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International project „Learning Lab for Integration”

 May 26, 2008

A considerable international project „Learning Lab for Integration” has begun in May. Aggregation and popularization of good practice experience in education and integration in a labor market of people with disabilities in Latvia, Great Britain and Spain. This project will last for 2 years, and it will end in December 2009.

The main idea of the project – to create a data base, where anyone can find the good practice examples from Latvia, Great Britain and Spain, how people with disabilities are returning to the labor market, how they are integrating into society, how obtaining education and new qualification skills. There are three European Union countries involved in the project – Latvia, Great Britain and Spain will exchange present experience and will master new knowledge.

The target groups of the project are people who day by day work, live or stay in close contact with people with disability.  Employers who would like to employ people with disabilities will be able to receive information about preconditions to do it the very best way. Schools and other educational institutions will find out how to create study classes or groups for children and adults with disability. And disabled persons themselves shall be encouraged to take part in labour market, education programs and other social activities.

In the frame work of the project the research is carried out on how the inclusion of the people with disabilities is implemented in practice in each of the countries - how people with disabilities are adapting in labor market, how they can obtain education and better integrate into society. Research results will be available for the public on the internet on August this year.  In order to exchange practical experience, study visits will be organized in each partner country as well as international training course will be implemented for the people who are working with the disabled persons to improve the practical work skills and knowledge.

Persistent problems are confirmed by numbers - in Europe 8-10% people of all population has various kinds of disabilities. More than 60% of them do not work. There is lack of initiative from both parties –people with disability and employers. There is a lack of knowledge on the possibilities: from the one part society has no competence and practical skills on how to recruit and teach, from the other part people with disabilities have not enough knowledge and professional skills to find the job or start entrepreneurial activities. Research is showing that the average education level is lower for people with disabilities they rarely study in higher education institutions and have fewer possibilities to choose suitable profession.

Project results will be evaluated at the end of the year 2009, the further tasks and desirable results will be set after. The total project budget is EUR 259 930, 75% from which is EC co-financing and 25% is provided by project partners. The project will be coordinated by the Latvian company „Comperio” Ltd.


Additional information:

The Grundtvig program (education for adults and lifelong learning) is one the subprograms financed by the EU  Life Long Learning program, that promotes and financially supports projects, education partnerships, individual mobility, continuing education, multilateral networks. The program supports adult education activities, and organizations providing such education, including state and self-government establishments, culture establishments, NGO and other institutions performing educational functions.

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.