Becoming unemployed is not a pleasant life experience for most of us. A much more unpleasant experience is staying in this position for many years. Finding a job in the labor market is especially successful for those who know how to choose from the current offer, have education and qualifications. But what about those who lack education and qualifications?
We started the project aimed at supporting the education of the unemployed under the age of 29 in October 2018. A survey in January 2019 showed that 41,204 unemployed under the age of 29 were registered in Slovakia, almost half of whom had only primary and lower secondary education.
Many years of experience in the field of consumer education have shown us that consumer education as a cross-sectional education of financial and media literacy, environmental and legal education is attractive for all age groups, because it is based on real life and has immediate application. We developed this idea into an international project with partner organizations in Italy, Greece, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Over the course of two years, we identified the educational needs of the unemployed, created case studies of consumers’ everyday lives, and proposed a strategy for developing and measuring the development of key competencies.
Despite the problems of pandemic influenza, we tested the individual parts of the educational program in each country. Case studies created from contemporary life have supported the willingness of the unemployed to learn to make efforts on various activities, to solve tasks and problems, to cooperate, to communicate and to use what has been learned in real life situations. The unemployed expressed an interest in participating in further education and expressed that this form of education helps them to better express ideas, communicate and present their own attitudes. Discussions with the unemployed have confirmed that the consumer education program has supported their interest in further education, recognizing the importance of lifelong learning and its impact on life chances.
The current system of financial support from the state allows the unemployed to prepare for specific positions in the labor market. The question is what educational opportunities are created for those who have only primary and lower secondary education and are not interested in these specific position? The results of the project Development of key competences of adults through an innovative program of consumer education are a call for discussion with the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family.