2. Strengthening the horizontal governance of adult learning in Korea

Success in developing skills1 through adult learning2 requires strong governance arrangements to support collaboration and co-ordination across the many ministries with responsibilities in this area. Strong horizontal governance arrangements allow ministries to increase policy coherence and enable the efficient use of resources, while at the same time providing consistent service delivery to individuals (OECD, 2019[1]). The COVID-19 crisis, with its wide-ranging effects on the economy and society, has shown that ministries need to work together to support recovery efforts that are coherent, comprehensive and cost efficient.

Adult learning programmes are provided by a multitude of ministries targeting diverse end users. In Korea, the Ministry of Education is responsible for basic skills training, second-chance programmes and university courses, while the Ministry of Employment and Labour is responsible for vocational education and training (VET) for employed and unemployed adults (OECD, 2019[2]). Various other ministries play a role in implementing adult learning policies for specific target groups, and the Ministry of Economy and Finance is responsible for allocating the required financial resources across ministries (OECD, 2020[3]).

This chapter provides an overview of Korea’s horizontal governance of adult learning policies and explores two key opportunities for improvement: 1) developing a long-term vision for adult learning and supporting co-ordination across ministries; and 2) improving the dissemination of adult learning information in co-ordination with ministries. For each opportunity, the available data are analysed, relevant national and international policies and practices are discussed, and policy recommendations are provided.

This section provides an overview of the roles and responsibilities of the various ministries that have some responsibility for adult learning. It also describes the various plans each ministry has been developing for adult learning and the extent of collaboration across ministries in adult learning policies.

Responsibility for adult learning in Korea is shared by a diverse range of ministries and institutions (Table 2.1). Responses to the OECD Skills Strategy Questionnaire for Korea identified a list of relevant ministries involved in adult learning governance in Korea ( (Korea, 2019[4])). The Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ministry of Employment and Labour (MoEL) play central roles in setting the national agenda and plans for adult learning.

The MoE approaches adult learning from a lifelong education perspective and aims to develop high-quality human resources for sustainable development (Ministry of Education, 2018[5]). The lifelong learning policies of the MoE cover adult learning that takes place in universities and colleges, as well as diverse learning programmes provided through lifelong learning institutes at subnational levels for adults and older citizens.

The MoEL has oversight over employment policies. It develops policies for vocational skills development training provided by public and private vocational training facilities, schools, lifelong education facilities, and lifelong vocational training institutes. It aims to promote and support the vocational skills development of people in all stages of life.

The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (MoGEF), the Ministry of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and Startups, the Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy design adult learning policies targeted at specific groups such as women, employees of SMEs and the workforce in specific industries.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance is responsible for providing financial resources to support adult learning programmes. Some ministries operate implementation agencies that are responsible for the data collection, research and implementation of relevant policies. Such institutions include the National Institute for Lifelong Education (NILE) operated by the MoE, and the Korea Polytechnic and Korea University of Technology and Education (including affiliated institutions such as the Korean Skills Quality Authority, E-Koreatech and the Competency Development Center) operated by the MoEL (see Chapter 3).

Various ministries have issued plans that are relevant to adult learning (Table 2.2). The MoE has developed the Lifelong Learning Promotion Basic Plan (2018-2022), which is a five-year plan for lifelong learning policies, and the MoEL has developed the Vocational Skills Development Basic Plan for Innovation and Inclusive Growth (2017-2021), which is a five-year policy plan for vocational education and training.

A number of plans have also been developed in collaboration across ministries. Led by the Deputy Prime Minister for Social Affairs, who is also the Minister of Education, six relevant ministries developed the Inclusive Nation Social Policy Promotion Plan (2019), which promotes enhanced and equitable access to adult learning opportunities, especially for disadvantaged groups (i.e. SME employees, non-regular and self-employed workers). Led by the MoEL, the Jobs Council, which consists of nine different ministries and other stakeholder representatives, developed the Innovative Measures for Vocational Competency Development Plan (2019) and the Five-year Roadmap for Job Policy Plan (2017), which both promote the employability of adults through vocational skills development.

The multitude of relevant ministries, laws and government plans to promote adult learning in Korea makes horizontal policy co-ordination both necessary and challenging. The Government Civil Servant Survey reveals that most government officials express a need for enhanced inter-ministerial collaboration to improve effectiveness in public administration (Figure 2.1).

