BSR Lifelong Learning for Smart Specializations (BSR SMART LIFE)

Europe’s societies are getting older and older and this will pose challenges to our social systems and to employers looking to fill job openings. Some countries in the Baltic Sea Region are among Europe’s countries with the highest median age. Today’s generation must be prepared for a much less stable labour market, and to upgrade competencies, to be able to stay in the present job or to meet the requirements of a new one. Rapid changes in the labour market combined with a downturn in the economy have resulted in an increasing long-term unemployment. It is important to bear in mind that long-term unemployed should have access to guidance, lifelong learning and that their integration into the labour market should be properly supported. Adult education and lifelong learning programs should be elaborated in coherence with the needs of the labour market and according to the business environment and culture. Attention should be directed not only to the education of unemployed persons but also to the education of business managers and human resources managers who are the ones that encourage their employees to further their skills and competencies. The main project “BSR SMART LIFE” will focus on building the structure, a knowledge platform with several thematic working groups, bringing stakeholders from different organizations and institutions together for the joint development of new methods and new policy recommendations. The key to a sustainable welfare system in the EU is to get more people into the labour market. In this pursuit, an effective lifelong learning, linked with smart specialization, has an important role to create job opportunities for the people with a weaker position in the labour market.


The project “BSR SMART LIFE” was closed on August this year organizing seminar "A labor market for all using resources of longer lives". It was held in Stockholm and gathered together important players in the field coming from different countries of Baltic Sea Region.

The focus of the seminar was on further cooperation in lifelong learning and adult education in the context of employment and labor market development in the Baltic Sea countries. As it is already known, “BSR SMART LIFE” is a new emerging flagship initiative under the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) what was initiated by Vidzeme Planning region in 2016. Important stakeholders from different countries gathered together and by sharing their experiences and knowledge agreed on basic principles to expand the concept of life-long learning in Baltic Sea Region countries.

During the seminar in Stockholm, Ms. Lelde Ābele and Ms. Anita Jākobsone (Vidzeme Planning Region, Latvia) presented the current situation and trends in lifelong learning in the Baltic Sea Region.