04.03.2016

EAEA appointed to take part in two ET2020 Working Groups

As the Working Group on Adult Learning 2014–2015, set up by the European Commission, concluded its work with key findings and recommendations, the next generation of working groups is ready to start. From 2016 to 2018, EAEA will be present in the working groups on adult learning and on citizenship education.

As part of the strategic framework of the Education and Training 2020 (ET 2020), the Commission sets up Working Groups on various policy fields of education for two years at a time.

ET2020 Working Groups gather policy makers from the Member States as well as European stakeholders and civil society representatives. The purpose is to help Member States address the key challenges of their education and training systems, as well as common priorities agreed at European level.

From key messages to recommendations

The ET2020 Working Group on adult learning, active through 2014 and 2015, consisted of around 40 European adult education experts. Its mandate was to support mutual policy learning and develop policy recommendations on addressing adult basic skills, promoting the use of new technologies and Open Educational Resources (OER) in adult learning, and enhancing the effectiveness, efficiency and coherence of adult learning policies.

EAEA President Per Paludan Hansen represented EAEA and civil society in the group.
“The group did very good work – there were very strong participants with a broad perspective on adult learning. Its work will have an impact on adult education policies in many Member States,” he says.

The final report of the 2014–2015 Working group on Adult Learning, “Improving Policy and Provision for Adult Learning in Europe“, presents eight key findings and recommendations on how to improve the adult learning policies around Europe.

Adult learning and promoting citizenship in focus

For 2016–2018 the Commission has set up six ET2020 working groups: school education, modernization of higher education, vocational education and training, adult learning, digital skills and competences and citizenship education.

EAEA is participating two of them: the working group on adult learning that has a focus on workplace learning of adults, and the working group on Promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education, that was set up as a follow-up of the Paris Declaration.

EAEA Secretary General Gina Ebner represents the association in the first working group, while the EAEA President Per Paludan-Hansen is present in the latter.

Endorsing workplace learning of adults

The work of the adult learning group aims at promoting and widening the availability of workplace learning of adults. It also has an objective to increase the supply and take-up of high quality adult learning provision to respond to demands for up- and reskilling of the workforce, including provision for raising basic competences such as literacy, numeracy and digital skills

“I look forward to contribute to the working group on adult learning,” says Ms. Ebner. “The focus is a fairly narrow one: workplace learning. But the workplace is key in motivating people to take up learning, and I would like to make the connection between non-formal adult education and the workplace,” she explains.

Key messages of the ET 2020 Working group on adult learning 2014–2015:

  • Adult learning can improve lives and economies;
  • A major boost is needed to raise adults’ basic skills;
  • Better outreach and collaboration are needed to promote adults’ participation in learning, leading to their inclusion;
  • To improve national adult skills levels, high quality programmes are essential;
  • All adults now need digital skills;
  • Digital resources need to be more extensively used in adult education;
  • Adult learning policy needs to be coherent and coordinated;
  • Adult learning policies need to be informed by evidence and proper monitoring.

 

Text: Aura VuorenrinnePhotos: European Union 2016 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Lieven Creemers

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