Being one of the most active NGOs in Bulgaria, since 2000 Integra® Association joint following international projects under

Lifelong learning program (2007 - 2013);
Socrates Program;
Leonardo da Vinchi Program;
Joint Action Program - Ldv,Socr,Youth;
Community Action Program to Combat Social Exclusion 2002 - 2006;

Preventing exclusion of senior workers: New roles for adult education providers (NEWROLE)

Socrates program, action GRUNDTVIG 2

September 2003-July 2005

Coordinator: GRETA AMPERE-Pole Bourse, Lyon, France
Partners from France, Norway, UK, Spain, Italy and Bulgaria

Final products/Results


In the context of an ageing Europe, a striking change on the European labour market is the sharp drop in the labour force participation of older workers. Research findings shows that a significant proportion of older workers have been excluded from the labour market. Many older workers face a high risk of being marginalized or excluded in the future. The increasing exclusion of older workers is attributable to a variety of causes, one of them being lack of adequate competencies and skills.


The NEWROLE project addresses this problem area by focusing on the interplay and relations between employers, older workers and the adult education providers in selected local contexts of the partner countries. The partnership takes as its point of departure, that adult education providers can play a more important role in combating the exclusion of older workers from the labour market in the future, given that new models for collaboration between employers, older workers, relevant public authorities and adult education providers can be developed.
Based on an action research methodology, the NEWROLE project has begun to map the situation in the partner countries. It has already identified that there are areas of similarity and good practice that have the potential to be shared between partners and in certain circumstances contribute to different approaches in the development and delivery of educational support to older workers seeking to remain in, or re- enter the labour market. In the second year of the project it is intended to further develop these initial outcomes and identify a number of specific pieces of work that can be used to test out the examples of good practice in each partner country. It is intended that the partners in the group will now begin to act as a peer support and review group to provide help and support as appropriate. At the conclusion of the second year of the project it is intended to develop a checklist of good practice that would be available to a wider audience that will provide resources to other educational organisations seeking to develop strategies to work with older workers that may be at the risk of being excluded from the workforce.

Final Products/Results

The results from the project are too early to assess reliably, but some of the results so far are: Each organisation has developed a better understanding of the range of situations and circumstances that can affect the ability of the older worker to participate in the labour market. Differences between rural and urban settings have been identified. Transnational similarities and differences in the organisation of adult education and the extent to which lifelong learning is a characteristic of those older workers in employment have been identified.

Statistics and other data describing the opportunity for older workers to participate in the labour market and the system and organisation of adult education providers' offers and practices have been collected. Partners have developed guidelines and a common framework to facilitate discussion among the partners and with different stakeholders in the local fields.

The Internet has been used as a tool to facilitate access to and the exchange of information. As a medium it has supported a standardised framework for the exchange of information that will be developed during the next phase of the project.

At this stage this project has identified a number of common themes that will affect the opportunities for older workers to participate in the workforce. The second phase of this project will explore further these issues and therefore the report to be produced at the end of the second year will identify any specific issues that need to be addressed at either a national or European level.

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