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Project Outline

The importance of the social and health care sector will increase due to demographic developments. However, many European countries face the difficulty of a shortage of qualified labour in health and social care. Germany, for example, currently has a lack of employees in this field, and this problem will increase over the next years. Estimated figures predict a lack of 193.000 qualified workers in 2025. In 2005, there was already a lack of 39.0000 workers (destatis: press release, 06.12.2010). Italy and Belgium face the same situation. This is one of the main reasons why the sector of health and social care will play a crucial role on the employment market in the near future. The sector can provide manifold as well as numerous job opportunities for young and less qualified people as well as for immigrants, especially for women.

However, the European systems for acquiring vocational qualifications in this field differ significantly. Common standards of assessment, description of learning outcomes and personal transcripts would significantly improve professional permeability and mobility within the sector of health and social care. Until now, there are only a few regulations for the recognition of learning time - but no guidelines about the recognition of already achieved learning outcomes. According to the experiences of AFBB, about one third of the graduates in the profession "Sozialhelfer" would like to work in the field of elderly care. The relevant law, the "Bundesaltenpflegegesetz", allows shortening the vocational education and training for the profession "Altenpfleger" for this target group from 3 to 2 years. However, these demands have not yet been met and the given opportunities are used seldom. Comparing learning outcomes of related professions in the field of health and social care with the aim of promoting permeability and mobility has not yet been implemented.

In the three participating countries, Germany, Belgium and Italy, this project will provide the comparisons of the learning outcomes of several selected professions. It will supply the methodologies and tools for assessing, validating and transferring learning outcomes from formal, non-formal and informal learning.

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