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Foster employability and fight social exclusion through the development of lifelong learning (LLL) key-competences: reviewing twenty years of LLL policies

Foster employability and fight social exclusion through the development of lifelong learning... Purpose – This study aims to provide an overview of the past two decades of lifelong learning (LLL) policies for enhancing employability and reduce social exclusion in young people of European countries through the development of the so-called LLL key-competences. Design/methodology/approach – Built on a quasi-systematic review, this contribution explores traditional and new methods for promoting the LLL transition, and then employability, in young adults (e.g. apprenticeship, vocational training, e-learning, etc.). Findings – It argues the need to identify all the possible approaches able to support policymakers, as they can differently impact key-competence development. Originality/value – Finally, based on the consolidated EU policy experience, we propose a strategy of implementation of the LLL programmes that facilitates the institutions’ decision processes for policy-making through the use of decisional support system. Keywords Employability, Decision support system, Lifelong learning, Key-competences Paper type Literature review 1. Introduction 1.1 Fostering employability through the development of lifelong learning key-competences A wide range of aspects revolves around employability, a concept used by Hillage and Pollard (1998) to indicate those capabilities necessary to find andretaina joband obtain a new one when needed (Ceschi et al.,2017). Indeed, several factors can impact on employability. First, the context interpreted as the current trends in the market labour but also some individual difference traits, which can have an impact on the individual employability since they have been for a long time assessed for predicting workers’ success at the early stage of their career (Sartori et al., 2016a; Sartori et al., 2016b; Sartori et al., 2017). On the other hand, about employability, great emphasis is usually assigned to the role of competences that can be acquired, developed and transferred in a © Andrea Ceschi, Marco Perini, Andrea Scalco, Monica Pentassuglia, Elisa Righetti and Beniamino Caputo. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons European Journal of Training and Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative Development Vol. 45 No. 6/7, 2021 works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full pp. 475-511 Emerald Publishing Limited attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at 2046-9012 http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode DOI 10.1108/EJTD-07-2019-0126 constant manner throughout the all stages of life, namely, key-competences for LLL or just key- EJTD competences. Key-competences have been associated over the years with several definitions 45,6/7 (Elbers, 1991; Mulder, 2007; McClelland, 1973), as affirmed by Velde (2001,p. 1): [.. .] there is both a concern about the meaning of competence and how it is interpreted in the workplace, and the demand for competence in the workplace, for different kinds of worker key competence, for more opportunities to become competent, and for it to be sustained and nourished in a lifelong learning way. Indeed, several attempts have been proposed over the years to define but also distinguish, competences for LLL. For instance, Sloane (2011) suggested distinguishing key-competences between hard and soft skills: while the former set relates to technical competences and it is highly dependent on task, the latter ones identify interpersonal competences that can be applied across different activities and developed across the lifespan. Similarly, Billett (2009) argued that LLL key-competences could be understood from two different points of views: the social and personal perspectives, and to evaluate the worker’ success, both of these perspectives must be considered since these competences comprise a set of knowledge, abilities and attitudes that allow a person to be competent in the workplace, as well as in everyday life (Sartori et al., 2018). In this sense, key-competences correspond to antecedents the concept of employability assets proposed by Hillage and Pollard (1998). Lifelong learning key-competences are also recognized as factors of innovation, which are strongly linked with training and development processes oriented to foster employability (Sartori et al., 2013). As affirmed by Sartori et al. (2018,p. 2) “these competences are a key concept within the perspective of both lifelong learning and change management”, in which on the one hand, competence-based training paths have been investigated to facilitate the development of employability in specific environments, and on the other hand, they have actually considered the antecedents for building-up LLL processes which does not limit only to the work dimension (Velde, 2001). Indeed, the Recommendation 2006/962/EC of the European Council (European Parliament and Council of the European Union, 2006) on key-competences for LLL identifies eight of them that are considered crucial for individuals in a lifelong knowledge-based society, i.e. communicating in a mother tongue, communicating in a foreign language, mathematical, scientific and technological competence, digital competence, learning to learn, social and civic competences, sense of initiative and entrepreneurship; cultural awareness and expression. The aim of this taxonomy of key-competences is to create a frequent basis for European LLL policies and the exchange of good educational and vocational training practices around Europe. This is also considered a call for educational and vocational systems not only to facilitate employability but also to enhance LLL policies oriented to fight social exclusion, especially among the young population. 