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Increasing Adult Learning Participation

Learning from Successful Reforms

image of Increasing Adult Learning Participation

Countries need to urgently scale-up and upgrade their adult learning systems to help people adapt to the future world of work. Today, only two in five adults across the EU and OECD participate in education and training in any given year, according to the OECD Survey of Adults Skills. Participation is even lower among disadvantaged adults, such as those with low skill levels or in jobs at high risk of automation. For adult learning systems to be future-ready, governments must increase their efforts to engage more adults in continuous learning throughout their lives.

While much has been written about the need for progress, it is less clear how adult learning participation can be increased in practice. Many good ideas struggle to translate into real change on the ground, as they get stuck in the reality of policy implementation. This report aims to understand the factors that make adult learning reforms succeed. It identifies lessons from six countries that have significantly increased participation over the past decades: Austria, Estonia, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands and Singapore. To shed light on how these countries achieved this objective, this study looks at the details of reform design, implementation and evaluation.

English

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Country case studies

Institutional context: Adult learning provision in Austria is diverse. It covers public provision, i.e. evening schools, schools offering higher qualifications for skilled workers, universities, universities of applied sciences, as well as commercial and non-profit provision. There is a strong learning culture in companies, according to stakeholders interviewed, and the majority of adult learning takes place there.

English

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