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EPALE A felnőttkori tanulás elektronikus európai platformja



The role of adult learning in helping career development

létrehozta David Mallows

/sl/file/career-development-0Career development

Career development


As part of our November focus, EPALE is organising a written discussion on the role of adult education in helping employees adapt to the fast-changing world of work.

The discussion will take place on this page on 22 November at 10:00 CET and will be moderated by EPALE Thematic Coordinator David MallowsDon’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

  • How can adult education respond to the needs of adults working in the gig economy?
    • With increasing numbers of occupations involving working independently on electronic platforms how can adult education respond contingently to their needs, to ensure their autonomy and effectiveness is not impacted upon by their isolation and lack of collective weight?
    • How can we identify, validate, and promote the new skills that underpin the effectiveness of those involved in working in this way?
  • We know that those with high levels of qualifications are more likely to engage in workplace training and education. How can we support the career development of those in jobs that require few skills?
    • How can we ensure that a vicious cycle of low demand, leading to the deterioration of existing skills and the lack of development of new skills (digital, literacy, numeracy, soft etc.) doesn’t lead to a social exclusion and the creation of an underclass of workers?

Discussion left open during lunch interval

13:30-16:00 CET

  • Most learning at work is informal – we learn from each other by observing, talking and trying out new skills. How can adult education engage with employers in order to validate such learning – making adults’ skills more visible without creating cumbersome qualification systems?
  • How can employers create cultures of learning in their workplaces that support their employees in responding to the demands placed on them and flourishing in their careers?
    • What incentives to learn can employers provide?
    • How can governments ensure that their adult learning policies are proactive, prevent skills deficits of those in employment, rather than just responding when people become unemployed?

We would love to hear about initiatives and projects that you have been involved in that support adults in learning for and at work.

You can also check out Simon Broek's blog post on the topic.

**The discussion is now live. Press the 'Refresh comments' button below to see the latest comments posted by the community.

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1 - 10/141 megjelenítése
Ian Borkett képe
In the UK unions are in a unique place to engage with a wide range of partners and communities effectively engaging and supporting adult learners in the workplace. Our Supporting Learners work underpins all unionlearn activity with the primary aim of making all learning and progression opportunities available to working people, particularly those who are most disadvantaged in the workplace.

Our strategy for supporting learners is built around the successful Network Model. The model places the work of the union reps at the heart of the strategy. Union Learning Reps are ideally placed to support learners as they speak the same language as their members and have their trust. Learners then feel supported in accessing the right learning and courses for them to consider their career options.

Unionlearn, the TUC's learning and skills arm, is a partner in an exciting and innovative Erasmus+ Project called The Rainbow Years. The project aims to support older workers with low English, maths and digital skills by offering them a Mid-life Skills Review to boost their confidence and skills so they can remain within the labour market. The project will develop new online training materials for Mid-life Skills Reviewers and an innovative online transferable skills assessment tool called Value My Skills. The online tool identifies the transferable skills a worker has developed and those that are under developed so that the user can then develop a personalized action plan to help them progress and get on at work. This dynamic and creative online tool will be launched next month and the Mid-life Skills Reviews will be rolled out next year. Further information about the project can be found on the unionlearn website at
Alice Jäske képe
There's this new versatile platform called "Positive CV" in Finland. It's purpose is to help children and adolescents learn to recognize and document their abilities and strengths together with those closest to them. I'm just wondering, could this kind of platform work also with adults and help them, their co-workers and their current or future employers to recognize their skills? Maybe this kind of system could be one way to validate or just make visible informal learning that happens at work? 

Here's more about positive CV:
Christina Schleef képe
Hi, I am Christina, a student of adult education at the university of graz, austria. I think, our educational systems needs a change, because it is to closed. There should be the posibility to compare different qualifications. A worker, who was qualificated in dual education system, who finished this and worked in his job for severall years, has to start at the very beginning, when he goes to university. I think, within his subject, where he already is professional, he should not be treated like someone, who comes to university without knowing anything about the subject. We need a classification system, thats is more open, that validates acquired education, no mather, if it is academical or not, that gives the posibility to get attached in different ways.
Armando Loureiro képe
We know that adult learners in non-formal or formal education / learning contexts who validate and certify such processes do not benefit in the same way from such processes. That is, the career counterparts are not the same for everyone. It is adults who are already at an average or high level of their career who benefit most from the learning process There is also a tendency for the demand for such processes to be greater in adults with higher levels of education. If the most valued learning processes are those that are paid, where is the role of adult education in the process of democratization and the possibility of social ascension?
Christina Schleef képe
Hi, I am Christina. I´m a studend of adult aducation in Graz, Austria. I think, the validation of educational qualification should offer a system, that makes qualifications comparable. A worker, wo was in dual education system, finished this and worked in his job for some years, has a big knowledge within his subject. When he goes to university, he has to start from the beginning in his subject, although he is a professional. It should be able for him, not to start again from the very beginning - in his subject - like others, who are completly new in it. We need offers in our system to connect to acquiered education - no mather, if its academical or not. Shure, there must be a classificaton system, to value skills and qualifications - but it should be much more open.
Carlos RIBEIRO képe
Yesterday I was in a small photography company in a historical center of a city in the rural areas of the country. The businessman and owner of the company told me that the principal employee had decided to set up his own photography company and had become his direct competitor in the local market. This situation led me to the following question: who is the builder of social capital resulting from learning in the work context? In other words, since the concept of "career" is assumed exclusively as an individual dynamic, but knowing that the basis of its development is an aggregate of other dynamics, namely those resulting from learning in the work context, we must admit that the worker is the bearer of resources, he/she is not the only builder of his own career. Thus, it would be worth exploring a more holistic approach to the concept of career and, above all, providing each worker and each employer with mutual validation mechanisms that value the "career system" and not just the individual pathway.
David Mallows képe
I will have to leave this lively discussion now, but do feel free to carry on without me. I will check back in this evening to read what has been written. I will also put together a short summary blog for EPALE and look forward to engaging with you all on this, and other subjects, in the future.
Tamara Marzi képe
I think that there should be a system or anything similar, which shows what kind of skills - especially soft skills - each person has and it should be free of charge. The problem particularly in Austria is, that most of the people think that for a 'good' certificate you have to pay for. So we have to change something, but how should we do that without creating cumbersome qualification systems but I don't know either what the problems solution could be. Maybe it could be integrated as a part in the reference. But there shows up another problem: how to validate it.
Irem Zararsiz képe
Interestingly education programmes you have to pay for are often connoted with more positive outcomes for indivuduals and quality and are often seen as more valuable. indeed, unfortunately the quality in public adult education suffers because of the combination of various circumstances such as the accomodation or precarious working conditions of staff.