copy the linklink copied!1. Approach to the study

Two in five adults across EU and OECD economies participate in learning opportunities in any given year. To harness the benefits of the ongoing changes in the world of work, many more adults will need to participate in education and training in the future. Despite reform efforts in many countries, adult learning participation is not rising as fast as needed. Yet, some countries are bucking the trend and have achieved significant increases in learning participation over the past 15 years. Understanding adult learning reforms that contributed to these increases can yield important lessons for other countries seeking to do the same. This chapter describes these trends in adult learning participation and outlines the approach to the study.

    

copy the linklink copied!Introduction

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 Adult Skills (PIAAC). Participation is even lower amongst disadvantaged adults, such as those with low skill levels or in unemployment, or those in jobs at high risk of automation (OECD, 2019[1]). This is problematic, as participation in adult learning is associated with a wide range of positive social, health and economic outcomes for the individual, economies and societies as a whole (Schuller, 2017[2]). For adult learning systems to be future-ready, governments must increase their efforts to engage more adults in continuous learning throughout their lives.

Policy-makers have long recognised that adults’ participation in learning is key to unlocking the benefits of increasingly global and knowledge-based economies, as well as to improving individual and societal well-being. At the EU level the Council of the European Union has repeatedly stated its commitment to strengthen adult learning systems and expand learning participation (Council of the European Union, 2008[3]; Council of the European Union, 2011[4]; Council of the European Union, 2016[5]). In 2009, the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET2020) even set a target of 15% of adults having participated in adult learning in any given 4 weeks, as measured by the European Labour Force Survey (Council of the European Union, 2009[6]). At the same time, the EU continues to make significant investment into adult learning in Member States through the European Social Fund (ESF).

Similarly, OECD Education Ministers acknowledged the need to increase participation and committed to pursue and implement lifelong learning strategies in their respective countries already over 20 years ago (OECD, 1996[7]). These commitments have been renewed continuously at ministerial meetings since then, last in the context of preparing for recovery after the Great Recession (OECD, 2009[8]), tackling inequality and creating more inclusive labour markets (OECD, 2016[9]).

Despite these policy efforts, progress is slow. In the European context, adult learning participation continues to lag behind the proclaimed ET2020 target of 15% (EC, 2019[10]). In 2018, 11% of adults took part in formal and non-formal learning during the last 4 weeks, according to data from the European Labour Force survey. This is an increase of less than 2 percentage points since 2008.

copy the linklink copied!Aims and objectives of this study

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. To date, research on how to make education and training reforms work has primarily focused on the initial education system. This research typically highlights the importance of robust governance, stakeholder buy-in, administrative capacity and strong feedback mechanisms for reform success (OECD, 2015[11]; Schleicher, 2018[12]; Snyder, 2013[13]). Given the arguably larger complexity of adult learning systems, more research is needed to understand how to design and implement successful reforms that improve adult learning participation.

Comparative research on adult learning policy commonly focuses on identifying lessons from countries with highly developed adult learning systems and high participation rates (EC, 2015[14]; OECD, 2019[1]). The Nordic countries, for example, have some of the highest adult learning participation rates across OECD countries and their adult learning policies frequently serve as good practice examples for others. However, one can question the usefulness of learning from these ‘always high performers’, i.e. countries with a strong tradition of adult learning and consistently high adult learning participation. Shifting the attention to countries that managed to improve adult learning participation in recent decades, may provide more relevant insights for countries starting from a relatively lower base.

This report aims to understand the factors that make reforms seeking to increase adult learning participation succeed. It identifies lessons from six countries that have bucked the trend and significantly increased participation in adult learning over the past decades: Austria, Estonia, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands and Singapore. Lessons are based on a sample of reforms in these six countries. This study concerns itself with the details of reform design, implementation and evaluation and provides answers to five key questions:

  1. 1. What types of reforms increase the participation of adults in learning? What are the barriers they aim to address and which groups do they target?

  2. 2. How are these adult learning reforms developed and who is involved?

  3. 3. How are reforms funded and what level of financial resources are employed?

  4. 4. What can be learnt from the implementation of the reforms? What does the governance of these reforms look like and how are they being delivered to adults?

