Workplace BS

Improving literacy and numeracy skills in the workplace for low-level educated adults, especially refugees and migrants

Over the past years, the issue of “basic skills” has gained particular attention in most European countries. Of particular concern is what is generally called ‘functional literacy’ and ‘functional numeracy’. One of every four adults in Europe fails to reach minimum literacy levels for coping with everyday life.

Project information

Funding program

Erasmus+ KA2. Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices. Strategic Partnerships for adult education.

Project funding

294.232,00 €

Project duration

01/11/2018 – 28/02/2021

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Europe has faced an unprecedented influx of refugees and migrants. Although most member states have started to provide language trainings, a very large proportion of these individuals have very limited literacy and numeracy skills which prevents them from integrating into the culture of their host countries and from participating at the labour market.

In this light, the recommendations of the European Basic Skills Network (funded by the European Commission) promoting basic skills programmes to combat social exclusion are more relevant than ever. They include “… labor force participation, use of literacy skills in the workplace, participation in adult education and training … Programs in these areas would have a positive impact on the literacy skills.”

Demand for unskilled and low-skilled workers declines as a result of technical change, which requires more advanced skills. Employers also confirm a requirement for better communication and social skills than are generally present in low-skilled workers. The increasing complexity of work processes requires better literacy, numeracy and communication skills also at lower work levels, especially to meet quality and safety aspects.

The overall objective of our project is therefore to improve literacy and numeracy skills in the workplace for low-level educated adults, especially refugees and migrants. The specific objectives are:

  • • to develop Workplace Basic Skills materials for literacy, numeracy and communication training in construction, cleaning, tourism and care;
  • • to design Workplace Basic Skills Guidelines for Trainers with information on the target group and how to train social and communication skills particularly required in these professions. Moreover, they will focus on European work ethic and how to consider equality and democracy aspects in all parts of the training process;
  • • to take into account aspects of diversity, especially of the cultural and social background of the learners, for their better integration into the European society;
  • • to provide these environments at an e-platform and through mobile applications as a very useful incentive for learning, especially basic skills, because there is noticeably less stigma attached learning ICT than attending an alphabetization course;
  • • to focus however on important social and communication skills and convey European working values and attitudes;
  • • to introduce cultural competences and by promoting democratic values into the basic skills training which focuses on basic skills needed at the workplace in four distinct sectors. In this way, our project promotes inclusion and fundamental values through education – a way to prevent violent radicalization, and the integration and social inclusion of refugees and migrants into their new environment will be facilitated. • to provide all materials in English and all languages of the partnership, and additional explanations and motivational and didactic background also be produced in Arabic and Pashtun


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