The quality and types of jobs are changing rapidly. Various aspects such as globalization, population ageing, Artificial Intelligence and automation are having a lot impact on them. If adults want to take advantage of the changes in the world of work, they will have to maintain relevant skills or upgrade them. The report from OECD analyses how adult learning reforms was successful in six countries, where participation in training was not high but it increased over the last few decades. This analysis is based on some of the adult learning reforms in these six countries-Hungary, Austria, Singapore, Italy, the Netherlands and Estonia.

All the related stakeholders have recognized that adult participation is important to unlock the benefits of this changing world of work. But according to the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), only 40% of adults take part in training or education in a given year. Even amongst those adults, who are in unemployment or have low skill levels, very few of them take training and education. The respective governments will have to increase the efforts for engaging more people in continuous learning if they don’t want people to lose their jobs to automation.

  • The aim of this report is to understand those factors, which make reforms attempting to raise participation in adult learning succeed. The study examines and gives answers to these questions.
    What are the types of reforms that increase the participation of adults in training, obstructions that they are aiming to address and the groups they are targeting?
  • How the reforms have developed and who are the people involved?
  • How adult learning reforms are funded and what are the levels of financial resources employed?
  • What to learn from the implementation of these reforms? How are the reforms being delivered to the adults and what does the governance of the reforms look like?
  • To what extent does policy learning take place that enables continuous improvement of those reforms?

The participation of adults in learning cannot increase overnight. The countries implemented different types of reforms that helped them increase adult’s participation in training. They were able to address barriers to participation and encompassed various types of training. So, one reform is not responsible for the increase in adult’s participation. The involvement of stakeholders is also important for the development and implementation of adult learning reforms. Adapting reforms to the changing situations and in response to the results from the evaluation is crucial to reach the reform’s objectives. The policymakers should not only pay their attention to participation rates but also on labour market needs, participant’s labour market outcomes and quality of training if they want more people to take advantage of participating in training or education activities.