  5. 5. To what extent does policy learning take place that enables the continuous improvement of the reforms?

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Box 1.1. Key definitions

Adult learning

The focus of this report is on the learning of adults, who have completed their initial education and entered working life. One can further distinguish between three types of adult learning:

  • Formal education are intentional, institutionalised learning activities, which are recognised by the relevant authorities and have a minimum duration of one semester, such as study towards upper secondary qualifications or Bachelor degree studies.

  • Non-formal education are intentional, institutionalised learning activities, e.g. short-courses, workshops or seminars, which are either of short duration (less than one semester) or not recognised by the relevant authorities.

  • Informal learning is intentional, non-institutionalised, less structured and can take place anywhere, e.g. learning from colleagues, friends or learning by doing.

Adult learning and adult education and training are used interchangeably in this report.

Reforms

Reforms are processes in which changes are made to the formal “rules of the game” – including laws, regulations and institutions – to address a problem or achieve a goal such as increased adult learning participation. They usually involve a complex political process and heterogeneous actors, particularly when it is perceived that the reforms would redistribute economic, political, or social power.

In this publication, the term adult learning reform is used synonymously with adult learning policy and adult learning measure, while all referring to the above definition.

Source: Eurostat (2016[15]), Classification of learning activities (CLA) manual: 2016 edition; OECD (2015[11]), Education Policy Outlook 2015: Making Reforms Happen, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264225442-en; OECD (2010[16]), Making Reform Happen: Lessons from OECD Countries, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264086296-en.

copy the linklink copied!Trends in adult learning participation

Consistent time series data on adult learning participation across countries is scarce. The data that does exist suggests that progress in increasing adult learning participation has been more limited than desired in the past 15 years, although different data sources are painting slightly different pictures. The best sources that allow for cross-country comparison over time are three European surveys (see also Box 1.2):

  • The European Adult Education Survey (AES) is a survey covering persons between 25 and 64 years old and enquiring about their participation in education and training (formal, non-formal and informal) in the last 12 months. The survey is part of the EU statistics on lifelong learning and covers 35 countries, including all EU Member States, the United Kingdom, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia and Turkey. Three waves of data collection have taken place (2007, 2011, and 2016).

  • The European Union Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a large household survey, covering people aged 15 and over. It contains questions on participation in education and training (formal and non-formal) in the last four weeks. The survey covers EU Member States and the United Kingdom, four candidate countries and three countries of the EFTA. Data on participation in education and training are available with an annual frequency mostly from the early 2000s.

  • The Continuing Vocational Training Survey (CVTS) is a long-running enterprise survey on continuing vocational training and other training in enterprises in the business economy (excluding micro-enterprises with less than 10 persons employed). The survey is part of the EU statistics on lifelong learning and covers all EU Member States, the United Kingdom and Norway. Comparable data are available for the three last waves of data collection (2005, 2010, 2015).

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Box 1.2. Data limitations

Time series data of adult learning participation that allows for reliable over-time comparison is scarce. While there are national data sources, which provide useful information about changes over time, their relevance in a cross-country setting is limited due to methodological differences between countries. The OECD PIAAC data, which includes comparable information on adults’ education and training participation also for non-European countries, is cross-sectional only at this point in time (with a second cycle of data collection taking place 2021-2022).

The three European surveys used in this report (AES, CVTS and LFS) contain time series data on education and training participation that is comparable across countries. Yet, these datasets have their limitations. They only cover the past 15 to 20 years, with data collection for AES and CVTS conducted only in large intervals (typically 5 years). Moreover, over-time comparability can be hindered by changes in the questionnaire. Changes to indicators relevant to this study were made between each wave of AES and CVTS and twice (2003 and 2006) in the EU-LFS. There have also been country-specific changes in translation or data collection methods that make over-time comparison difficult.

Different data sources show different trends in adult learning participation across the EU. Based on AES and CVTS data, adult learning participation has increased considerably in the past fifteen years, while according to LFS increases were more modest. There are a number of possible explanations behind this discrepancy, including different reference periods, reference populations and definitions of adult learning (see Box 1.3). Looking at the three sources together provides the most complete picture of overall trends (Figure 1.1).

