Context

According to the Third Demography Report of the European Commission, the percentage of people over-65 is predicted to rise to over 30 percent of the total population in 2060. This means that ageing of our society is a fact. However, this shouldn't be seen in a negative way, but rather as an opportunity for new forms of solidarity. To this regard, it has to be highlighted that senior citizens are increasingly involved in volunteering activities. As a matter of fact, the number of older people volunteering is increasing all over the European Union.

Volunteering is an opportunity, not only to be socially active and to feel part of civil society, but it is also a way to gain skills and competences. Volunteering can be considered as a natural learning environment, especially for those that fall out of the formal educational sector or that find it difficult to re-enter the labour market. Therefore, in order to improve their options should they decide to re-enter the labour market it seems fundamental to properly validate those competences.

For this reason ValidVol intends to take advantage of the significant experiences that have been made across Europe on validation of non-formal and informal learning, through volunteering. Thereafter, ValidVol will develop a system that could be used validate the key competences acquired by senior volunteers.

In so doing, "ValidVol" intends to contribute to the creation of instruments, models, and schemes which validate and clearly identify the key competences that have been gained by volunteers.

Providing this recognition could motivate senior volunteers to be involved in additional adult learning activities and may also facilitate or improve their employability.