OECD Skills Outlook 2021

Learning for Life

image of OECD Skills Outlook 2021

Lifelong learning is key if individuals are to succeed in labour markets and societies shaped by megatrends such as increases in life expectancy, rapid technological changes, globalisation, migration, environmental changes and digitalisation, as well as sudden shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic. In a fast-changing and uncertain world, lifelong learning can help individuals adapt and become resilient to external shocks. While government support remains valuable to ensure that major structural changes do not lead to deep tears in the social fabric, creating a culture of lifelong learning gives individuals themselves agency to manage change. This calls for evidence on the best ways to support lifelong learning journeys, so that individuals can “learn how to learn”. This edition of the OECD Skills Outlook 2021 explores how policies, particularly those that govern skills development and use, can best promote lifelong learning for all. The report exploits comparative quantitative data to highlight the key role played by socio-emotional and motivational factors in shaping successful engagement with lifelong learning. While such factors are essential to sustain lifelong learning in general, the pandemic has further increased their relevance.

English Also available in: French

Promoting interest and participation in adult learning

This chapter presents evidence on participation in work-based adult learning and individuals’ willingness to avail themselves of learning opportunities across countries and population groups. It illustrates factors at the individual, firm and system level associated with the likelihood of individuals disengaging from adult learning through a lack of participation or interest. The chapter reviews the barriers preventing willing individuals from participating in adult learning. It concludes by developing estimates of the likely learning losses workers have experienced as a result of COVID‑19, with a particular emphasis on the impact of the pandemic on disparities in skill development.

English Also available in: French



This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error