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EPALE summary: October-December focus on adult learning at the workplace

EPALE Thematic Coordinator Markus Palmén looks back at some of the content published during the thematic focus on adult learning at the workplace.

workplace learning


EPALE Thematic Coordinator Markus Palmén looks back at some of the content published during the thematic focus on adult learning at the workplace.


Skills of the future

Thematic Coordinator Gina Ebner’s blog I don´t want to learn is a candid confession of a recent moment when Ebner, a lifelong learning professional for quarter of a century, recognised in herself a deep unwillingness to learn. Is the narrative of learning too geared towards the word MUST?

Three voices: How to future-proof our skills is a video interview featuring three experts: Graham Brown-Martin (foresight expert and entrepreneur), Gohar Hovhannisyan (European Student’ Union) and Timo Leskinen (Konecranes multinational company) reflected on what kind of skills will sustain us in future workplaces. Meta-skills like learning to learn, unlearning and critical reflectivity feature big in their thinking.

Thematic Coordinator Andrew McCoshan looked at digital technology as a tool to boost workplace learning. He outlined inspiring examples, including virtual reality, and described some of the key challenges, including safeguarding pedagogical quality.


Role of trainers and teachers

In his blog article, What role can adult learning providers play in workplace learning? Thematic Coordinator Simon Broek argued that adult educators could adopt a more holistic role as guides and critical friends to organisations, rather than just ‘hired-gun’ trainers, shooting in and out the revolving door.

Continuing with the theme of trainers, Andrew McCoshan reflected on what Centres for Vocational Excellence mean for teachers and trainers.


Non-formal learning and work learning cultures

In the article Workplace learning: everybody wins Gina Ebner asked whether the educational offers of non-formal adult education institutions are a mismatch for private sector needs? It can be an excellent match, but the idealistic language surrounding non-formal learning may be off-putting for companies.

Thematic Coordinator Markus Palmén shared tried-and-tested tips for informal, collegial learning at the workplace in Four steps towards a learning culture at work. Feel free to share your own tips in the comments!

Apprenticeships for adults can turn a company into a learning organisation! Research points out that this is possible if the long-term apprenticeship learning paths are tailored to the companies’ individual needs. Read more in Simon Broek’s Adults in apprenticeships as a driver for change.


National perspectives

Aizhana Khasanova’s three-part interview series presents the adult education traditions of DenmarkGermany and Ireland in a nutshell.

The blog article National validation network – a reality check for EU visions by Markus Palmén focuses on how a national community of practice – the NVL National Validation Network in Finland – nuances and improves EU skills validation recommendations. The supranational EU vision gets a grassroots reality check.  


Projects and podcast

Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs offers insight into why young people furthest from the labour market are not responding to employability interventions, writes Richard Hazledine, CEO of ConnectMore Solutions in his blog. Hazledine explained how a UK project “Young and Successful” attempted to create an environment where young people could move up the Maslowian hierarchy steps towards employment.

In mid-November, EPALE organised an online event to share good practices on workplace learning projects. Andrew McCoshan curated key insights in his article Successful projects from the EPALE event on workplace learning.

Finally, don’t forget to listen to the EPALE podcast on workplace learning!

Markus Palmen is a journalist, writer and audiovisual producer, and a freelancer. Since August 2017 he has been EPALE's Thematic Coordinator for Policy. For eight years Markus was the Managing Editor and Editor-in-Chief for the European Lifelong Learning Magazine.

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