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Malta’s adults call for an increase in adult learning investment

Training for adults

At least two-thirds of adults in every EU Member State agree that their government should prioritise investment in their learning and training. In Malta the figure is 96%, the highest proportion in the EU, according to a survey by Cedefop. 

Adults in Malta are, overall, the most positive in the EU about the benefits of learning and training. Around 95% believe that they help people to find a job, to make progress in their careers and to increase their income. Some 91% also believe that adult learning and training can help reduce unemployment.

Malta’s adults are also the most positive about the quality of adult learning and training in their country. Some 90% generally regard its quality as good or fairly good, well above the 69% in the EU. Those who participate in adult learning are even more positive about its quality. Across the EU, 93% of adults who had participated in learning and training in the previous year rated it as good or fairly good. In Malta, satisfaction was even higher, at 99%.

Some 72% of adults across the EU agree that there are many learning and training opportunities in their country, compared to 90% in Malta. However, despite the very positive attitudes about adult learning and training in Malta, the proportion who had looked for information about them in the previous 12 months was 39%, just below the EU average of 40%. This does not appear to be due to a lack of information; 85% of adults in Malta said that information was easy to find, compared to 66% in 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 Malta. The number one reason given by 32% is the difficulty of combining training with other commitments.

Support for measures to increase adult participation in learning and training in Malta is very strong. Some 79% strongly support measures that provide financial help to encourage participation, compared to 56% across the EU. In addition, 79% strongly support help with childcare and other family responsibilities to encourage participation, compared to 58% in the EU. Some 78% of adults in Malta also strongly believe that better information and guidance would increase participation in adult learning and training, compared to the EU average of 49%. While 54% of adults in the EU strongly believe that recognition and certification of adult learning and training would increase participation, this figure rises to 77% in Malta.     

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 Malta, where participation is 10.8%.

The survey clearly shows that lack of participation is not because adults in Malta are negative about learning and training; the evidence is they are amongst the most positive in the EU. However, with 92% saying that they need constantly to keep their skills up to date to do their jobs, the survey provides a basis to consider adult learning and training in Malta an investment priority and to reflect on how to encourage more people 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.
  • For EU lifelong targets see Eurostat lifelong learning.

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