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EPALE - Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe


EPALE discussion: How to ensure optimal inclusion in adult learning on the provision and policy levels?

by Simon BROEK

/en/file/inclusion-adult-learningInclusion in Adult Learning

Inclusion in Adult Learning


As part of our March focus, EPALE is organising a written discussion on how to ensure inclusion in adult learning and what makes for an inclusive adult learning provision.

The discussion will take place on this page on 22 March at 10:00 CET and will be moderated by EPALE Thematic Coordinator Simon Broek and Ellen Boeren from Edinburgh University. Don’t miss the opportunity to share your views and experiences with the EPALE community on any of the following topics:

10:00-12:30 CET

Solving inequality on the level of adult learning provision:

  1. What types of inequality do you see related to adult learning (educational background, social status, age, digital divide, migration status etc.)?
  2. What do adult learning professionals need to know and do to offer inclusive provision?
  3. How should inclusive adult learning be organised and offered?

Discussion left open during lunch interval

13:30-16:00 CET

Solving inequality on the policy level:

  1. How to ensure that adult learning systems are optimally accessible for those who need them the most?
  2. What barriers exist and how can they be overcome?
  3. What recommendations would you give to policy makers who design and implement adult learning policies related to the Upskilling Pathways initiative?

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Helle Püss's picture
Sellist olukorda nagu praegu, ei inspireeri kõikides töötajate töötajates, uuesti alustades enda arendusega, isegi mitte väikesepalgalisi, sest neid toidavad töötu kassa kui ametühing.EU on alustanud juba lõhkiläinud künast! Tuleb teha tagasikäik hariduse programides.Olen olnud 192 riigile loodud maailma uue haridusprogrammi projektide osalus, kus minu kanda oli antiikkunst ja moderne kunsti projekt.Eesti haridusministeerium on äsja käivitanud katseid koolides teemal "Maailma kõige targem rahvas", projektis - 1.kuidas saame uurida õppimist sätestatud, 2.kuidas infot kodeerida.Õppimine on see, kus sa muudad materjali enda omaks ja alles siis saad seda mõistlikult kasutada.
Jo Fletcher-Saxon's picture
I work in a college with an adult skills budget.  This funding stream can only be used in certain restricted ways on approved qualifications.  We have recently offered some short free courses which we are covering the costs of as a college as we are unable to offer those small steps into learning that some others can and used to be available everywhere.  I also find the heavy focus on maths and English is actually a barrier in itself.  When we offered short vocational courses and short creative courses - we were over run with calls.  Many of these people would benefit from some updating of English or maths skills and digital skills - but they were not knocking on our door for those - they needed a way in.  I also find the assumption that updating these skills needing to lead to a qualification is also a barrier for some.  For some, the qualification is less important that the learning.  I do believe people should get credit for learning but the qualification element may also make some learning less attractive.  The qualification is only vital if they are using it to access another programme. I have very mixed views on this!  We also find some people at level 2 who are over 25 in the UK are a little trapped - if they are ready for level 3 they can get an advanced learner loan but there are less options at level 2 and courses come with a hefty price tag.  There are of course some providers that have alternative funding which does allow for some informal learning steps but this often seems precarious and is not widely available.  So in terms of policy, there needs to be a simplified, sustainable and well understood provision of adult learning opportunities across throughout the UK, which links/maps to EU provision, rather than it being a lottery depending on where you live and if you have heard about what is on offer or whether you are deemed to be a "target group
Maria Manuel Mano Casal Ribeiro's picture
We work at lisbon council that can provide several free courses to citizens, this gives to people with low qualifications the opportunity to gain several skills and competences in digital, numeracy, citizenship etc, a kind of social service in more organizations can be an option also.
Christine Bertram's picture
I love your point about how people used to acquire the maths and English skills through creative and vocational courses... I've had some discussions on how basic skills can be taught in a "not obvious" way (e.g. crafts, sports, community groups, choirs...) - and this is recognised in some E+ projects but frequently not beyond and funding for anything beyond a pilot phase is very difficult to come by.
Ellen Boeren's picture
The mentioning of those over 25 is interesting, which can be linked to previous discussions on the role of initial education, and how policy makers loose their attention for adults. Good points!
Ellen Boeren's picture

What support will be available to individuals?

To boost access to and take up of quality learning opportunities, adults with low levels of skills would have access to Upskilling Pathways in three key steps.

  • Step 1 – Skills assessment

This is to enable adults to identify their existing skills and any needs for upskilling. It may take the form of a "skills audit": a statement of the individual's skills that can be the basis for planning a tailored offer of learning.

  • Step 2 – Learning offer

The beneficiary will receive an offer of education and training meeting the needs identified by the skills assessment. The offer should aim to boost literacy, numeracy or digital skills or allow progress towards higher qualifications aligned to labour market needs.

  • Step 3 – Validation and recognition

The beneficiary will have the opportunity to have the skills she or he has acquired validated and recognised.  

What do you think, the right approach?

Lifelong learning network Macedonia's picture
Dear Ellen I cannot agree more with the steps you mentioned above!In Macedonia, you can be involved in adult education organized by many different organizations, offering different kinds of courses but the problem is that we don't get as many participants as we want especially from unemployed people (who should participate this courses the most due to the fact that they would be more qualified if they attended some training). Most of these courses are free but unfortunately people seem not interested or unmotivated to participate in such. Some working organizations in Macedonia offer a constant improvement and development for their employees and even pay for training to achieve this, but unfortunately this is not a big number. Maybe it's about the mentality of the people and their eagerness to do something and stop being SO passive!My idea is that we should organize some motivational seminars during secondary school (especially in the last two years) and reach to every single individual by notifying him/her that they can constantly work on their own upgrade no matter if they are students, or employed or unemployed, no matter the gender, nationality or religion. 
Snezana Danilovska
CDI (Community Development Institute)
Lifelong Learning Network Macedonia
Ellen Boeren's picture
yes! There are some posts below as well that focus on the problem of lack of interest among potential learners. One of the major barriers we have to deal with!
I agree with this approach. But, what about when people need to reeducate themselves when their jobs are outdated. Would they be able to access something like this. In Iceland if people would need that again that already had an outdated higher education they wouldn't have the same right as a person who didn't get any education. Just a thought to think about in the "fourth revolution".