Written by Denise Chircop,
The public debate will look for flexible solutions and embrace an inclusive approach to encourage innovation in policy-making. The lifelong learning perspective which underpins it, encompasses education and training from early infancy to late adulthood in formal, non-formal and informal contexts. This requires some supportive structures, such as mechanisms to assist mobility and tools for the recognition of non-formal and informal learning. Improving the functionality of these arrangements will be discussed to make flexible learning pathways more tangible. This could widen access to new skills, helping people to adapt better to labour market evolutions or even to shape them.
See our Topical Digest on
‘Lifelong learning: flexible pathways and skills acquisition‘.
To accompany this event, the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) has published a topical digest that compiles a set of publications covering the main themes. They analyse the different ways the European Union supports Member States in the field of lifelong learning. The ‘European Youth Strategy’ and other EU youth initiatives are designed to support young people at a time marked by high youth unemployment and disenchantment, by opening up flexible pathways and opportunities for civic and social participation. However, these strategies cannot address the wider social and economic context on their own. The ‘Europe 2020 strategy’ identifies a number of key areas, including education, in need of structural reform to help Member States return to growth and the creation of jobs.
EU level strategies in the field of education, training, youth and sport are given substance through the Erasmus+ programme, whose implementation is currently being assessed by the European Parliament. The EPRS also looked at the cost-of non Europe on cross-border volunteering, which is supported by Erasmus+ for its potential to develop life skills. Skills development is also discussed with respect to the impact of technology on learning and teaching and in another analysis on skills mismatch within the European Union. On the other hand, the contribution of education towards an inclusive and cohesive society are addressed by an infographic on women and education, as well as a briefing on the educational dimension of the integration of migrants, and a note on education and intercultural dialogue as tools against radicalisation.