SASSI in a nutshell
The Silver Age Silver Sage Initiative (SASSI for short) is a European-wide project funded by the ERASMUS+ Programme tasked with developing an innovative, age-sensitive approach to Continuous Professional Development within organisations and in Vocational Education.

Seven partners from across the EU, will work together to provide trainers with the skills, tools and techniques needed to support older learners and workers.

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Why this project

The ageing of the European Union’s population and workforce represents a great challenge to societies and economies, requiring relevant changes in labour markets, societal structures and social security systems.

In the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, the importance of making full use of the labour potential has been strongly affirmed and one of the headline targets for the coming years is the increase of the employment rate of the population aged 20-64 from the current 69% to at least 75%, including through the greater involvement of women, older workers and the better integration of migrants in the work-force.

However, European Countries are still far from achieving this result. In 2014, the EU-28 employment rate for persons aged 15 to 64, as measured by the EU’s labour force survey (EU LFS), stood at 64.9 %.


What does SASSI want to achieve

The SASSI system will ensure that CPD providers and enterprises have strong procedural descriptions, practical tools and accompanying coaching and training offers eventually leading to age-responsive institutional approaches, to adequately involve older employees in CPD.

The idea is to develop an age-sensitive approach that better reflects the learning pat-terns of ageing workers/job seekers and that eventually make a strong impact in:

  • Helping mature employees to be more involved in CPD courses and maximize their possibilities of keeping their job
  • Empowering 50+ job seekers to promote their employability
SASSI target groups and final beneficiaries


Blonde vibrant lady portraitThe primary target groups of SASSI are trainers working with people aged 50+ i.e.:

  • VET/Adult Education trainers for CPD (both in and out of the workplace) and employability
  • Employers (HR managers + line managers) for workplace CPD and updating

The final beneficiaries are motivated people aged 50+ who are job seekers/ career changers and/or those who wish to remain in work (either because they want to keep working past retirement age, or because they have to work for longer as a result of the raising of the pension age.

What has happened so far?


The representatives of the seven partner organisations met for the first time for the kick-off meeting on 11th and 12th November 2015 in Matosinhos, Portugal. In this occasion, they discussed and shared ideas, concepts and approaches and plan the activities for the next six months of the project.

Then, the partners started to work on the first project deliverable which consist in the need analysis.

The objective of this first action is to gain an understanding of the needs of older learners, adult VET and CPD providers and HR Managers + to explore the nature of age-responsive educations in terms of levels of awareness, good practice and on-going experiences. The need analysis is being carried out through two main phases:

  • Desk research: all the partner organizations carry on an indepth analysis to gain a clear and updated picture of the field in each partner country and research existing approaches to supporting older learners.
  • Primary Research: it aims at answering the questions remained open after the Desk Research. It consists in delivering interviews and focus groups to the main target groups. Moreover, an online multilingual questionnaire has been published and widely advertised, to understand motivation for continuous learning and training, learning needs and experiences of people 50+. You can access the questionnaire.
Want to know more about SASSI?

You can visit this project website to keep updated about the project activities and initiatives.

SASSI is also on Twitter @SASSIproject and you can request to join our group on LinkedIn

Want to join the SASSI community?

SASSI addresses the needs of many different target groups that would take benefit from joining the same community and having a social network to exchange ideas and experiences.
In order to build up the community and enhance the communication among people, a virtual hub on age-responsive education has been developed where senior learners, adult educators, VET and CPD providers, HR managers can “meet” and benefit from many different online features.

Information on how to join the SASSI hub, will be soon available on this website.