This chapter presents two opportunities for improving the horizontal governance of adult learning policies in Korea. Opportunity 1 examines how to strengthen a long-term vision for adult learning and co-ordination across all relevant ministries. Opportunity 2 examines the collaboration required across relevant ministries to disseminate consistent adult learning information to users.

Korea can strengthen horizontal governance by:

  1. 1. Developing a long-term vision for adult learning and supporting co-ordination across ministries.

  2. 2. Improving the dissemination of adult learning information in co-ordination with ministries.

This section provides an overview of existing efforts to develop a vision for adult learning in Korea and the horizontal co-ordination arrangements for adult learning policies, and examines how these could be strengthened. Relevant country examples and specific recommendations are also presented.

A comprehensive and long-term vision is essential for setting goals and clarifying the roles of actors involved in adult learning policies. A comprehensive vision shared by all relevant actors across government and society encourages agreement by clarifying concepts, prioritising targets, allocating responsibilities and establishing accountability arrangements.

A long-term vision for adult learning that is shared by all relevant ministries is currently lacking in Korea (Korea, 2019[8]). A common challenge across policy domains, including for adult learning as highlighted during OECD consultations in Korea, is clarity about policy goals and visions (Figure 2.2). While a sizable share (39%) of government officials responding to the Government Civil Servant Survey agree or strongly agree that their organisation has clearly prioritised policy goals, a larger share (49%) is neutral and 12% disagree or strongly disagree. Similarly, while 35% of responding government officials agree or strongly agree with the statement that their supervisors provide a clear policy vision, a very large share (45%) is neutral and about 20% disagree or strongly disagree (Korea Institute of Public Administration, 2018[7]).

Given that frequent changes in the government’s policy priorities was the second most important factor hindering the work of government officials, after lack of staff (Korea Institute of Public Administration, 2018[7]), a long-term vision with long-term policy priorities would facilitate the work of government officials and contribute to the successful implementation of policies such as adult learning.

The Korean government introduced the Inclusive Nation Social Policy Promotion Plan in 2019 (Box 2.1), which is a comprehensive plan consisting of a variety of economic and social policies to promote inclusive development. One of the 22 policy objectives is on adult learning and refers to a number of adult learning policies (e.g. the credit-bank system, Korea massive open online courses [K-MOOC], vocational education and training [VET]). The indicators used to track progress in achieving the goals for adult learning from 2018 to 2022 include participation in lifelong learning (goal of 35.8% to 42.8%), VET for adults (24.7% to 26%) and work-based learning in SMEs (7.9% to 14%). However, Korean stakeholders have expressed concerns about a number of limitations of the plan, such as the lack of details about the responsible actors for the specific adult learning policies, how adult learning policies would be co-ordinated across actors, what funding would be allocated to the adult learning policies, and how the impact of implemented adult learning policies would be measured (e.g. there are no indicators on employment rate or income level after adult learning participation) (Government of Korea, 2019[9]). Stakeholders also mentioned that they did not feel sufficiently engaged in the process of designing the plan (Korea, 2019[8]).

Creating a long-term vision for adult learning is particularly relevant to guide Korea’s efforts to address skills needs during and after the COVID-19 crisis as it seeks to move towards economic recovery and growth. Such a vision, developed with all relevant actors, should clearly identify the long-term goals, the actions for each actor, the mechanisms to co-ordinate the contributions of all relevant actors, and how funding is allocated and impact is measured.

Korea should consider the Norwegian Strategy for Skills Policy 2017-2021, which is an example of a comprehensive national vision that defines clear roles and responsibilities for relevant actors in the long term. The strategy serves as a binding agreement among all relevant actors in skills and adult learning, such as ministries, subnational governments and stakeholders, to ensure that they work together in achieving the shared policy priorities. The Estonian Lifelong Learning Strategy was developed as a result of an intensive, open discussion and consultation process with a variety of stakeholders. The strategy has served as the basis for cross-cutting co-operation. The strategic priorities and goals are expressed in concrete financial terms by the Ministry of Education and Research’s four-year Medium-term Expenditure Framework. They are also revisited every year and adjusted based on economic forecasts and in discussion with the Ministry of Economy and Finance and parliament (Box 2.2).

