SASSI – Age-sensitive approaches to professional development

Silver Sage_Final SASSI stands for Silver Age, Silver SAge Initiative and is a new EU-funded project in the framework of the Erasmus+ programme. SASSI aims to support age-sensitive approaches to continuous professional development for older learners and workers.

Across Europe demographic trends, reinforced by policies aimed at delaying retirement, are leading to an increase in the average age of the workforce. People are wanting to, or having to, work for longer than ever before. This is a cause for concern for both employers and older workers if skills, and therefore productivity and employability, deteriorate with age.

The goal of SASSI is to give people the opportunity to maintain a productive working life by focusing on the updating and upskilling of this ageing workforce. It seeks to provide trainers and employers with a range of skills, tools and techniques to help them support older learners and workers more effectively.
The SASSI project will develop and pilot a range of innovative training strategies and tools that can be successfully applied in both continuous professional development (CPD) programmes for employees aged 50+ and in vocational education programmes aimed at supporting older learners who wish to remain in work, are active job seekers or are about to embark on third age careers. These practical tools, which will include a process for assessing and validating newly gained informal competences, will be made available through a web-based Hub and trainer community.
The strategies, tools and techniques will be developed from the needs identified in a comprehensive needs analysis which will include research into how older people learn, and how employers envisage meeting the development needs of an aging and older workforce.
The project runs from 01.09.2015 to 31.08.2017. The main activities in these two years are:
  • Undertake a needs analysis, including both desk research and primary research in order to produce a comparative needs analysis report embracing all 6 countries
  • Develop and launch the SASSI HUB – an online platform holding the SASSI TOOLBOX (training materials and resources) s and facilitating the trainer community discussions and forum
  • Develop a range of age-sensitive learning modules and the validation system for informal competence assessment
  • Pilot these products and services with Trainers and finally with a number of end-users/older learners
  • Produce an EU wide award or badge for recognising age-sensitive trainers and organisations
  • Ensure that our work, support by EU funding is widely publicised to key stakeholders and the general public