1.2 Not only employability, lifelong learning for tackling social exclusion Lifelong learning is a process through which individuals acquire information, knowledge and competencies in a range of formal and informal settings, throughout life (Sartori and Tacconi, 2017). It may occur as part of schooling, education, training, personal development (Brookfield, 1986) or workplace-based learning (Billett, 2011), and applies to people working in organizations, vocational teachers and trainers included (Mulder et al.,2007; Sartori et al., 2015). Lifelong learning is considered to be an appropriate response to changes (Gibbs et al., 2007) and a key lever for resilience, adaptation and development (Smidt and Sursock, 2011)of both individuals and organizations (Roland, 2010). It has been argued that it can represent the means by which people go on acquiring such LLL key-competences (Garavan et al.,2002), Reviewing gain expertise (Jarvis, 2009), adapt to different job market conditions (International Labour twenty years Organization, 2000) and develop employability while growing up (Commission of the of LLL policies European Communities, 2007). Lifelong learning represents the cornerstone of the learning society described by Frank Coffield (2000,p. 5) “[.. .] in which all citizens acquire a high- quality general education, appropriate vocational training and a job [...] while continuing to participate in education and training throughout their lives”. That is, LLL is a theoretical and practical concept that refers to the fact that it is both possible and necessary for human beings to keep on getting information, knowledge and learn those LLL key-competences for professional purposes (Sartori et al.,2018). On the other hand, professional purposes are not the only outcome of LLL policies; the LLL perspective has also been conceptualized within a political framework, which focuses on the role and the function of knowledge and learning to enhance the cohesion of societies. European policies, in this sense, are intended to support LLL as a factor underlying the development of practical institutional actions aiming at fostering social participation (Lodigiani, 2008). As a result, in many European countries, LLL policies have been developed to improve the integration of young people at the risk of social and work exclusion (Bynner and Parsons, 2002). Lifelong learning policies can be defined, as well as a guide to actions taken by institutions to foster LLL in a manner consistent with local laws and social customs. Their purpose is to disseminate the relevance of LLL in the specific context where young adults live, contextualizing it in accordance with their developable competences and social barriers they face to be included in society. 1.3 Reach out to European young adults at risk of work and social exclusion; the challenge of lifelong learning policies In light of the above considerations, at the individual level, LLL policies aim to enable young adults to identify and develop those key-competences necessary to find, retain and progress in employment: that is, to improve their employability. In the past two decades, the development of LLL policies resulted in a diversified market configuration for adult education throughout Europe, which is expected to increase further. The continuous acquisition of key-competences is perceived determinant for professional success and career for two main reasons. First, the expected growth of the adult education market has resulted in the need to develop a systematic analysis of education policies linking it to forecasts for the demand of work skills in the future. Secondly, referring to the Strategic objective 1 “Making lifelong learning and mobility a reality” of EU Council (2009/C 119/02), a significant issue related to LLL is the idea of social justice. Limited learning opportunities and the inequitable access to the training system provide a broader social exclusion of many groups of young people (Gorard and Rees, 2002). Success, in this context, is understood as those policies that show the improvement of learning outcomes, particularly those reaching out to young adults at risk of social exclusion and other vulnerable groups. Following this framework, as well as the EU Council Resolution on a renewed European agenda for LLL adult learning (2011), new policies are going to be developed over the Horizon 2020 programme [1], with the aim to encourage higher education institutions to embrace adult learners as a means of displaying social responsibility and a greater openness towards the community at large. The overarching objective of these new policies is the improvement of the above key-competences related to adult education in general, and young adults and vulnerable groups in particular, focusing on the area of integration between LLL programmes and higher employability. In this context, previous successful policies, both traditional and innovative, that reached out to young adults at risk of work and social exclusion, have been first identified with the present literature review. Next, we will focus on EJTD the outcomes and effects of such policies above briefly presented (i.e. strategic LLL key- 45,6/7 competences development, employability, challenging social exclusion). While analyzing why, for which target group, and in which national and regional section these programmes could be successful, by using a new technological decision support system (DSS), will be finally discussed as a possible practical solution applied to the present review. 