The process of building a comprehensive vision for adult learning policies requires social consensus, and to achieve this the government needs to convene, facilitate, enable and partner with various stakeholders (Lenihan, 2012[10]). In general, the Korean government conducts at least one session of consultation (e.g. seminars or public hearings) to build public consensus ahead of establishing major policies (see Chapter 4). In a typical seminar or public hearing for adult learning policies, the lead ministry gives a presentation, which is followed by discussions among stakeholders (e.g. employers, unions, adult learners, schools, training centres and academia). At the end of the discussions, 50 to 200 participants are invited to ask questions and engage in further discussions (Lee et al., 2019[11]). However, the frequency and form of engagement in the area of adult learning vary among ministries. Some national plans, including the Inclusive Nation Social Policy Promotion Plan (Box 2.1), reported organising consultations with related ministries and research institutes (Table 2.3).

Stakeholder engagement could be further strengthened through the more active implementation of existing requirements. The Lifelong Education Act includes an article requiring a consensus-building process in the design of the Lifelong Learning Promotion Basic Plan, but only specifically refers to consultations with other ministries and does not mention stakeholder engagement (Lee, 2019[12]). Reinforcing the legal foundation for stakeholder engagement by making it mandatory in the process of developing long-term adult learning plans, such as the Lifelong Learning Promotion Basic Plan, will make it more inclusive (see Chapter 4). Stakeholder engagement in the development of such plans could be further supported by the recently created Civic Participation Policy Division of the Ministry of Interior and Safety, which was created to design ways to promote stakeholder engagement in national policy design throughout government. The Ministry of Interior and Safety has also supported the launch of DemosX, a platform to engage stakeholders in policy design. The platform can be accessed through a website or a mobile application and allows stakeholders to express their opinions or participate in surveys on selected policy issues. Participants can also submit innovative policy ideas, receive updates on policies of their interest and participate in open discussions (Ministry of Interior and Safety, 2020[13]).

In Korea, efforts to foster social consensus on a vision for adult learning should be strengthened by raising public awareness about the importance of adult learning (Korea, 2019[8]). This will be particularly beneficial in the Korean context, where the participation rate in adult learning is comparatively low, and where there are large participation gaps between different age groups and between those with high and low levels of education (see Chapter 1). While the Korean government is making efforts to raise awareness about the importance of adult learning (Table 2.4) (Korea, 2019[8]), it should do more to reach out to disadvantaged groups (e.g. women, older adults, adults with lower levels of education, non-regular workers) (see Chapter 4).

There is currently a lack of co-ordinated research on adult learning and its benefits in Korea, and strengthening research is crucial to inform the adult learning vision (Korea, 2019[8]). Several government research institutes such as the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET), the Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI) and the Korea Labour Institute (KLI) conduct research on a variety of policies, including adult learning; however, their research activities tend to be fragmented and not sufficiently co-ordinated, which makes it challenging to compile all the relevant research findings and comprehensively consider them for the development of an adult learning vision. Korea should thus consider establishing or designating a research institute to gather all adult learning relevant data from different institutions and co-ordinate research efforts across government and society to inform the development of the adult learning vision and support the implementation phase of the vision (Korea, 2019[8]). The research institute could be situated under a lead ministry (e.g. MoE or MoEL), with the participation of the Presidential Office, the Office for Government Policy Co-ordination, and other relevant ministries and stakeholders. Currently, a legal framework is being discussed to assign the role of conducting research on adult learning policies to the National Institute for Lifelong Education.

Korea could consider the example of the Skills Norway institute, which is situated under the Ministry of Education and Research and conducts research on adult learning that informs the development of long-term documents such as the Norwegian Strategy for Skills Policy. As the secretariat of the Skills Requirement Committee, Skills Norway examines Norway’s skills requirements. It is also the Norwegian National Co-ordinator for the Nordic Network for Adult Learning and the European Agenda for Adult Learning, which allows it to share and absorb knowledge and experience at the Nordic, European and international level, and thus get valuable input for Norway’s own long-term adult learning vision development (Box 2.2).

As adult learning policies cut across diverse policy areas, effective policy co-ordination is key to their success. Across OECD countries, successful adult learning policies emerge from inclusive national project teams that involve all relevant ministries. These teams are typically championed by a prime minister or by the minister responsible from the lead ministry, with senior level authority across all participating ministries (OECD, 2019[1]). Such teams are accountable for the results of adult learning and ensure that the process of developing adult learning policies is transparent and open. Successful national project teams are typically led by an effective project co-ordinator who is trusted and respected by participating ministries and stakeholders (OECD, 2019[1]).

