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Workshop: The continuing vocational training and adult education component of Lifelong learning: new needs for research and policy development.

27 September 2012, Brussels - Belgium

This workshop aimed at:

  • analyse the contribution given by different research projects on five issues related to LLL and adult education
  • find synergies and discuss how to make the best use of results
  • identify research needs for possible topics for Horizon 2020
  • extrapolate possible policy recommendations
  • contribute to the policy review and publication under preparation by the reviewer
  • explore possible follow-up actions by the Commission DGs.

The discussion addressed five key Lifelong Learning issues:

  1. Adult learning policies supporting innovation processes within workplace and civic society.
    Key subjects: approaches to foster new knowledge production by workers and citizens, policy measures, potential results related to the diversity of work and life contexts and related kinds of innovation.
    Questions: how can public policies support learning actions related to innovation processes? How can low skilled workers take part in these processes?

  2. The learning quality of the workplace: factors influencing different kinds of learning processes at work.
    Key subjects: empirical ground of contextual factors having an impact on how and what people learn at work (according to the diversity of life transitions, workplaces and in the frame of the European strategy).
    Questions: How can the workplace support learning processes to be used at workplace and in society?

  3. Funding adult learning and the governance of the complementarity between public policies and dynamics of private markets.
    Key subjects: the effectiveness and efficiency of public investment in adult learning, impact of the various instruments in use such as tax incentives, learning accounts, vouchers, etc. Volume, structure and impact of private expenditure (firms and household) in LLL.
    Questions: How can public policies become more efficient and targeted to stimulate and support adult learning? How can they play an effective role of complementarity of the existing free market?

  4. The prevention and reduction of social exclusion related to LLL and adult education through public policies.
    Key subjects: the impact of public policies and related policy measures addressed to different target groups.
    Questions: How to exploit innovative and more targets approaches to attract and retain marginalised groups into learning in order to combat social exclusion? How to improve and monitor quality of provision? How to build models for monitoring and, especially, forecasting future results of public policies, and to define potential strategies to correct trends of the implementation process?

  5. The need for empirically founded indicators on lifelong learning.
    Key subjects: In the last decade, the building up of European Policies was supported by a set of concepts and data that are shared and comparable.
    Questions: Following the researches carried out (Eurostat, Cedefop, OECD), which will be the relevant phenomena that still need to be explored and measured? Are the existing taxonomies and related indicators adequate enough to sustain the construction of new European strategies (e.g. more focused on informal processes connected to the daily personal and working life)? Are there new needs for research to enlarge an empirically founded taxonomy of terms related to learning, cross-disciplinary in nature, so to provide connectivity to conventions and insights that are utilized in the different scientific domains? Can such taxonomy then be the foundation for indicators that make the considerable public and private resources expended on lifelong learning better controllable?