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The distribution of adult training in European countries - Evidences from recent surveys

The importance of a highly skilled workforce has become increasingly relevant in the context of the European Union new strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth - ‘Europe 2020’. At the individual level, a good education is increasingly decisive for employment prospects and earnings levels. The skills and competences of the workforce are the product of a large variety of learning activities that take place in diverse institutional contexts. While good initial education provides an essential foundation, learning continues through the working years. Policies encouraging wide participation in continuing training are therefore an important component of lifelong learning strategies. Very little is known concerning differences in continuing training or their causes and consequences. Such information would be useful for assessing policy choices related to training, such as whether to encourage an overall increase in training levels or to attempt to redirect training investments toward groups currently receiving little training. This publication deals with some of these issues. The first part uses harmonised data from European surveys on training to assemble a set of stylised facts concerning differences in the distribution of training across European countries. Part two examine some of these issues in greater depth; statistical techniques are used to analyse individual probabilities of training based on microdata from Adult Education Survey. A concluding section considers implications for policy in this area.

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