerable groups (from an indicative age of 18 and after leaving initial education and training)after entry into working life.. It will consider the complementarity between public policies and dynamics of private markets in the EU market and will analyse actors, dynamics, trends, mismatches and overlaps. A historical perspective on lifelong learning (e.g. in the 19thcentury urban areas) will add to a comprehensive analysis.

The research will identify successful programmes which are demonstrating to improve learning outcomes, particularly those reaching out to young adults at risk of social exclusion and other vulnerable groups, and address their transferability to other countries/regions. Diversity issues (gender, culture, ethnicity, language etc.) should be considered as well.

The research will also address the learning potential and innovation ability in workplaces (organisational models that favour innovation ability and innovative oriented training) and the effectiveness of learning actions.

The action should help to set-up a cooperation mechanism between the various agencies doing research and collecting data at international and European level for developing synergies and avoiding overlaps. It will reflect on existing taxonomies and indicators and on their appropriateness to sustain European strategies. It will investigate the feasibility and possibly develop an Intelligent Decision Support System (policy making modelling) for simplifying the access to information and support policy making in the different phases of the policy cycle. It will develop a systematic impact analysis of adult and continuing education policies linking it to forecasts for demand of skills in the future.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1.5 and 2.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: The research will harvest the potential of existing and generate new scientific knowledge in order to create synergies and cooperation amongst the main international and European actors collecting data and doing research in the field in order to compare and analyse adult education across Europe.

An ‘Intelligent Decision Information System’ will facilitate the access to scientific evidence for policy making so to support them in correcting the distortion of the adult education and continuing training market, show how to reduce barriers that hamper access to opportunities for various levels of population and locations, identify appropriate financial measures for supporting individuals and companies, ensuring an effective and fair distribution of resources, reduce mismanagement and corruption. The analysis of the past and current policies impact will be linked to forecasts for demand of skills in the future.

The research will advance knowledge on specific aspects linked to adult education such as specific policies and programmes for young people that have demonstrated an improvement of their labour insertion and reduced their risk of social exclusion, organisational models encouraging innovation in the companies, application of various psychological and behavioural sciences outcomes to adult education, transmission of skills and knowledge between workers, informal learning and the efficiency of private markets. In essence knowledge gained will be useful to reduce the deprived situation of most vulnerable groups that are normally less involved in adult education.

Type of action: Research and innovation actions

Topic:The young as a driver of social change

Specific challenge:Meeting the challenges of the ageing population and a transformation into a more sustainable social and economic model, characterised by growing scarcity of resources, greater consideration for the natural environment, living under a shifting climate with uncertain consequences, and more gender equality, necessitates profound changes in the European society concerning our lifestyles, consumption patterns, the way we do business, develop our cities and design our homes, but also the way we build and govern our societies, forge intra- and intergenerational relations and organise our daily lives. These challenges cannot be met without willingness and personal commitment of the individuals who will be forming the core of our future society. The current generations of young people are at the heart of it, as they grow up and get educated in the society of new paradigms where, contrary to the situation their parents and grandparents faced, rapid population ageing is a reality and sustainability is at the top of the agenda, especially with rapid development of emerging economies.

Scope:Research should analyse the norms, values and attitudes of young people in Europe, as well as their expectations and attitudes regarding public policy and organisation of economic, social and private life, including the organisation of cities and space more generally, as well as the types of business ethos and their different roots. This should include young adults of different ages and sexes, and coming from different geographical, socio-economic, ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, taking into account both individuals and young families that in particular experience new challenges.

Research should also investigate their attitudes towards a more sustainable socio-economic model and its various features in comparison with older generations, including the evolution of gender relationships. This should take into account the different determinants of youth´s active engagement in developing such model, in order to assess the potential and readiness of young people to be a driver of change as well as their propensity to creative solutions and practices. It should also explore the understanding of young people as a community and identify the opportunities and obstacles that young people see as catalysts and inhibitors of the socio-ecological transition and how they could be addressed by policy in order to foster a sustainable and innovative society in Europe, including through formal and informal education as well as digital and traditional media. Research should examine how change in cultural values could contribute to achieving an inclusive and sustainable society.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1.5 and 2.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:Research is expected to provide important insights into the perspective of socio-ecological transition from the point of view of young people. It will advance our knowledge about young adults in Europe, their values, norms, communities, expectations needs and political ambitions. Through comparison with older generations, research will identify the intergenerational differences regarding the organisation of economic, social, political and private life in Europe. This will contribute to public policies designed to meet the challenge of transition into a more sustainable economic, political and social model that would at the same time respond to the needs and expectations of young people. At the same time it will identify the areas where education could play a role in shaping attitudes of young people towards the necessary evolution of our lifestyles.

Type of action: Research and innovation actions

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