”There is evidence of multiple exclusion for particular groups of disabled people in European labour markets (…). People without formal education are at higher risk of unemployment and under-employment. Therefore the impact of education on equality and access to jobs is important, not only formal education but ad hoc and lifelong learning.” (The labour market situation of disabled people in European countries and implementation of employment policies. Greve, Denmark 2009.)
“Promote inclusive education and lifelong learning for pupils and students with disabilities” is one of the 8 areas of action defined in the “European Disability Strategy 2010–2020”. Validation of non-formal and informal learning offered by EQF/NQFs is one strategy towards increased equality for these learners who often can’t pass formal VET and thus attend non-formal courses.
Improved recognition of competences and qualifications was also the idea of the former project "NQF Inclusive", coordinated by Chance B: Formal VET programmes were "downsized" on NQF levels 1 & 2 by adapting learning outcomes. Also a model for recognition of basic VET via NQF was designed. By doing so 3 problems were figured out:
- Not all learning outcomes can be downsized on lower levels (e.g. giving injections).
- These learners’ competences are often very heterogeneous – their learning outcomes range between levels 1 and 3, but only those at the lowest level will be recognised.
- Going through a whole VET programme at once often overtaxes trainees.
Therefore modularisation of basic VET programmes and a model for recognition of units is necessary to enable learners going their individual learning path as stated by the EU: “(…) NQFs can become the basis for a credit-based system where units of assessment can be combined (accumulated) into whole qualifications (…).” (Added value of National Qualifications Frameworks in implementing the EQF. 2010).