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Figure 1.1. Trends in adult learning participation in the EU 27 plus UK
Share of adults participating in education and training, %
Figure 1.1. Trends in adult learning participation in the EU 27 plus UK

Note: Secondary axis refers to the columns displaying AES and CVTS data. Values refer to weighted average of EU 27 and the United Kingdom. LFS and AES data refers to participation in formal and non-formal education and training, CVTS to participants in CVT courses, which are financed at least partly by the enterprise.* refers to break in LFS series due to changes in variables, while ** due to revision of the French LFS, which altered the EU average.

Source: Eurostat; Adult Education Survey, Continuing Vocational Training Survey, Labour Force Survey.

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Box 1.3. Reasons behind discrepancies between data sources

The structure of the three key data sources for this study (AES, CVTS and LFS) differs considerably. AES is a survey of individuals focusing on adult participation in learning activities, LFS is a household and person survey focused on labour market topics, while CVTS is carried out among enterprises with 10 or more persons employed in the business economy. Related to this, the definition and range of learning activities considered in the different surveys differs as well. The LFS data used focus on formal and non-formal learning (the later excluding guided on-the-job training), the AES data used focus on formal and non-formal learning, while CVTS, on the other hand, only refers to training measures or activities that are financed at least partly by the enterprises for their staff.

There are considerable differences in the reference period as well. AES refers to participation in the previous 12 months, LFS to the previous 4 weeks and CVTS to a specific calendar year. A year-long reference period is preferable as it provides a longer window of observation for adult learning participation. As LFS measures the share of adults participating in a 4-week time period, it effectively measures ‘training events’ rather than ‘participants’. By result, an observed increase in training participation in the LFS may reflect the same individuals participating more often over the year, not necessarily an increase in the learning population.

Source: OECD (2020[17]), Continuous Learning in Working Life in Finland, Getting Skills Right, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/2ffcffe6-en.

LFS data show a clear increase in adult learning participation in the EU27 plus the United Kingdom only at the very beginning and the end of the time under observation. On average, participation in adult learning did not increase significantly between 2006 and 2015 (the period for which variables have been harmonised in most countries), if one disregards the 1.5 percentage point increase in 2013, which can be attributed to changes made in the French LFS. In contrast, according to AES data, the average EU27 plus UK participation rate grew steadily over the ten-year window for which data is available, by around 5 percentage points between 2007 and 2011 and by another 5 percentage points between 2011 and 2016. CVTS data show a stable increase in training1 provided by enterprises to their staff following a trend similar to that observed in the AES. The overall increase was 8 percentage points, with a lower growth between 2010 and 2015. Some changes were made to the questionnaire between the different waves of the survey limiting over-time comparability.

copy the linklink copied!Research methodology

The analysis conducted for this study followed a qualitative approach and was developed in four distinct stages: i) the selection of countries to be included in the study; ii) the identification of key reforms within selected countries; iii) the collection of information through case study research; and iv) cross-country comparative analysis. A detailed description of the methodology can be found in Annex B.

Country selection

As a first step, a set of six countries to be included in the study was identified. For inclusion, countries needed to have experienced a comparatively large increase in adult learning participation and to have implemented reforms that could reasonably be responsible for this increase. The methodology for the selection of countries followed a structured process, which took into account country performance against a set of quantitative indicators, as well as qualitative considerations (Figure 1.2).

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Figure 1.2. Schematic overview of approach to country selection
Figure 1.2. Schematic overview of approach to country selection

Note: OECD elaboration.

First, a set of criteria for the country selection was specified based on available data sources (AES, CVTS, LFS). The primary selection criterion was an observed increase in adult learning participation based on AES and LFS data. Countries displaying inconsistent trends across the two data sources were excluded from the final selection. Following this, secondary selection criteria were: i) an observed increase in the inclusiveness of adult learning, defined as the participation gap between older and younger adults, as well as between adults with low and medium/high level of educational attainment (based on AES data); and ii) an observed increase in alignment of adult learning with the skill needs of the labour market, defined as the share of training hours not spent in compulsory health and safety courses and the share of companies who respond to future skill needs by providing continuing vocational training to their current staff (based on CVTS data). Further details of the selection criteria and process are provided in Annex B.

