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Strategies for improving participation in and awareness of adult learning.

The European Agenda for Adult Learning, adopted in November 2011, is set to launch a concrete joint programme that makes adult learning a stronger link in the lifelong learning chain. But the first challenge we need to address is to increase participation in adult learning and to make everyone – learners, providers, stakeholders and policy makers – aware of the benefits of a high quality, easily accessible and equitable adult learning system.

This European Guide is designed to help protagonists meet this challenge. It presents strategies to raise awareness of adult learning and explores how to make adult learning more popular and more accessible for target groups. All those active in adult learning in Europe are invited to draw upon these examples as a rich source of inspiration for future activities and to advocate for adult learning that is of high quality, attractive, and within reach of all citizens.

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

by Mircea Badescu, Christelle Garrouste, Massimo Loi  (2011)

        Training appears to be most evenly distributed across educational attainment levels in Nordic countries
        where a concentration of training on the most educated workers can be observed in some  new member
        states (Poland, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania). However, lower educated adult workers participate much l
        less in training than their more educated counterparts. Estimates based on microdata confirm that less-
        educated workers are significantly less likely to be trained. This is an important finding as most policies fail to
        affect the distribution of training across different  categories of workers. In Belgium, Austria and some Nordic
        countries data indicates no or only a weak tendency to concentrate the training on adult workers whereas a
        steep fall off in training with age can be seen in Poland, Slovakia and the Baltic States. Estimates based on
        microdata show that training probabilities decrease significantly with age, confirming  a tendency for training
        to be “front-loaded”. Women and men participate in training to a roughly comparable extent, with the
        exception of the employer-provided training (as indicatethe moderately lower CVTS estimates). The    
        results based on AES microdata  show that women are significantly less likely to receive guided on-the-job
        non-formal training but they are more likely to follow courses or private lessons as part of their non-formal
        training. Lower skilled adult workers participates less in training than their more skilled counterparts do. The
        differences are consistently larger in several new member states, suggesting a concentration of adult
        training on the most skilled workers.  Training appears to be most evenly distributed across occupational
        profiles in the Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway). However, the analysis based on
        microdata show that low-skilled workers are significantly most likely to receive guided on-the-job non-formal
                                                                                                                    training and this pattern is valid for both  blue and white-collar workers.

A key distinguishing feature of high-training economies is that participation in training is more evenly distributed across age and educational groups. This finding suggest that differences in national trainingsystems that affect the overall level of training, operate most strongly through their effects on the extent to which older and less educated workers receive training.

    article by Jumbo Klercq, 2009
Investing in and empowering young people is essential to achieve the objectives set out in the
Europe 2020 Strategy. Quality education and training, opportunities for mobility and active
participation of young people in society are key elements to turn the EU into a smart, sustainable
and inclusive economy delivering high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion.
In early 2011, the European Commission carried out a Flash Eurobarometer survey among young
Europeans in order to gain more insight and knowledge into theseareas. In all, 57 000 young people 
took part. The section on youth participation in society covered young people aged 15-30 in the 27 EU
Member States. The section on education, training, mobility and employment covered the age group
15-35 and included the EU 27 Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Turkey.
The full report of the survey no. 319 is available at