1.4 Methodology This article aims to identify LLL policies approaches that can guide the choices of policymakers regarding policies for enhancing the employability in young people and reduce risks of social exclusion. The initial assumption (discussed in the first part of the article) is that the key-competences promote by LLL correspond to antecedents of the concept of employability and to improve LLL policies means enhancing the employability of young adults in Europe to fight phenomena of social exclusion. The paper is built on a quasi-systematic review of the approaches to LLL policies present in the literature of the last twenty years, and the identified methodology is divided into three phases. Phase 1: longitudinal analysis using semantic search by keywords (e.g. lifelong learning policy; LLL policy; lifelong-learning policy [.. .]) present in the following DBs such as Scopus, PubMed, Embase and Psychinfo. The inclusion criteria included all the published articles about lifelong learning policies (years 1998–2018) involving original article written in English with qualitative and quantitative approaches, review literature and mixed- method study. The exclusion criteria included articles by unknown authors, review sections of books, and articles written in a language other than English. This result in 109 articles extracted. Phase 2: Mapping of the analysis results (Peersman, 1996) and selection of the most representative research on LLL policies in European countries based on the following analysis units: the orientation of LLL policies and related professional practices; criticism of the effects of LLL policies; and programmes for the implementation of LLL policies. After such a review, 87 articles were selected for the assessment of the next phase. Phase 3: Elaboration of the summary map with a focus on the objectives and results of the research. Such a quality assessment was conducted by two reviewers, and it was mainly based on the relevancy and validity of studies. Articles were carefully examined and selected by one of the two authors. Finally, 50 articles were included, and the most important points were extracted and summarized in a table (Table 1). Based on a thematic content analysis, articles were discussed next in a narrative form in line with the research goal. 2. Literature review 2.1 Reviewing twenty years of lifelong learning policies in Europe Despite the term, LLL has an extensive practice in contexts, and its meaning is often not very clear (Clain, 2016), each country has its own definition and, consequently, its own LLL policies. Although there are some definitions of LLL (TeAchnology, 2010; Evaluate IT, 2004; Tempus, 2002; Idahoe-Campus, 2009), we can consider LLL as training that: [.. .] should take place at all stages of the life cycle (from the cradle to the grave) and, in more recent versions, that it should be life-wide; that is embedded in all life contexts from the school to the workplace, the home and the community (Laal, 2011, p. 471). Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. The present quasi- systematic review is based on a search strategy performed for the period 1998 to 2018 (August) Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords Ferrari et al. IT This research study addresses how access to Analysis of the data supported the ideas Inclusive citizenship; school digital (2018) information and the development of digital that digital forms of participation are district; digital inclusion; Inclusive skills mitigated aspects of social exclusion particularly valuable for people at risk of education; capacity building; lifelong and triggered more active participation in the exclusion in communities; consistent with learning life of the community. The project team European Union [EU] policies, education observed the process of digitalization as it and particularly its digital form is a affected administrators, teachers, parents, and valuable key to civic inclusion; and efforts students over four years at educational digitalization must be long- Data in the form of structured observations, term and intentional to be sustainable meeting and interview transcripts, and actual usage rates were collected, categorized, and eventually sorted into three main categories: administrative promotion of inclusion; school investment inequitable access to digital resources; and capacity-building among stakeholders Mystakidis GR, FI The University of Patras has launched a The results of the study suggest that the e-learning; distance education; blended et al. (2018) project for the provision of short, accessible, project led to the rapid provision of e- learning; technology enhanced learning; certified distance life-long learning learning programmes that used successfully life-long learning; deep learning programmes. The main pillars of this active learning methods to achieve high project are Excellence, Specialized learner satisfaction and address training Personalized Training at cutting-edge needs and skills gaps. Evaluation and data subjects, Quality, Deep Learning and analysis from completed e-Learning courses Innovation. The research study was revealed that the University of Patras’ conducted using an online questionnaire blended quality strategy had an overall and aimed at estimating the level of positive effect participants satisfaction using interactive learning methods such as collaborative learning. The formative evaluation process was conducted by external assessors based on context, input, process, product approach. The evaluation instruments were (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords online questionnaires, structured and semi- structured observation Abel et al. SE The article considers