In Korea, the Social Affairs Ministers’ Committee (SAMC), established in 2015 to lead horizontal co-ordination across nine ministries on a variety of social policies, should play a strong co-ordination role in adult learning (Figure 2.3, Panel A). The committee is chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) for Social Affairs, a position that is assumed by the Minister of Education. In order to support the roles of the Minister of Education as the DPM and the chair of the SAMC, the position of Deputy Minister (DM) for Social Affairs was established in the Ministry of Education (Figure 2.3, Panel B). The DM assists the DPM in fostering co-operation across the nine ministries with responsibilities for the social policies covered by the SAMC.

The ministerial meetings of the SAMC are held twice a month to co-ordinate social policies, assess the achievements of each ministry and consider specific policy actions. Participating ministries can propose topics for the agenda to be put to a vote, which takes place two or three times a year. As the SAMC is mandated to develop, monitor the progress and facilitate the implementation of the Inclusive Nation Social Policy Promotion Plan (2019), which includes adult learning as a key policy area, it is well positioned to advance discussions on adult learning policies. However, its role in policy co-ordination for adult learning has so far been limited due to the broad range of social policy areas covered and a lack of effective decision-making authority (Chae, 2018[16]; Korea, 2019[8]).

Efforts are underway to strengthen the co-ordination role of the SAMC. During its first meeting of 2020 it discussed measures to strengthen its role and functions. Members agreed to give priority to issues that reflect the needs and interests of the public, and to allow the year-round submission of pressing topics for discussion to enable a timely response. In addition, the SAMC will set up task forces headed by the DM dedicated to strengthening its role in monitoring the implementation of decisions and to improve policy results (Ministry of Education, 2020[19]). Examples of adult learning policies that the SAMC has discussed include measures to innovate in the area of open and lifelong education and training, and measures related to adult learning in higher education. According to stakeholders consulted during this project, the expertise of the SAMC to lead adult learning discussions could be further raised, including through the measures suggested below.

Although relevant ministries provide input for SAMC discussions when requested, a working level co-ordination group promoting ongoing discussions among relevant ministries would further support the role of the SAMC in adult learning. A working level co-ordination group for adult learning policy could be composed of representatives from the MoE and MoEL and other relevant ministries that are members of the SAMC (e.g. Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, and Ministry of Health and Welfare). The existence of such a working level co-ordination group would allow for more in-depth and ongoing discussions and more extensive co-ordination efforts, specifically on adult learning policies. The working level co-ordination group could convene on a more regular basis and, if necessary, prepare adult learning policy input and recommendations for the SAMC to consider, and follow up on SAMC decisions regarding their implementation. Article 10 of the Act on the Social Affairs Ministers’ Committee provides legal grounds for working level co-ordination meetings for SAMC agenda items. The working level co-ordination group could also be used as a communication channel with ministries not represented at the SAMC and could be allowed to submit adult learning input and proposals for the working level co-ordination group to consider. For example, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy does not participate in the SAMC, but its database on skills demands could provide useful evidence for adult learning policies.

In Flanders, the Joint Policy Council and the Management Committee play important roles in co-ordinating skills policies across policy domains. The committee is composed of leading government officials from the policy domains of education and training, and work and social economy. The council is a decision-making body composed of the committee and the relevant ministers (Box 2.4).

The pool of expert staff capable of undertaking research and analysis on adult learning policy needs to be increased to support horizontal co-ordination on adult learning policies. Although the SAMC does not have an independent permanent secretariat, the MoE provides a team within its Social Policy Co-operation Bureau of about 18 staff members to support the role of the DPM and the DM in the SAMC (Ministry of Education and Ministry of Interior and Safety, 2019[20]; Ministry of Education, 2020[17]). Participants in the OECD consultations in Korea argued that additional Social Policy Co-operation Bureau staff with adult learning expertise could raise the effectiveness of co-ordinating adult learning policies (Korea, 2019[8]). Such staff could exchange adult learning policy information with relevant experts across relevant ministries, analyse available research findings on adult learning policies, prepare the substantive input for the SAMC and the working level co-ordination group to consider, and follow up on any decisions (Korea, 2019[8]; Lee et al., 2019[11]).

The SAMC could be further supported and informed by the work of two adult learning relevant national co-ordination bodies: the National Lifelong Education Promotion Committee and the Employment Policy Deliberative Council.

