Euro-Aspire ran from November 2009 to October 2011 and developed an innovative European competency framework for trainers using creative expression in informal and non-formal learning environments.
The project investigated how informal / non-formal learning – through the performing and visual arts, media, production and design – provided a bridge from educational and economic exclusion to inclusion, new learning and employment in the European creative/cultural industries.
Discussions between partners of Euro-Aspire highlighted excellent scope for increased impact by transferring & building on best practice in this field. Several aspects of creative informal and non-formal learning promoted enterprise and innovation within the arts/creative industries. However, it was not easy to measure learning through traditional educational approaches in these industries. Organisations in this sector typically provided structured learning in a non-formal setting, some of which was externally validated – but much of it was not.
The project explored these factors to develop a common European solution recognising competences and qualifications gained through informal and non-formal settings, and to provide a framework that could be used throughout Europe.
The core results from the project were:
• A body of research into the characteristics of learning and training programmes in the creative/cultural sector, which motivate learners who are excluded or disinterested in formal learning pathways;
• Training methodologies identified and published, for creative pathways from informal and non-formal learning to accredited learning and formal education;
• An action learning network of managers / trainers working in the sector to identify common competences;
• The identification of validation methodologies from creative industry employers. The project allowed us to validate the skills of trainers in Europe’s informal and non-formal learning sector in the creative industries, to better support previously disengaged learners.