European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN) was established in 2007 within and from funds of the “Lifelong Learning” programme as operation continuation of an Expert Group on lifelong guidance created by the European Commission in 2002.The idea to create the Network was presented during the conference “Building the stepping stones. Conference on lifelong guidance policies and systems” organised by the Institute for Educational Research at the University of Jyväskylä (Finland) in November 2006.
The Network consists of all EU member states, including Poland. Principles of creation and operation of the Network are specified in the document “Establishment of a European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network”.
The primary objective of the ELGPN is to support development of lifelong guidance provided by education sector institutions, public employment services and their partners. Activities of the Network are funded by the European Commission within the Lifelong Learning Programme.
The main tasks of the ELGPN include:
- EU lifelong guidance policy development,
- exchange of experiences between network members having influence on national lifelong guidance policy (including organisation of study visits and workshops (the so-called clusters) and thematic groups),
- development of a system monitoring progress in implementation of the EU Council resolution on lifelong guidance,
- initiating research and analyses, among others with participation of CEDEFOP, oriented towards specific tasks connected with lifelong guidance policy,
- development of tools enabling making comparative analysis of lifelong guidance development in different countries.
Poland has been participating in works of the Network since 2007. Since the beginning, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy has been performing the function of the national contact point. Ministry of National Education is a partner of the MLSP.
Meetings of the ELGPN are organised twice a year. In accordance with established practice, they take place in the country which holds the Presidency in the Council of the European Union.
In the meetings participate national representatives of the ELGPN who represent ministries of education and labour of EU members states and countries outside the Community (Croatia, Turkey, Serbia). European Commission as well as partner institutions and networks, that is CEDEFOP, ICCDPP, IAEVG, ETF and FEDORA are actively involved in activities of the Network.
Work programme for years 2011-2012 is based largely on issues concerning occupational guidance as an integral part of the EU 2010 strategy and issues connected with 6 sectors: education, vocational education, higher education, continuing education, employment and social inclusion.
Members of the Network have decided that the work programme for years 2011-2012 should be based on four priorities indicated in the EU Council Resolution of 2008. Therefore, works should be carried out by four Task Groups (consisting of 10-12 states each):
- encouraging to acquire lifelong career management skills (Task Group WP1),
- facilitating access of all citizens to guidance services, including recognition of previous experiences related to learning (Task Group WP2),
- encouraging to apply cooperation and coordination mechanisms in guidance policy and systems development by particular entities concerned at national, regional and local level (Task Group WP3),
- developing evidence base and systems of quality assurance applied in works on guidance policy and systems development (Task Group WP4).
Poland is involved in works of groups WP2 and WP3. In works of the Group WP2 takes part a representative of the Department of Labour Market, while a representative of the Department of Vocational and Continuing Education of the Ministry of National Education participates in works of the Group WP3.
The ELGPN is an example of a significant progress in supporting development of national lifelong guidance policies in Europe. Since the network is led by EU member states, it is an example of an innovative application of the European open method of coordination.
More information about works of the network: http://ktl.jyu.fi/ktl/elgpn