The National Lifelong Education Promotion Committee is chaired by the Minister of Education and consists of 20 members including senior representatives of relevant ministries and experts in adult learning. The committee provides feedback to the Ministry of Education on the development of the Lifelong Education Promotion Basic Plan, the evaluation and improvement of lifelong learning policies, and the co-ordination of lifelong learning policies (as described in the Lifelong Education Act, see also Chapter 3).

The Employment Policy Deliberative Council is chaired by the Minister of Employment and Labour and consists of 30 members, including senior representatives of relevant ministries, representatives from unions, employers, and other experts on employment issues. The council provides feedback to the Ministry of Employment and Labour on the development of the Vocational Skills Development Basic Plan for Innovation and Inclusive Growth, the evaluation and improvement of vocational skills development policies, and the co-ordination of vocational skills development policies (as described in the Employment Policy Act) (Box 2.3). The council can also create expert committees to discuss specific topics in depth. Expert committees have already been created on the topics of employment services, social enterprises, active labour market policies and programmes to support employment for people with disabilities. These expert committees have been found to be useful in supporting the work of the council.

This section provides an overview of the existing channels for disseminating adult learning information and discusses how ministries in Korea should collaborate more to improve the dissemination of this information. Relevant country examples and specific recommendations are also presented.

The largest obstacle to participation in adult learning is a lack of information. According to the Korea Labour and Income Panel Study (KLIPS), about 30% of respondents stated that they are not provided with sufficient information about available training opportunities (Figure 2.4). This is significantly more than other obstacles such as lack of diversity in training programmes (17.6%), lack of financial support (10.8%) and inadequate training content or methodology (4.4%).

However, research shows that even after accessing information only a small share of adults participated in adult learning. According to the Lifelong Learning Survey,3 26% of adults accessed information on adult learning during the past year (as of 2017), and only 27% of those who accessed information ended up participating in adult learning (Figure 2.5). This highlights the need to provide better information on adult learning and career guidance, as well as guidance to help interpret and act upon this information. This would allow those who access information on adult learning to identify the most relevant opportunities that match their individual needs and career paths, and that are based on the latest labour market trends (see Chapter 5).

There are currently two main online portals on adult learning in Korea: Neulbaeum (MoE) and HRD-net (MoEL). The purpose of these portals is to provide users with information on learning opportunities and allow them to keep track of their learning history. They also generate statistics for analysis and evaluation purposes.

Both ministries are currently working on further integrating adult learning information in their online portals. The MoE plans to establish a National Lifelong Learning Site to provide comprehensive information on lifelong learning opportunities for all citizens by integrating the Neulbaeum portal with the Lifelong Learning Account System Portal, which helps individuals manage their learning records and history. The creation of such a portal will combine the distribution, management and use of adult learning information under a single MoE platform to offer a one-stop portal from 2024. Similarly, the MoEL is working to launch an integrated one-stop portal called Goyong 24 that can provide information on employment relevant services offered by the MoEL. It does this by integrating information from HRD-net with information from Work-net and Q-net (expected in 2023). Work-net provides information on job openings, connects jobseekers and employers, and offers career guidance and aptitude tests. Q-net is a national qualification portal site that provides information on the types of national qualifications available, qualification test schedules and application procedures.

Given that the MoE and MoEL separately administer their portals, users need to create different accounts to seek adult learning information on both portals, making it a time-consuming process to acquire and compare information, and make learning decisions (Chae, 2017[23]).

The Korean government plans to gradually link these portals to provide consistent information. The MoE and MoEL are planning to ensure that information on adult learning opportunities can be found on both portals, and are exploring the possibility of fully integrating the portals to offer users a single portal with comprehensive information on adult learning opportunities (Government of Korea, 2020[24]). Korea could also consider how other related portals from the MoEL (e.g. Job-net), KRIVET (e.g. Career-net), subnational governments and other ministries could be linked or integrated with such a portal. Currently, these other portals are operated independently, and overlap to some extent. Job-net provides information on job postings that have been announced through Work-net and private employment services. Career-net provides career guidance to diverse groups including students of all ages, parents and teachers, and adults in general. Stakeholders in Korea have commented that having a one-stop portal that integrates all information related to adult learning would help to increase access for end users (Chae, 2017[23]; Korea, 2019[8]).