the problem of how The experiments explore the performance of Life-long learning; policy transfer; value (2018) best to use prior experience to bootstrap the jumpstart policies and showcase the transfer; life-long reinforcement learning LLL, where an agent faces a series of task practicality of MAXQINIT for accelerating instances drawn from some task algorithms in lifelong RL in simple domains. distribution. First, it identifies the initial Empirical and theoretical results show that policy that optimizes expected performance the practical and simple new method, over the distribution of tasks for MAXQINIT, can lower the sample increasingly complex classes of policy and complexity of lifelong learning via value- task distributions. It empirically function-based transfer demonstrates the relative performance of each policy class’ optimal element in a variety of simple task distributions. It then considers value-function initialization methods that preserve PAC guarantees while simultaneously minimizing the learning required in two learning algorithms, yielding MAXQINIT, a practical new method for value-function-based transfer Galanis et al. ES This paper proposes a framework to gather, The paper summaries several guidelines for Informal learning; non-formal learning; e- (2017) enhance, organize, evaluate and showcase a validating and evaluating informal learning learning; e-learning; lifelong learning; user’s informal learning using a social experiences and formalizing their outcomes. social learning; validation; evaluation approach to engage the learners to use the This especially, where technology has system by providing valuable brought together different cultures and recommendations, contacts and feedback educational systems, managing to keep track of a learner’s competences is a daunting task, and when trying to take into account, the competences acquired through informal means (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords Pilkinton- FI Living in learning societies has brought an This analysis shows that the tasks in our Life-long learning; educational policies; Pihko and increased focus to LLL and educational RPL test of English differ considerably from recognition of prior learning; RPL test Suviniitty policies that support it. One such policy is those reported in our survey of RPL seekers. (2017) the recognition of prior learning (RPL). In This mismatch indicates that we should Finnish higher education, the most popular either adopt an open, divergent assessment procedure for RPL is a test. This raises the method, such as a portfolio or change our question of how well this assessment undergraduate English curricula for both method serves its purpose engineering and industrial design to better align them with the working-life communication tasks identified in this study - if a closed, convergent assessment method (such as a test) is preferred Pérez-Escoda, ES This essay presents some of the results from The comprehensive statistical analysis of Digital citizenship; digital competences; A., et al. (2016) a broader research project on the digital the results reflects that both teachers and teachers; students; education; information competences of primary school teachers and students lack digital skills. This means that and communication technologies students in Castile and Leon (Spain). The teachers cannot make pedagogical use of main goal of the study is to evaluate digital them so that teacher-Training policies in competence levels drawing on an earlier this field should be reconsidered. In study on the specific international students, it reflects the danger of a digital assessment of digital literacy and digital gap that would not be brought about for skills reasons of use or access but from lack of training Irvine et al. NL, AT Sustainable river basin management The DANCERS project identified key short Sustainable development; integrated river (2016) depends on knowledge, skills and education. and medium-term needs for education and basin management; skill development; EU The DANCERS project set out to identify research to support the progressive policy feasible options for achieving education for adoption of sustainable development, and sustainable water management across the the necessary dialogue across the public and Danube river basin, and its integration with private sectors to align policies. These a broader education and economic include the development of new education development networks for masters and PhD programmes, including joint programmes; improved access to technical training and LLL (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords programmes for skills development; developing formalized and certified competency structures and associated accreditation of institutions Hanemann DE This article discusses recent developments The authors analyze well-being at age 50 as Literacy; lifelong learning; adult learning; (2015) in conceptualizing literacy as a foundation an outcome in structural equation models post-2015 education agenda of LLL. The authors of this paper seek to (SEM). Results suggested a three- replicate and extend his pioneering work, dimensional analytical framework which using data from the National Child considers literacy as a lifelong and life-wide Development Study (NCDS), a large-scale learning process and as part of LLL survey containing information on all those systems. The research draws a number of born in Britain in one week in 1958. Follow- conclusions for policy and practice of up data were collected at various points in literacy as a foundation of LLL. These childhood and adulthood, most recently conclusions are a timely contribution to the when the cohort reached the age of 50, thus ongoing