Qualitative considerations such as evidence on the implementation of significant adult learning reforms informed the final selection. The final selection also recognised the need to achieve good representation of the geographic, policy and cultural diversity of European adult learning systems. This process led to the final selection of Austria, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Singapore. These countries have shown some of the strongest increases in adult learning participation in the past 15 years (Figure 1.3).

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Figure 1.3. Trends in adult learning participation in selected countries
Figure 1.3. Trends in adult learning participation in selected countries

Note: The EU 27 + UK refers to a weighted average of the 27 member countries and the United Kingdom. Panel B: Break in the series for Hungary in 2011 due to changes in the survey.

Source: Panel A: Eurostat, Labour Force Survey ; Panel B: Eurostat, Adult Education Survey

In Austria, the increase in adult learning participation was steady over the selected ten-year period. Participation grew by 2 percentage points over the total period based on LFS and 18 percentage points based on AES data, which places Austria among the top performers based on this indicator. The increase in participation was particularly strong after 2011, including training at companies based on CVTS.

Participation in adult learning in Estonia increased strongly according to the LFS. The increase by around 9 percentage points implies that participation more than doubled between 2006 and 2017, making Estonia a top performer by international standards. Participation of adults with low qualifications increased even more strongly over the decade, signalling an increase in inclusiveness. Participation according to AES shows an increase between 2007 and 2011 followed by a decline between 2011 and 2016. Training at companies increased by 7.5 percentage points overall, with the majority of the increase taking place between 2005 and 2010.

Hungary experienced one of the largest increases in adult learning participation according to both LFS and AES. Because of several breaks in the LFS and AES series, administrative data were used to verify if changes over time reflected the reality on the ground. National registry data confirmed the strong increase in participation. According to domestic registry data from the National Statistical Office, the number of adults enrolled in adult education or training activities more than doubled between 2007 and 2011. The trend was more ambiguous afterwards, with some decrease in recent years.

For Italy, all data sources show a significant increase in adult learning participation. Between 2007 and 2016, participation increased by about 2 percentage points according to LFS and by 19 percentage points according to the AES. Participation of older workers increased even more strongly over the same period, signalling an improvement in inclusiveness. Among the selected countries, Italy also experienced the largest increase in continuing vocational training provision by employers.

According to AES data, participation in the Netherlands increased considerably. Based on this source, the Netherlands is among the five best performing countries in Europe between 2007 and 2016. However, the increase based on LFS was smaller at just 1.8 percentage points overall, most of which took place after 2012. Inclusiveness of older workers also increased as their participation grew more strongly than the average.

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Figure 1.4. Training participation in Singapore
Share of labour force (aged 15-64) participating in training in the previous 12 months, %
Figure 1.4. Training participation in Singapore

Note: Data refer to residents (citizens and permanent residents) engaging in formal or non-formal job-related training.

Source: Supplementary Survey on Adult Training, Manpower Research & Statistics Department, Ministry of Manpower.

As Singapore is not featured in the Eurostat data sources, national registry data was used to determine how participation in adult education evolved over time. Based on data from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the participation rate increased from around 30% to close to 50% over the previous decade as a result of a moderate increase from 2011 and a stark one from 2015 (Figure 1.4).

Identification of key reforms

The selected countries implemented a large number of policy reforms, which may have influenced adult learning participation in the past decades. To focus the review, the second stage of the research process involved the identification of the most important adult learning reforms for the observed increase in participation. To identify these reforms, the following selection criteria were applied:

  • The selected reform had the explicit aim to improve some or more aspects of the adult learning system. This implies that major reforms outside the realm of adult learning policy, e.g. of the social security system, were not taken into account.

  • The mechanism by which the reform would have increased adult learning participation had to be clear and plausible. Reforms directly affecting learning participation, such as by funding additional training places or initiating new education and training programmes, were given preference over those indirectly affecting adult learning participation, such as lifelong learning strategies or initiatives related to improving the quality of adult learning overall. Exceptions to this rule were made in cases, where multiple experts at national level emphasised the importance of the reform for increasing adult learning participation, even when the mechanism was indirect (e.g. the Estonian Lifelong Learning Strategy).

