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New micro-credential on Employment Skills

Madrid, Spain, 07 February 2024

JA Europe, the largest provider of education programmes for entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial health in Europe, is thrilled to announce the launch a new project funded by the European Union (EU) under Erasmus+ Forward Looking Programme, EMPASS: The Employment Skills Pass, a Quality Standard for Faster Transition from Education to Employment.

This innovative initiative aims to equip young people with the tools and qualifications necessary to thrive in today's dynamic job market. JA Europe is leading a consortium of 14 partners in charge of developing the new micro-credential empowering young Europeans to develop and validate essential employability skills, and at the same time addressing the evolving demands of employers across Europe.

The new micro-credential will be developed in collaboration with leading experts in education and industry, through a partnership ranging from different national JA organisations, representatives of the business sector as well as technical and vocational education (TVET) providers. Building on the existing training experience of the project consortium partners, the new micro-credential will have a focus on soft skills and TVET, and will be delivered through a combination of online assessments and practical challenges. The micro-credential obtained upon successful completion of the programme will demonstrate the candidate’s work readiness along specific skills and competences to potential employers.

At the occasion of the EMPASS project kick-off, Salvatore Nigro, CEO of JA Europe, said: "JA Europe is excited to develop a new micro-credential for employability, building on the success of the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass (ESP)". He added: "Thanks to the generous support of the European Union, we can now offer young people especially in TVET a flexible and practical way to enhance their soft skills and demonstrate their work readiness effectively.”

Diana Filip, Deputy CEO of JA Europe, welcomed consortium members at the kick-off event in Madrid, saying: “The EMPASS project will be a game changer in that it empowers Europe’s youth to take charge of their future and contribute positively to the European economy. Together with our consortium partners, we will build a new assessment and certification tool that will build bridges between education and employment and facilitate the youth’s transition from education to employment."

The EU's support for developing a new micro-credential underscores its commitment to fostering a highly skilled workforce capable of driving economic growth in Europe. The EMPASS project objectives align closely with the New Skills Agenda for Europe and the Digital Education Action Plan, which recognise the need for innovative, learner-centered approaches to education and skills development.

As part of the initiative, JA Europe will leverage its extensive network of 42 member organisations across 40 European countries, to pilot and implement the new micro-credential on a large scale, reaching thousands of young Europeans each year.

About JA Europe 

JA Europe is the largest and leading organisation in Europe dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed. For over 100 years, JA Worldwide has delivered hands-on, experiential learning in entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial health. In the last school year, the JA Europe network provided 6 million learning experiences for youth in online, in person and blended formats.

Press and media contact at JA Europe: Minna Melleri, Chief of Advocacy and Growth minna@jaeurope.org)

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