post-2015 education debate enabling insights into long-term developments Jenkins and UK The study presented in this article adopts a The authors analyse well-being at age 50 as Adult education; well-being; Wiggins life-course approach to participation in an outcome in. This approach helps to qualifications; mid-life; SEM (2015) learning and the potential benefits of understand the pathways through which learning. The authors concentrate on adult adult education has an impact on well- education in mid-life, that is, between the being. The estimated models show how ages of 33 and 50, as the measure of adult education in mid-life has an influence learning participation. The authors of this on the type and quality of jobs which are paper seek to replicate and extend his accessible to individuals, and how this, in pioneering work, using data from the turn, can contribute to higher well-being at National Child Development Study (NCDS), age 50 a large-scale survey containing information on all those born in Britain in one week in 1958. Follow-up data were collected at various points in childhood and adulthood, most recently when the cohort reached the (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords age of 50, thus enabling insights into long- term developments Bomba and SK The article deals with LLL of teachers in Results show how social and economic Higher education; university; blended Zacharova Slovakia and the use of blended learning as changes in Slovakia after 1989 and after the learning; lifelong learning; neoliberal (2014) a means of increasing the teachers’ Velvet Revolution had their impacts on governmentality; teacher; Slovak qualification credit as employees. The education, on redefining the functions of education; Slovakia mainline of this article is tracking the LLL school, on changing the nature of education, of the Slovak teachers in the context of school computerization and total neoliberalism and its influence on education modernization but also on the decrease of with some implications for teachers teachers’ social status and on changing the school funding and long-term underfunding of the Slovak educational system Fonfara et al. DE The task is to learn a dialogue policy that Results show that by using lifelong model Dialog system; imitation learning; lifelong (2014) deals with changing user goals, can act updates, it is possible to apply the expert’s learning; cognitive robotics; bayesian under uncertainty, and is easy to apply in policy correctly even if the user behaviour network practice. Unlike reinforcement learning- changes over time. However, the executed based systems, the proposed simulator-free policies strongly depend on teacher approach avoids common problems such as demonstrations, depending on the reward tuning and state-space exploration. complexity of the task sufficient teacher Researchers apply imitation learning to demonstrations have to be recorded to cover mimic an expert’s behaviour based on a all situations one wants to consider small number of Wizard-of-Oz experiments. A dynamic Bayesian Network is used to track hidden user goals Sienkiewicz PT The aim of the paper is the presentation of Results refer to the PQF in the European Qualifications framework; knowledge and the development of the polish qualifications Qualifications Framework. The publication management in public policy; lifelong Trawinska- framework (PQF) and qualifications system of the report allowed further sharing of learning; human capital Konador as an example of the implementation of knowledge with a broader spectrum of (2014) knowledge management in public policy in stakeholders. The subsequent phases of the Poland. As a result of applying the process included an assessment of the knowledge management approach, the information and knowledge needs to be initial proposal of the PQF was enriched and needed to proceed with the modernization of (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords enabled a proposal to be elaborated for the the qualifications system in Poland, to close modernization and integration of the the knowledge management cycle qualifications system in Poland that allows for integration and permeability between specific qualifications subsystems as a part of the reform of lifelong learning policy in Poland Thelen et al. DE The study presents a platform named The article suggests that to cope with the E-learning; microtraining; semantic-based (2012) RELOAD based on so-called Microtrainings demographic change and to face the knowledge platform; demographic and the usage of a semantic net. Thereby, shortage of skilled workers, the change; low skilled ageing workers they are individual, self-directed and employability of ageing workers has to be continuous learning processes secured through demographic-sensitive learning offers. Striking and alerting in this context is that the participation rate of low- skilled and ageing workers in further education lags behind other groups of learners, and nearly no learning offers to exist which are directly targeted to this group and their special learning needs Thiriet et al. FR The present research develops the work The article suggests to do not focus too Lifelong learning; recognition; mobility (2012) achieved within the ELLEIEC project, much about the actual courses followed by a Of students; harmonization; RPL; relative to International Modules (IM) and student (which is extremely tricky when a accreditation International Curricula Networks (ICN), student is sent abroad) but more on what concepts proposed in the project and he/she gets as a whole concerning experimented practically, to facilitate the knowledge, skills and competences, taking mobility of students and of citizens/workers