PULSE - Promoting smart specialization oriented adult learning pathways in small and medium enterprises


Uudistuva oppiminen
1.9.2019 - 28.2.2022
Ammatillinen opettajakorkeakoulu
Erasmus+ Key Action 2
Projektin kuvaus

According to data of EUROSTAT, SMEs compose more than 90% of EU Member States (MS) economies and play a key role in national economies, generating employment and value added and contributing to innovation. However several obstacles are hampering SME productivity and innovation. Among them are skills shortages, poor human resources management practices, and workforce training.

According to the report of OECD 'Enhancing the Contributions of SMEs in a Global and Digitalised Economy' (2017), there is evidence that SMEs have higher skills deficiencies than large firms and SME training effort is on average significantly weaker per employee than in larger firms (OECD, 2013).

SMEs often face challenges in attracting and retaining human resources with relevant skills and have greater difficulties in identifying workers with sought-after skills in the labour market. Furthermore, SMEs appear to be relatively behind in establishing targeted collaboration with education and training institutions, and in the use of company-level learning strategies, i.e. the use of managerial practices and methods that promote learning (OECD, 2015).

Lack of these skills may hold back adjustment to and greater participation of SMEs and entrepreneurs in the 'new world of work' brought about by increasing digitalisation and fragmentation of production processes.

Overall objective

To develop innovative high-quality flexible adult learning pathways for smart specialization oriented SMEs.

Specific objectives

1. To identify new patterns how to cover gap of knowledgeable and skilled human resources.
2. To develop high-quality flexible approaches for unlocking potential of the available human resources and their motivation.
3. To foster implementation of new human resources management patterns and approaches in smart specialization oriented SMEs.

4. To encourage integration of new adult education provision approaches into human resources management patterns, including more productive cooperation between different adult education providers, prior learning recognition and guidance and counselling bodies in involved countries.

Target groups
1. Adult education developers and providers – professionals working in the adult education institutions and developing and providing adult education trainings and other measures.
2. Human resources development specialists in smart specialization oriented SMEs - companies, who already do business in smart specialization and those being in transition from traditional business areas to smart specialization.