The European Council has repeatedly stressed the key role of education and training for the future growth, long-term competitiveness and social cohesion of the Union. Recently, the Council agreed that 'any solution to youth unemployment required a combination of policies and sectors, and that young people need the right skills for the labour market. Stronger cooperation between education and training providers, social partners and other relevant parties should be promoted to support a smoother transition from education to work' (3144th Council meeting, 10 Feb 2012).
Of key importance in enhancing learners' employability, entrepreneurial potential and familiarity with the working world are partnerships between education and training institutions and employers. As stated by the Council of the European Union (9876/09), “competitiveness and growth of Europe's economy could be improved by putting the knowledge triangle to work, notably by developing partnerships between employers and education and research institutions which are aimed at fostering innovation and ensuring its transfer into practice.” In this way, employers' knowledge and experience can be used, in the course of the lifelong learning process, to help each individual acquire the knowledge, skills, competences and positive attitude towards work that will support his or her chances of finding a suitable job or starting his or her own business.
To achieve this, the education element of the knowledge triangle 'research-innovation-education' should be strengthened, starting early – in schools. The competences and learning habits acquired at school are essential for developing new skills for new jobs later in life (SEC(2008) 2177); (2006/962/EC & 2010/C 117/01)). To develop these competences while retaining grounding in basic skills, schools have called for a more flexible learning environment, such as new pedagogies and cross-curricular approaches to supplement single-subject teaching. ICT is a great enabler to implement modern curricular and innovative approaches. Importantly, it provides the needed flexible learning environment that promotes LLL.
The project will exactly target these critical needs: adaptation, development, testing, implementation and dissemination of new teaching methodologies and pedagogical strategies for use in the classroom and including the development of materials for use by pupils. The project will also find strategies for stronger cooperation among stakeholders in order to improve students' skills.