Interview with project manager Lelde Abele
Most important achievement in 2016
A new flagship initiative “BSR SMART LIFE” (BSR Lifelong Learning for Smart Specialization) in Action 4 “A society of longer lives” of the PA Education Action Plan, was initiated by Vidzeme Planning Region (Latvia). First initial meetings of the flagship have been held and the most important stakeholders have been gathered in order to share their experience and knowledges. The consensus among the involved stakeholders is achieved about the focus of the flagship and main issues to be tackled as well as specific aim of the flagship and necessary actions to reach it.
The demographic change with an aging population, calls for recruitment of personnel that can fill gaps when the present workforce reaches retirement age. Labor markets are changing and they demand workforce that shows constant growth and development of skills in order to keep up with the new technological and market advances. The availability of lifelong learning in a region is one of the most influential factors in its socioeconomic development.
The importance of working in partnership among all stakeholders has resulted in a common project concept note for Seed Money Facility. It was only the first step seeking for funding to realize the planned activities. The concept note focused on the lifelong education in the region of Baltic Sea that is closely linked to the concept of smart specialization. Adult education programs should be elaborated in coherence with the needs of labor market of the regional industries and according to the business environment and culture. A common understanding was reached that attention should be directed not only to education of employees, but also to education of business managers and human resources managers who are the ones that encourage their employees to further their skills and competences.
Flagship concept in practice
The initiative brings together partners from Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and Germany working together to identify the necessary improvements in the lifelong learning domain and to implement them in the Baltic Sea Region. The “BSR SMART LIFE” is an emerging flagship initiative, so far process is ongoing and other stakeholders on local, regional and national levels, in public and private sector who are in some way related to the field of adult education are welcome to get involved to develop the initiative further. Next workshop will take place in the beginning of 2017 in Lithuania. All institutions interested to take part are welcome to join in by contacting Vidzeme Planning Region.
Challenges when implementing flagships
The first main aspect is - in all countries are different experience working with lifelong learning education and not for all countries is clear vision where to go by the lifelong learning education. Also to gather stakeholders from different countries with different experiences is of course challenging.
The contact person for the Flagship is Lelde Ābele, Project Manager at Vidzeme Planning Region. Contact information for further communication: (Phone) +371 64219022; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org