Flexible and permeable education systems enable learners to move within and across education, training and employment. Flexibility means that learning pathways can adapt to the changing interests and abilities of young people as they progress. Permeability means that young people have the option to progress to programmes at a higher level or to switch to another programme to achieve their long-term career plans. More specifically, flexibility in the delivery of learning opportunities means that young people whose education was interrupted may benefit from an extended period to complete their studies, the possibility to study part-time, or alternative delivery methods (e.g. online).
For NEETs, flexible options for education and training can substantially improve their life chances. Innovative thinking can identify ways to engage and support NEETs to make the most of their knowledge, skills and talents, according to their own learning interests and aptitudes.
Flexible systems can be achieved by breaking programmes into units or modules to enable movement across the system and by offering opportunities for credit transfer or recognition of prior learning. Delivery options can include the possibility to attend evening classes or courses on a part-time basis, while pedagogical approaches could give teachers the capacity to use various teaching methods in line with students’ needs, for example.