BellTime Magazine BellTime 11-5 - Page 17

BellTIME Supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union Modernising Europass A new start for Europass On the 4th October 2017 the European Commission adopted a proposal to revise the Europass Decision. This follows the recognition that changing trends in the labour market and the rapid changes in technology have impacted on the Europass framework. The decision acknowledges that Europass must change to maintain relevance for all end users in a modern context. In the European Commission's press release announcing the revision of the Europass Decision they stated: "With this revision, the {European} Commission aims to simplify and modernise (Europass) for the digital age and to add a new feature using big data to map and anticipate labour market trends and skills needs." Where are we now? Although the New Europass has not been finalised, work has already started. The Europass Advisory Group (EAG) is a committee of representatives of EU member states and beyond. It includes representatives from the National Europass Centres and partners who work with other European initiatives. Quality and Qualifications Ireland and the National Centre for Guidance in Education are jointly representing Ireland at meetings of this working group. 32 During the EAG's first meeting in September 2018, it mapped out the plan of action for the New Europass with the idea to launch in 2020. The EAG will meet over the next two years to plan the improvements and run expert workshops to develop the tools further. What is the New Europass going to include? The Europass Advisory Group set out a plan for the next two years emphasizing that Europass needs to evolve in line with the demands of end users. A new Europass web platform or portal will be created, moving away from paper documents which will enable allow users to create their own Personal Environment/account. This has been labelled the e-Portfolio for the time being. This e-Portfolio will contain a personal profile about the user's skills, qualifications, work experience and record the individual's lifelong learning. The e-Portfolio should form a base which allows for importing and exporting of digital information in whatever form future labour and education market needs dictate, utilising technologies of the future. Importantly the data contained in the online environments could also (with compliance to data protection) provide big data for the purposes of informing policy on education and labour market needs. 33