While the inclusion of a mobility scheme for adult learners in Erasmus+ is a positive development, the limited budgets and eligibility criteria have had a negative impact on the effectiveness of Erasmus+ for adult learning mobility and uptake is, therefore, slow. EAEA recommends that the next EU actions in this area take into account the valuable contributions of the participants to the Citizens’ Panel and establish a more inclusive framework for learning mobility, expanding existing programmes to people of all ages and backgrounds.
EAEA supports a lifelong learning approach to learning mobility and underlines the fundamental importance of physical learning mobility, which cannot be replaced by exclusively virtual programmes. The upcoming Council Recommendation should create a holistic, enabling framework for the learning mobility of adults, including specific, targeted, and coherent measures. To remove time constraints due to work that prevent adults from participating in learning mobility, EAEA recommends providing for a transnational European right to paid training leave, allowing adults to attend learning mobility without incurring any loss of income.
The EU and the Member States should also provide adequate financial support for adult learning mobility, as the inclusion of adults of all backgrounds in learning mobility is crucial to promote lifelong learning and the implementation of the European Education Area. EAEA recommends setting common objectives on learning mobility for adults and providing qualitative and quantitative indicators that can illustrate the quality of the learning programme itself, the accessibility of learning mobility, and the involvement of learners in the relevant decision-making processes. The EAEA also recommends that the European Commission’s Mobility Scoreboard should include a new section on adult learning and education, with dedicated indicators and statistics.
EAEA recommends policymakers to
- Promote a human rights-based approach to learning mobility that promotes a holistic vision of adult learning and education;
- Set European objectives and indicators, formulate a strategy, and monitor progresses, focusing on quality learning and mobility;
- Establish transnational, European paid training leave schemes that allow adults to participate in learning mobility actions;
- Provide grants, and expand access to Erasmus+ and the use of Individual Learning Accounts (ILAs) for adults’ learning mobility;
- Facilitate twinning and partnerships allowing organisations to develop exchange programmes, addressing the potential lack of personnel replacements;
- Provide free-of-charge and accessible services for the recognition and validation of skills acquired during the learning mobility, including soft and transversal skills and competences, and promote micro-credentials and European learning portfolios to record learning outcomes and benefits of learning mobility;
- Design inter-, multi- and dual-generational learning mobility programmes to promote social inclusion and cohesion;
- Offer targeted support measures for parents and caregivers;
- Address the psycho-social, cultural, personal and motivational barriers to adults’ learning mobility;
- Raise awareness about learning mobility’s benefits, organisation, support measures through Europass and EPALE.