  • It needed to be plausible that the reform had contributed to the observed increased in adult learning participation. This implied that only reforms that were implemented from or after 2005 were selected, as only these could have plausibly contributed to increased adult learning participation between 2007 and 2016. Reforms also had to display large coverage, i.e. reach a large enough part of the population so that it could probably have contributed to increased learning participation.

A selection of reforms meeting these criteria was made based on desk research and interviews with national adult learning experts. Seventeen adult learning reforms were selected to be included in this review (see Table 1.1).

Case study research and comparative analysis

Information on each of the reforms was collected through in-depth case study research, following a common process and exploring a set of pre-defined aspects. This included a review of existing literature on the topic, including academic literature, policy evaluations, documentation of the analysed reforms and relevant legal texts. It also included 58 expert interviews with government stakeholders, social partners, adult education providers, NGOs, academics and other relevant stakeholders involved in the design, delivery and evaluation of adult learning policies.

Standardised case studies provided the basis for the cross-country comparative analysis (for a summary of the case studies see Annex A). The aim of the analysis was to identify patterns of similarities and differences across the selected reforms. Based on the selected reforms, lessons were identified with regard to: i) the types of policies implemented; ii) the design process; iii) the funding; iv) implementation aspects; and v) the extent of policy learning. Results of this analysis are discussed in Chapter 2 of this report.

copy the linklink copied!Selected reforms included in this review

Following the methodology outlined above, seventeen reforms implemented in six countries were included in the review (Table 1.1). It should be noted that these reforms constitute a sample of key reforms implemented in the six countries, selected based on the methodology outlined above. They are not the sole adult learning reforms implemented in these countries in the time period of interest.

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Table 1.1. Overview of reforms included in the review

Country

Reform

Short description

AUT

Expansion of ALMPs

Increase in funding and scope of training-related Active Labour Market Policies

Initiative for Adult Education

New programme to provide free basic and second-chance education for adults

Paid Educational Leave

Multi-stage reform of wage replacement benefit paid to individuals during training absences

EST

Expansion of ALMPs

Increase in funding and scope of training-related Active Labour Market Policies

Lifelong-Learning Strategy

Comprehensive package of policy reforms, including in the area of adult learning

State-Commissioned Short courses

New programme of free-of-charge short vocational courses

HUN

Free Second Vocational Degree

Law change that made the acquisition of a second vocational degree free of charge

Basic Skill Courses

New programme offering free-of-charge basic skills training for public workers

Open Learning Centres

Establishment of 50 learning centres offering free-of-charge short courses for low-skilled adults

ITA

Adult Education Centres

Reform of adult education centres, introducing greater autonomy and more tailored programmes

Training Funds

Introduction of training levy paid by employers and used for in-company training

NLD

Network Training

New mandatory job-search training for older unemployed adults (50+)

Training Vouchers

Introduction of training vouchers for older unemployed adults (50+)

Sector Plans

New sector wide programmes to improve sectoral/regional labour markets

SGP

SkillsFuture Credit

Introduction of training vouchers for Singaporeans aged 25 and above

SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy

Introduction of 90% training subsidy for Singaporeans aged 40+

SkillsFuture Series

New training programmes to address emerging skill needs

Source: OECD elaboration.

Austria

Expansion of ALMPs. A series of reforms have expanded active labour market policies (ALMPs) in the past decades. ALMPs expenditure stood at EUR 776 Mio in 2000, it reached EUR 2 118 Mio in 2014 and now stands at EUR 2 680 Mio in 2018. ALMPs in Austria have a strong focus on skill development and the acquisition of qualifications. Approximately two-thirds of funding and three-quarter of new participants in ALMP take part in training-related measures (Bösch et al., 2013[18]). The increased funding translated in more participants – the number of participants has doubled since the early 2000s and now stands at over 200 000 participants per year – as well as in higher spend per participant.

