Promoting adult learning in the workplace
Changing and increasing skills demands, coupled with economic, demographic and technological developments are making it more important than ever for Member States to have in place modern adult learning systems. All adults, regardless of their level of education or qualifications, need opportunities and incentives to continue learning throughout life, whether it be for maintaining their employability, for fuller participation in our digital society, or for personal fulfilment. The European Agenda for Adult Learning (renewed in 2015) reaffirms that adult learning – formal, non-formal and informal, and for all purposes – “provides a means of upskilling or reskilling those affected by unemployment, restructuring and career transitions, as well as making an important contribution to social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development”. The European Pillar of Social Rights, as jointly proclaimed by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council, sets as its first principle the right to quality and inclusive education, training and lifelong learning. Learning later in life very often takes place at the workplace. Therefore, there is increased interest in answering questions such as: How can we turn every workplace into a learning-friendly environment? How can we ensure that adults acquire the skills and competences they need to obtain rewarding jobs and progress in their professional careers? How can we make high-quality workplace learning available to everyone? How can workplace learning help the many adults who struggle with basic competences like literacy and numeracy? Over the last two years, a working group of Member State experts, facilitated by the Commission, has been addressing these questions as part of the Strategic Framework for cooperation on education and training (ET 2020). This report presents the outcomes of its work. It identifies key messages for policy development along with case studies to inspire new thinking. I would like to thank all those who participated in and supported the Working Group in its work. Whether you are from a governmental organisation, an enterprise, a trade union, a training provider, or civil society, I hope that this practical report will inspire you to play your part in making every workplace a place of learning.