What is CITO?

According to the European Commission, around 1 out of 5 European adults struggle with basic reading and writing, calculation or using digital tools in everyday life.

Around 22% of European adults have only obtained a lower secondary education level at most. Without these skills and with low level of qualification they are at higher risk of unemployment, poverty and social exclusion.

To address these challenges, the European Council adopted the Recommendation on Upskilling Pathways in 2016. It aims to help adults acquire a minimum level of literacy, numeracy and digital skills and/or acquire a broader set of skills and a qualification. The Check In, Take off (CITO) project involving three countries, Malta, Ireland and Norway, is a result of this recommendation. CITO’s solution is to have an effective and independent assessment of one’s own skills.

CITO has three main outputs, which include mapping survey, a SkillsChecker tool and training and outreach toolkit for stakeholders.

Mapping Survey

The project will perform a related literature research to identify other SkillsChecker models. A mapping exercise will take place to capture and visualise what is available in the sector right now. This mapping exercise, in the form of a survey with providers and stakeholders, will check and analyse what the gaps are in the sector to inform the tool development. This mapping will be used to see what is available for learners and stakeholders in terms of the three-step assessment of the upskilling pathways, namely: skills assessment, flexible learning and validation.

Survey will have three phases:

  • Phase 1: Survey design and sampling strategy
  • Phase 2: A mixed methods approach to evaluating the testing of the SkillsChecker tool
  • Phase 3: Evaluation of Impact
Older woman reading

SkillsChecker Tool

CITO will develop a SkillsChecker tool which will enable a person to carry out an initial assessment of their literacy, numeracy and digital skills. This will orientate them to their options regarding a flexible learning opportunity as well as recognising their prior skills while providing further pathways.  The SkillsChecker is aimed at empowering the learner to explore a learner centred approach to lifelong learning.

Our project will be an action-research project involving collaboration between public authorities, stakeholders, people with literacy and numeracy needs and researchers. The intervention will introduce and use the SkillsChecker in a controlled environment to assess its relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and potential impact and scalability.

Training and Outreach Toolkit for Stakeholders

The project will develop a model of outreach for local promotion and engagement that will facilitate a local outreach campaign. The Toolkit will include a selection of local awareness raising activities highlighting the importance of having good basic skills, the role of key stakeholders in embedding that message into their work and delivering on the proposed Upskilling Pathways.

All the proposed activity will highlight different benefits for different target groups of using the SkillsChecker and ultimately returning to learning. The project intends to promote the use of an independent individual SkillsChecker where an adult can identify their skills and strengths, look at where their skills are currently at and redirect them to a response or provider using a visual path.

The results will be a tested model of outreach developed in consultation with stakeholders.