Initiative for Adult Education. In 2012, Austria introduced a coordinated programme to enable adults to obtain basic competences and educational qualifications free of charge. Between 2012 and 2017 approximately 50 000 individuals participated in the measure.

Paid Educational Leave. Although paid statutory education and training leave has existed in Austria since the late 1990s, the measure has undergone several changes since then. Reforms made it easier to access the benefit and increased the levels of benefit paid, raising attractiveness. In 2013, paid educational leave was opened to those training on a part-time basis.

Estonia

Expansion of ALMPs. Over the past decades, Estonia has rapidly expanded the training offer available in the context of ALMPs. Founded in 2002, the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (EUIF) was initially responsible for passive labour market policy only and assumed responsibility for ALMPs in 2009. Since then, the provision of training-related ALMP has been continuously improved, modernised and expanded (Leetmaa, 2015[19]). For example, in 2009, training vouchers for the unemployed were introduced. Since 2017, the EUIF has expanded its services to the employed.

Lifelong-Learning Strategy. In 2014, Estonia launched its Lifelong Learning Strategy, a comprehensive strategy to set priorities and guide funding decisions. It sets strategic priorities for adult learning, such as increasing adult learning participation and raising adult qualification levels. The strategy is being implemented through nine programmes. The adult learning programme aims to: i) help adults return to formal education; ii) strengthen on-the-job training and retraining; and iii) improve the labour market relevance of training.

State-Commissioned Short Courses. Following a pilot in 2008/2009, Estonia has been funding short vocational courses for adults since 2009. The courses are free of charge for individuals and aim to engage those who typically do not take part in adult education. In the past 10 years, around 75 000 individuals took part in these courses. It should be noted that an entitlement to paid study leave for taking part in non-formal courses was also made available from 2009, supporting take-up of the programme.

Hungary

Free Second Vocational Degree. In 2015, a law change enabled adults to obtain a second vocational education degree free of charge at any age. Vocational training is frequently used by adults for upskilling and reskilling purposes. Training has to be pursued at one of 44 public training centres across the country.

Basic Skill Courses. Between 2012 and 2015, the I am learning again programme offered education opportunities for low-skilled adults. From 2013, the programme was primarily delivered to ‘public workers’ over the winter months. Participation was a condition for receiving the monthly allowance for public workers. Over the course of the programme, 188 000 adults took part.

Open Learning Centres. In 2009, an alliance of NGOs established learning centres that provide free-of-charge short courses for low-skilled adults. Between 2013 and 2015, the network expanded substantially and now encompasses 52 centres. Courses are tailored to adult learners and focus on local needs. Training activities aim to build basic self-management and occupational skills, as well as to create a positive attitude towards learning. Centres cover communities that traditionally have limited adult learning opportunities.

Italy

Adult Education Centres. In 1997, Italy established learning centres that provided basic education courses and led to primary or lower-secondary degrees. Following extensive consultation with stakeholders, the centres were reformed starting from 2012, to align them with several aspects of the European Upskilling Pathways Recommendation (Council of the European Union, 2016[5]). The new Provincial Centres for Adult Education (CPIAs) enjoy greater didactical and organisational autonomy to better tailor courses to the adult population, offer personalised learning paths that also recognise students’ prior learning, including of informal nature, and certify learning according to the National Qualification Framework.

Training Funds. In 2004, training levies were introduced, which employers can use to subsidise their own training costs. Through special procedures, the Funds collecting the levy can allocate resources to specific kinds of training which are considered of importance for a broader set of companies. In 2015, the Funds covered on average 62.5% of the total cost of training across sector and firm size classes. From 2004 to 2017, the number of firms enrolled in a Training Fund tripled, reaching 1 million firms in 2017, and the number of workers covered by the scheme doubled, reaching 10 million workers.

The Netherlands

Action Plan 50+ Works. Between 2013 and 2016/2017, several policies to help older (50+) unemployed back to work were introduced. Initially, the policies focused on the 55+ year-old population, but this was expanded to 50+ in 2014. Training-related policies in this plan include the introduction of mandatory free-of-charge job-search training (Network Training), and the introduction of training vouchers of EUR 750. The revision of the policy in 2014 increased the amount of the vouchers to EUR 1 000, and expanded the eligibility of the vouchers for a wider variety of training and to the recognition of prior learning.

