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Why investment in learning for adults should be a priority in Greece

Learners

At least two-thirds of adults in every EU Member State agree that their government should prioritise investment in learning for adults. In Greece, the figure is 92%, amongst the highest in the EU, according to a survey by Cedefop.

The case for prioritising adult learning and training is strengthened by the 47% of adults in Greece who said that they lack some technical skills and 38% that lack some basic skills to do their job at the required level compared to the EU averages of 28% and 22% respectively.

Adults in Greece are positive about learning and training. More than 85% say that they bring real benefits and help people to find a job, make progress in their careers and to increase their pay. Some 79% also think that adult learning and training can reduce unemployment.

Perceptions differ about the quality of adult learning and training in Greece. Some 53% of adults generally regard its quality as good or fairly good, compared to 69% in the EU. However, 94% of adults who had participated in organised learning and training in the previous year rated it as good or fairly good, close to the 93% EU average.

n the EU, 72% of adults agree that there are many learning and training opportunities in their country, compared to 66% in Greece. The survey reports that in the previous 12 months, 41% of Greek adults had looked for information on learning and training opportunities, close to the 44% in the EU overall. Importantly, 85% of Greek adults said that information was easy to find, compared to 66% across the EU.

In 22 out of the 30 European countries surveyed, the main reason adults give for not participating in learning or training is that they have no need, but not in Greece. The number one reason given by 45% of respondents in Greece is the difficulties they face combining training with other commitments. Some 75% strongly support measures that provide financial help, while 81% strongly support help with childcare, well above the European average of 58% for both measures.      

The EU has been trying to increase adult participation in learning and training and, although it has risen to around 11%, it remains below its target of 15% across Europe by 2020. Many Member States fell short of this target, including Greece where participation is around 4.5%.

However, the survey shows that lack of participation is not because adults in Greece are negative about learning. With 84% saying that they need constantly to keep their skills up to date to do their jobs, the survey provides a basis for making adult learning and training an investment priority and for encouraging more adults to learn.

Notes

Cedefop’s second opinion survey, published in 2020, provides insights into what Europeans think of adult learning and continuing vocational education and training (CVET).The survey informs policies to make VET a more attractive and effective learning option. It was carried out between May and July 2019 and comprised 40 466 telephone interviews of people aged 25 and over living in the EU, Iceland and Norway. The survey findings are in two volumes. The first volume looks at Member States, the second volume, to be published in 2021, considers the views of demographic and socioeconomic groups across the EU.

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