The levers of social change, such as globalisation and new technology, are affecting many aspects of life. In turn, this creates new models of work and generates an increasingly diverse range of outcomes, bringing professional, educational and social skills to the fore. Careers guidance is in many ways the "new literacy", particularly for those who hold unskilled or at-risk jobs, and do not always possess the skills needed to manage their career progression when faced with an uncertain future dictated by the evolution of the labour market.
Developing services to help working adults manage and enhance their professional skill set is therefore a central concern. The challenge lies in ensuring that jobs and mobility are protected in an increasingly competitive global environment.
A European project called ACUMEN is responding to this challenge by creating a wide range of educational materials designed and developed to utilise the latest technology and digital platforms.

The International Consortium
Funded by the ERASMUS+ programme (Project Ref. No. 2016-1-UK01-KA204-024334), the ACUMEN Consortium includes 9 partners representing 8 EU member states (UK, Ireland, Cyprus, Italy, Austria, Germany, Finland, Czech Republic).
The consortium is led by the European Learning Network in the UK and supported by Meath Community Rural & Social Development Partnership (IE); Synthesis Centre for Education and Research (CY); Libera Università Maria SS Assunta (IT); BEST Institut fur Berufsbezogene Weiterbilding und Personaltraining GmbH (AT); Future In Perspective (IE); ttg team training GmbH (DE); Innoventum Oy (FI) and Reintegra (CZ).

In order to help individuals develop the skills required to manage their careers, the consortium proposes an innovative approach that includes:

  • career management as a subject that can be taught
  • a set of skills to be developed and refreshed
  • a skill set to be used and re-used throughout one's working life
  • career management skills as a key factor in defining if sustainable professional development has been successfully achieved
  • career management skills as the determining factor in social and economic wellbeing

The ACUMEN project is based on the four themes outlined in the Career Management Skills Framework for Scotland, published in July 2012: Self, Strengths, Horizons, Networks. ACUMEN aims to develop a set of educational tools and resources that can respond to each of the themes set out above, in order to help adults in work and those looking for a job to identify a suitable route for their career progression.

The project will last for 24 months from 1st September 2016.

Research team:
Professor Gabriella Agrusti
Professor Maria Cinque
Valeria Damiani
Elisa Muscillo