Sector Plans. Between 2013 and 2016, sectoral or regional social partners were able to request co-funding from the government for initiatives to improve the sectoral or regional labour market. The sector plans addressed several themes, one of which was to retrain and upskill adults. Between 2013 and early 2017, more than 155 000 adults had participated in retraining and upskilling activities under the plans.

Singapore

SkillsFuture Singapore. In 2015, Singapore introduced a comprehensive adult learning reform, which included a wide variety of activities. The most important of these activities are: the introduction of training vouchers to all Singaporeans aged 25 and above (in 2016; SkillsFuture Credit); the introduction of training subsidies for 40+ year-old Singaporeans (in 2015; SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy); and the establishment of new training courses for emerging skills (SkillsFuture Series).

References

[18] Bösch, V. et al. (2013), Aktive Arbeitsmarktpolitik in Österreich 1994-2013, Bundesministerium für Arbeit, Soziales und Konsumentenschutz (BMASK).

[5] Council of the European Union (2016), Council Recommendation of 19 December 2016 on Upskilling Pathways: New Opportunities for Adults, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ%3AJOC_2016_484_R_0001 (accessed on 8 November 2019).

[4] Council of the European Union (2011), Council Resolution on a renewed European agenda for adult learning.

[6] Council of the European Union (2009), Council conclusions of 12 May 2009 on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (’ET 2020’).

[3] Council of the European Union (2008), Council conclusions of 22 May 2008 on adult learning.

[10] EC (2019), Education and Training Monitor 2019, European Commission, Brussels, http://dx.doi.org/10.2766/69134.

[14] EC (2015), An in-depth analysis of adult learning policies and their effectiveness in Europe, European Commission, Brussels.

[15] Eurostat (2016), Classification of learning activities (CLA) manual : 2016 edition., Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

[19] Leetmaa, R. (2015), EEPO Review Spring 2015: Upskilling unemployed adults The organisation, profiling and targeting of training provision Estonia, European Commission, Brussels.

[17] OECD (2020), Continuous Learning in Working Life in Finland, Getting Skills Right, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/2ffcffe6-en.

[1] OECD (2019), Getting Skills Right: Future-Ready Adult Learning Systems, Getting Skills Right, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264311756-en.

[9] OECD (2016), Ministerial Statement, Building More Resilient and Inclusive Labour Markets OECD. Labour and Employment Ministerial, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/employment/ministerial/labour-ministerial-statement-2016.pdf (accessed on 8 November 2019).

[11] OECD (2015), Education Policy Outlook 2015: Making Reforms Happen, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264225442-en.

[16] OECD (2010), Making Reform Happen: Lessons from OECD Countries, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264086296-en.

[8] OECD (2009), Final communiqué - Tackling the jobs crisis: the labour market and social policy response, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://www.oecd.org/employment/finalcommunique-tacklingthejobscrisisthelabourmarketandsocialpolicyresponse.htm (accessed on 8 November 2019).

[7] OECD (1996), Lifelong learning for all. Meeting of the Education Committee at Ministerial Level, 16-17 January 1996, OECD Publishing, Paris.

[12] Schleicher, A. (2018), World class: How to Build a 21st-Century School System, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264300002-en (accessed on 30 October 2019).

[2] Schuller, T. (2017), What are the wider benefits of learning across the life course?, Foresight, Government Office for Science.

[13] Snyder, S. (2013), “The Simple, the Complicated, and the Complex: Educational Reform Through the Lens of Complexity Theory”, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 96, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k3txnpt1lnr-en.

Note

← 1. Training here refers to continuing vocational training (CVT). The primary objective of CVT is the acquisition of new competences or the development and improvement of existing competences. The CVT activity must be the result of a decision in the enterprise and be financed in total or at least partly by the enterprise (directly or indirectly). Persons employed holding an apprenticeship or training contract should are not considered as taking part in CV.

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https://doi.org/10.1787/cf5d9c21-en

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