Having the necessary skills to manage your own career is now of considerable importance as the European employment market continues to move toward more high-value, high-skilled employments. Career management skills are almost like a 'new literacy' and those within the workforce, especially those in low-skilled or vulnerable employments, who do not have the ability to develop and manage their own career progression pathway face uncertain futures as the employment market evolves.
Processes of social change such as globalization and new technologies are reshaping the structures of working life creating new models of work and generating increasingly diversified expectations where occupational skills, social competencies, and learning are concerned. There are now a host of new learning environments and opportunities available to adult learners and workers that offer them affordable and accessible, on-demand learning opportunities to help them satisfy the new competence expectations of their employers. Across the world, society is changing and the rate of change is accelerating. Flexibility and adaptability linked to lifelong learning are the keys to adjustment to such change.
The development of guidance services for adults within the workforce is a topical concern. Dramatic changes in work structures are placing demands on adults to rethink their careers on an on-going basis. Continuously updating skill-sets and competences is an essential pre-requisite for retention and mobility in an increasingly competitive global environment.
ACUMEN will provide a wide range of educational materials that are designed and developed with the latest digital technologies and platforms in mind. The ACUMEN consortium comprises 9 partners representing 8 EU Member States. The consortium is led by the European Learning Network in the UK and supported by Meath Community Rural & Social Development Partnership (IE); Synthesis Centre for Education and Research (CY); Libera Universita Maria SS Assunta (IT); BEST Institut fur Berufsbezogene Weiterbilding und Personaltraining GmbH (AT); Future In Perspective (IE); ttg team training GmbH (DE); Innoventum Oy (FI) and Reintegra (CZ). The consortium partners propose a completely new approach for the development of career management skills and resources that considers:
career management as a subject to be taught
as a set of competences to be developed and updated
a skill set to be used and re-used throughout one's working life
It considers career management skills as key factors that will ultimately define the achievement or non-achievement of a sustainable career. It sees career management skills as key determinants of social and economic well-being. Traditional career guidance, although still relevant and important as a school-based or institution-based service, is wholly unsuitable to meet the needs of adults already in the workforce. There is a considerable gap in the market for freely available and easily accessible career management training resources to help adults take control of their own career path.
The Career Management Skills Framework for Scotland, published in July 2012, describes career management skills set around 4 themes of Self; Strengths; Horizons; Networks. This framework will be the basis for the ACUMEN project and consortium partners will develop a complete suite of tools and resources that address each of the above themes and support adults within the workforce or those seeking employment to identify an appropriate career progression pathway.