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EPALE - Elektronisch platform voor volwasseneneducatie in Europa

Good Practice

Adult Learning in the workplace

From 2016 to 2018 the group prepared policy guidance for Member States on how policy can promote a culture of career long learning in the workplace.

Key Messages

Adult learning in the workplace that responds to individuals', employers' and societal demands needs to become a policy priority. This requires:
A serious long-term commitment from all stakeholders
Effective coordination between stakeholders
Appropriate quality assurance mechanisms
Equitable co-funding systems that are sustainable in the long term
Effective systems to tailor provision to changing labour market needs and to the needs of adult learners
Clear governance arrangements including regular monitoring and evaluation

Building blocks of effective policies

Based on the inventory of policies, the lessons learned from peer learning, and additional evidence from studies and reports, the Working Group has identified "building blocks" that can be combined to construct effective adult workplace learning for different contexts.

The vision on adult learning in the workplace:

BB1: Encourage employers to adopt a learning culture that supports career-long learning

BB2: Ensure that adult learning in the workplace puts learners on lifelong learning pathways (and is supported by guidance systems and validation of prior learning)


Planning and ensuring relevance of adult learning in the workplace

BB7: Ensure that workplace learning is tailored to adult learners' needs

BB8: Ensure that workplace learning is tailored to adult learners' needs

Commitment to governance and coordination

BB3: Secure the long-term commitment of all stakeholders

BB4: Ensure effective coordination between all stakeholders and agree on roles and responsibilities

BB5: Communicate about adult learning in the workplace using the language of those who need to be encouraged

BB6: Ensure sustainable co-funding systems in which all see the benefit of investing in adult learning in the workplace

Monitoring and evaluation

BB9: Assure the quality of adult learning in the workplace

BB10: Set up of effective monitoring and evaluation systems to ensure that adult learning in the workplace remains relevant and effective

Policy Examples


Austria: Labour foundations (Arbeitsstifungen)

Austria: Trainers trained to deliver basic skills training in the workplace
(T ABA: Trainer/inner-Ausbildung fur Basisbildung am Arbeitsplatz)

Belgium-Flanders: Qualifying programmers for jobseekers (OKOT: onerwijskwalificerend traject)

Denmark: Adult vocational training programmes (AVTP)

France: Personal training account, VET reforms and a decree on quality

Germany: Decade for Literacy 2016-2026

Ireland: Skilnets

Netherlands: Language at work (Taal op de werkvloer)

Norway: the National Skills Policy Strategy (2017-2021)

Norway: Skills Plus

Norway: The Tripartite Cooperation

Poland: Study on Human Capital in Poland (BKL: Bilans Kapitalu Ludzkeiego)

Portugal: System for the Anticipation of Qualification Needs (SANQ) and Qualifica programme

Portugal: The Qualifica programme

Slovenia: Career Platform for Employees

Spain: Company training

Sweden: Company training

Switzerland: Go-Model - Upskilling at the workplace (Upskilling am Arbeitsplatz)

United Kingdom (England): Enabling environment and statutory entitlement