Under the 'Investing in People: Education; Knowledge and Skills,' the European Commission(EC) has issued a call for proposals for "Developing Technical and Vocational Education and Training Methodologies and Services for the Informal Economy." EC's Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) earlier supported just those involved in the formal economy system. However, under this funding program, it is extending this to informal workers under its broader approach of reducing poverty and contributing to human development. The current call is specifically for addressing the training gaps and needs of the people in poor and developing countries.
"Informal economy," according to proposal guidelines, "is often casual, irregular or seasonal implying frequent changes of workplaces and employers. Informal workers experience often poor working conditions such as long working hours, high level of health hazards or lack of social security usually accompanied with poor earnings, low productivity, and lack of legal protection. Disadvantaged groups such as women, youth, people with HIV/AIDS, persons with disabilities, indigenous people and migrant workers are overrepresented in the informal economy."
Projects that will provide appropriate training programmes to those involved in the informal economy sector so that they can have better access to employment, improve their productivity and increase their incomes can be funded by the EC under this call. Projects should adopt flexible training approaches, adopting a participatory mode and contributing towards sustainable skills and linking the informal economy with formal education system. Some of the activities that can be included have been suggested as follows:
- training activities for the informal economy,
- development of methodologies and curricula,
- support for capacity-building to informal TVET actors,
- identification and planning activities, including needs assessment,
- development of information systems relevant to the design of demand-driven TVET for the informal economy,
- 'partner learning' activities (seminars, meetings, exchange of information and practices) for the exchange of best practice.
Only concept notes have to be submitted by the applicants initially. PADOR registration is required for all applicants. The deadline to submit the concept notes is 25 January 2010. For more, visit this link.