Although the main platforms of the MoE and MoEL are not fully integrated and are still operating separately, Korea should consider introducing a single account to access the portals. Having users maintain separate accounts to keep track of their learning history across two portals is cumbersome, inefficient and error-prone. Given that the data on individual adult learning participation is not linked between the portals, it is also more challenging to generate comprehensive adult learning statistics for individuals. A single account would make it easier for users to access, ensure the consistency of user information and allow for the provision of a single record of adult learning participation for each user across all platforms. This would also be beneficial for evaluation purposes, as the learning activities of each user could be analysed more comprehensively across platforms.

Given that the means of accessing information vary significantly across age groups, diverse channels should be used to disseminate adult learning information. The Lifelong Learning Survey shows that the means of accessing adult learning information differ significantly among age groups (Figure 2.6). Younger generations are more likely to access information through digital technology (e.g. Internet, mobile), while older generations are more likely to access information through other people. Therefore, online platforms need to be complemented with other personalised channels, such as guidance and counselling services, to reach all potential users effectively.

Information on adult learning opportunities should be tailored to different user’s needs and conveyed consistently across available guidance and counselling services (OECD, 2020[25]). In Korea, guidance and counselling services are a legal right, and they are delivered through a multitude of institutions, including subnational employment centres, subnational lifelong learning centres, university counselling centres and human resources development services (Korea, 2019[8]). For example, the MoEL operates national labour consultation centres, which provide guidance and counselling sessions on a variety of employment related issues, including vocational training to transition to a new job. The MoEL also operates the Employment and Welfare Plus Centre in collaboration with various ministries, including the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (Saeil Centre), local governments (job centres, welfare system), the Financial Services Commission (various financial systems), and the Ministry of the Interior and Safety (related organisations, institutions) to provide comprehensive employment related services, such as guidance, welfare and financial services. The MoE operates CareerNet, which provides guidance and counselling on formal education and career options (Ministry of Employment and Labour, 2020[26]; KRIVET, 2020[27]).

There are also a number of services targeted at specific groups. Job hope centres for middle-aged and older people provide specialised guidance and counselling services for middle-aged and older people in need of retraining (OECD, 2018[28]). Similarly, the Seoul Metropolitan Government launched the Seoul 50 Plus Foundation to support jobseeking Seoul residents aged 50-65 with customised career guidance (Box 2.5). The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family launched the New Work for Women initiative to provide women with VET and career guidance services (Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, 2020[29]).

The multiplicity of counselling and guidance services has led to the provision of information that is often inconsistent (KRIVET, 2019[30]; Korea, 2019[8]). This causes unnecessary confusion among users and undermines efforts to inform their adult learning and related career decisions. Further co-ordination efforts between the multitude of actors are necessary to provide consistent information (Korea, 2019[8]).

In the long term, Korea could create a one-stop counselling and guidance service to facilitate access and ensure the consistent provision of counselling and guidance services (OECD, 2020[25]). For example, Denmark provides comprehensive career guidance to adults through a one-stop service called the Education Guide, which allows users to contact counsellors individually to receive customised guidance (Box 2.6). In Korea, a one-stop counselling and guidance service could help to ensure that such services are customised and targeted to the specific needs of different user groups. This could be done through, for example, a career aptitude test (e.g. assessment of skill set, personality, motivation) so that the provision of services could be based on an individual’s specific profile (Chae, 2017[23]). Korea should also consider how to reach groups with specific needs, limitations and profiles who have so far been under-served by existing counselling and guidance services, such as disabled individuals and non-regular workers (KRIVET, 2019[30]). Currently, an amendment bill to the Act on the Development of Vocational Skills of Workers has been proposed that includes counselling and guidance services in vocational skills development projects, which would increase access to such services for all Koreans. Counselling and guidance services should also inform users about the various financial incentives that exist to support their adult learning participation (see Chapter 5). Flanders (Belgium) runs an independent one-stop counselling and guidance service called the Learning Shop (Leerwinkel) (Box 2.6) that specifically targets and tailors services to disadvantaged groups, such as those with low education levels, immigrants and prisoners.


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← 1. For the definition of “skills” please see Box 1.1. in Chapter 1.

← 2. For the definition of “adult learning” please see Box 1.1. in Chapter 1.

← 3. The Lifelong Learning Survey, conducted by the Ministry of Education, polled over 11 000 Korean citizens aged 25 to 79 from 6 469 households (an average of 1.77 persons per household).

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