Our thesis: The major task of any personnel policy in a war for talents is to create a balanced age structure of the workforce. Age-diverse recruitment is a challenge, as many standard recruitment practices and selection criteria are age-related.

Thus, mature(at)eu - Supporting Employers Recruiting and Selecting Mature Aged Persons is directly concerned with providing an integrated support package to Business Leaders, Equal Opportunities Representatives, HRM, Trade Union Officers and Workers' Representatives based on open source e-learning environment and a toolbox of collection of innovative training materials which enable them to introduce age-diverse recruitment policies and practices. The ICT sector serves as pilot sector for content development and testing.

mature(at)eu consists of two Project Phases:
Learn more about Project Phase No 1 (2006 to 2008)
Learn more about Project Phase No 2 (2008 to 2010)  

Building Bridges

Aims and objectives

The overall objective of the project is to support the implementation and development of EQF by  developing and correlating national and sectoral qualifications frameworks and systems in relation to the EQF and strengthening the links with EHEA.To this purpose, we managed to identify several specific objectives/aims:


  • to develop methods and procedures for supporting the development and implementation of NQFs taking account of different types of NQF possible and appropriate by comparing their methodologies with a focus on the learning outcomes;
  • to develop and apply the learning outcomes approach promoted by the EQF by exploring how this can facilitate comparison of qualifications awarded by national authorities for HE levels with qualifications issued by the air transport industry and the mechatronics sectors and enterprises at national and European level;
  • to develop and produce supporting guidance tools and an international journal for qualifications frameworks in order to assist experts and stakeholders in interpreting and applying the EQF.

When setting the project objectives and goals we started from the following identified needs: clarification and understanding of the NQFs of the 7 partner countries; building NQFs based to comparable and compatible methodologies in order to make the implementation of a functional EQF by 2012 possible. To this purpose, we also took into account the reports published by all 7 participating countries for the BFUG Stocktaking 2007, through institutions within the partnership, as well as the text of the London Communiqué of May 2007 indicating that “Qualifications frameworks are important instruments in achieving comparability and transparency within the EHEA” and that Ministers of Education from the Bologna area commit themselves to fully implementing such national qualifications frameworks, certified against the overarching Framework for Qualifications of the EHEA, by 2010. Moreover, we found in the Recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council 2008/C 111/01 important ideas that are at the core of our project: use of EQF as a reference tool for comparing the qualifications levels of the various systems, for identifying these links and for their transparent correlation by 2010.



The two credit systems, ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) for higher education and ECVET (European Credit for Vocational Education and Training) for VET, represent different methodological approaches that both aim at facilitating credit transfer and accumulation.

However, to fully support lifelong learning, it is crucial that these systems become connected. In several of the countries participating in this project, qualifications are at boundaries between ECVET and ECTS. For example, the French BTS and the UK Foundation Degree are both designed using the learning outcomes approach and would naturally fit the ECVET logic. However, in order to receive financing of their students’ mobility, institutions awarding these qualifications have to use ECTS.

The project has chosen to test ECVET on qualifications at different EQF levels (4, 5, 6 and 7). These qualifications are situated at the junction of VET and higher education as they are designed according to the learning outcomes approach, favour on-the-job training and respond to a professional standard needed by companies.

Three sectors have been selected: plastics industry, hospitality management and training of trainers.

The choice of the plastic industry sector stems from the fact that some of the partners have already been involved in the Europlastic project – – which aimed at developing a European curriculum in this sector, including teaching in English and internships abroad.

As for hospitality management, this industry requires its workers to be mobile and to experience different types of national cuisines and services in order to progress in their careers.

Lastly, training of trainers appeared to the partners to be of particular relevance in the linkage between ECTS and ECVET.