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12. Have low-educated adults fewer opportunities to participate in education and training?

Indicator 1100: low-educated adults in lifelong learning
Figure 12 Low-educated adults in lifelong learning (%)

Adult learning should be inclusive and it is particularly important for those adults who only have low levels of formal educational attainment.

Raising their participation levels, generally below the average, will contribute to higher levels of lifelong learning. The indicator below is defined as the percentage of adults aged 25-64 with low education attainment who participated in education and training over the four weeks prior to the survey. Adults with low education attainment (low-educated adults) are those with, at most, a lower secondary qualification (ISCED 2), so the indicator is a measure of lifelong learning for this group of adults.

Figure 12: Low-educated adults in lifelong learning (%)

Source: Eurostat, EU labour force survey.

Key points

In 2016, 4.2% of low-educated adults in the EU participated in lifelong learning. This share is lower than the corresponding share of all adults (at 10.8%, indicator 1050). Between 2013 and 2016, the share of low-educated adults participating in lifelong learning decreased by 0.3 percentage points.

Denmark and Sweden report the highest levels of participation in 2016, at 19.4% and 19.3%, respectively. Finland (12.9%) had the third largest share and also the second highest percentage point change in participation between 2013 and 2016, an increase by 1.7 percentage points. In contrast, the United Kingdom experienced the sharpest fall in participation, by 1.9 percentage points between 2013 and 2016; but at 6.0%, its 2016 participation rate is still above the EU average.

Among non-EU countries, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland had high levels of participation compared with the EU (all above 10% in 2016, with Iceland nearly at 14%). In contrast the share of low-educated adults participating in lifelong learning in 2015 was low in Turkey.

Table 12: Low-educated adults in lifelong learning (%)

Arrows ↗ or ↘ signal a positive or negative trend based on more than two data points and of magnitude 0.1 per year or more. Trends based on more than two data points but of smaller magnitude are indicated by →; trends based on two points only are marked ▪. Trends are estimated by means of regression models.
The 2014 “b” flags in the Eurostat online tables have been ignored on the basis of other relevant Eurostat metadata.
(b) Break after 2010. Therefore baseline data not included. (u) Eurostat: "low reliability". (z) Eurostat: "not applicable". (e) Eurostat: "estimated".

Source: Eurostat, EU labour force survey.

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Annex 1: short description of indicators and additional notes

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Annex 2: Reading the indicator statistical overviews

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