Public expenditure on initial vocational education and training (IVET) provides an indication of the scale of investments in IVET made by the State.
CVET can meet a part of the increased need for lifelong learning.
Adult learning policies should aim to remove barriers to participation in continuing education and training.
Participation in education and training is particularly important to maintain or increase the employability of jobless adults.
Adult learning should be inclusive and it is particularly important for those adults who only have low levels of formal educational attainment.
Given current demographic trends and the ageing of the workforce it is likely that older people will increasingly need to broaden and update their skills to meet labour market challenges.
For VET to be an attractive learning option, young VET graduates should experience smooth transitions not only to the labour market but also, if they wish, to further learning opportunities.
Continuing vocational education and training, and particularly employer-provided CVET, is a key component of adult learning.
Of particular interest is the extent to which different groups are more or less likely to participate in VET.
For many individuals access to VET, especially continuing VET, will be via their employer.
Raising adult participation in lifelong learning is one key objective of the EU education and training 2020 strategy.
Work-based learning is important not only in IVET, but also in CVET.
CVET, and particularly employer-provided CVET, is a key component of adult learning. It can contribute to economic performance and competitiveness as well as to personal fulfilment and career progress.
Education programmes in upper secondary VET are diverse. One of the elements of diversity is whether, upon completion, they allow direct access to tertiary education.
Work-based learning can provide a bridge to the labour market. It can aid transition from education to work and contribute to the development of highly relevant skills for the labour market.
Cedefop skills forecasts confirm that upper secondary qualifications will remain in high demand in the labour market and a key aim of IVET policy in the EU is that it should be an attractive option.
Cedefop’s European skills and jobs (ESJ) survey reveals that more than 7 in 10 adult employees in the EU need at least some fundamental ICT level to be able to perform their jobs. Yet, about one in three of those employees are at risk of digital skill gaps. At the same time, almost half of all employees in low-skilled occupations do not require ICT skills to do their work. Cedefop expert @K_Pouliakas notes that ‘the digital divide is alive and well. A strikingly high share of the EU adult workforce is still employed in a semi-analogue world, at the same time that others are faced with technological obsolescence. Reaping the full benefits of digitalisation will require modernisation of education and training systems but, crucially, more investment in digital capital infrastructure and continuing online learning for groups excluded from the digital economy.’
Cedefop’s European skills and jobs (ESJ) survey reveals that 43% of EU employees experienced a recent change in the technologies they use at work. Changing technologies and structural change in high-innovation sectors and occupations will feed into a higher reliance on cognitive and interpersonal skills in future workplaces. Cedefop expert @K_Pouliakas notes that ‘a large share of the EU adult workforce is faced with a high risk of technological skills obsolescence. Yet, concerns about widespread automation and robotisation may not materialise into a jobless world. Ultimately the future of work should depend on human acumen that will complement, and not be replaced by, artificial intelligence.’
Cedefop’s European skills and jobs survey (ESJ survey) data show that one in five young Europeans are employed in jobs that require a lower level of qualifications than the one possessed (the so-called overeducated). Cedefop expert @ilias_livanos notes, however, that just as important is the phenomenon of underskilling or skill gaps. These arise when employees’ skills are lower than those required to perform their job. In particular, Cedefop’s ESJ survey reveals that one in five Europeans are underskilled at the time of hiring and that mitigating such skill gaps requires continuing formal and informal learning in the workplace.
Cedefop’s European skills and jobs survey (ESJ survey) shows that by facilitating transparency of qualifications and skills as well as providing better skills intelligence, EU education, training and skill policies can significantly boost mobility of groups in need. Cedefop expert @K_Pouliakas notes, however, that 'many EU Member States are still treating our arsenal of education and training tools in silos – to affect citizen’s lives the New skills agenda for Europe must ensure that the tools build on and complement each other.'