also account of soft or generic skills like internationalization, multiculturalism, team group work, foreign language. Another interesting aspect is the use of tools such as RPL which is very useful Yankova et al. BG The main goal of this research is to The paper explores the role and Library association; LIS higher education; (2012) systematize the achievements in the contribution of the Bulgarian library lifelong learning; state university of implementation of projects and initiatives of associations in the development of (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords the Bulgarian library associations in an librarianship in the country, in establishing library studies and effort to be effective partners of LIS higher a modern vision for libraries and librarians Information technology education (especially with the State and their involvement in the information, University of Library Studies and educational, scientific and cultural Information Technology), in LLL of LIS construction of the emerging knowledge professionals. The article investigates the society. It is focused on the priorities in the impact of the library organizations’ work of library associations in response to activities on the theoretical fields of library mobilizing science knowledge and policy for and information science and education and sustainable development also on library practice. Research methods: retrospective and systematic analysis, desk research and critical analysis of the results Kalman (2012) HU The paper presents a research study Results show how learning during Informal – nonformal – formal learning; launched in 2008 that was part of the call for adulthood is considered by most lifewide – lifelong learning; adult proposals “Training of competences that respondents to be essential for the work, education establish LLL in the non-formal and lifestyle and general human behaviour that informal learning dimension”. The survey drives people to solve new challenges in the aimed to examine the will of the adult natural and social context. The personal population to learn after completing formal motivation of adult education can be studies. The methodology of the research determined by a multitude of factors. One of relies on methods of analysis and the the most important resources for continuous devices of the empirical study, implement learning is learning and the methodological the pilot studies, analyze the results and the culture of learning promotion observations of the study, elaborate the development proposals and the recommendations concerning the support priorities Witt and Lill EE This paper describes a study of learner Results suggest that at the policy level, a Lifelong learning; engineering education; (2011) perceptions of construction industry skills simple, elegant vision of integration and learner models; construction industry; requirements in Estonia mutual dependence between learners, Estonia industry and higher education institutions is prescribed. When investigated in more (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords detail, however, the individuality of learners, the pace at which skill level requirements are changing in the industry and the accommodation of previous, legacy education systems among other challenges add complexity Pacheco (2011)PT Drawing upon the concept of “sliding Results show how reflecting upon Educational policies; training policies; signifiers” as having a multiplicity of curriculum, LLL and evaluation as themes globalization; life-long learning; meanings in a given context according to its related to education and training policies evaluation; curriculum actors and contexts, this paper explores imply the discussion of their meanings globalization which does not mean taking into account different ways of homogeneity and uniformity. The paper looking at them, especially in a field which examines these meanings by discussing the is marked by a disciplinary view. This does diverse points of view based upon existing not mean the general acceptance of educational and training policies, within the uniformity and the rejection of diversity, framework of the world agencies. The paper particularly when curriculum, learning and includes, in the first section, an integrated evaluation are discussed taking a personal approach of the concepts of curriculum, LLL stance and evaluation and, in the second section, the discussion of each of these concepts Farrow (2011) UK A taxonomy of ethical questions based on In this article, the author discusses some of Mobile learning; policy; education; dominant positions in metaethical moral the ethical issues related to the use of mobile metaethics; methodology theory is proposed. The author explains technologies in education. He argues that how this taxonomy can be applied in a way the frameworks used by educators and that facilitates the understanding of ethical technologists fail to grasp the nature, scope issues in mobile learning and impact of ethical issues in mobile learning. This approach is intended to enhance (rather than replace) reflection on ethical issues and support those involved with mobile learning by helping them to think about ethics in a systematic way (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords Aurora- RO The purpose of the article is to present the Results emphasize the benefits of co- Etwinning; information technologies; Nicoleta et al. main objectives and actions taken by the working in such projects using the tools of lifelong learning (2010) Romanian Institute of Education Sciences as the eTwinning platform. Approximately, national support services for e-Twinning in 70,000 schools from 32 states are part of the collaboration with the Center for Innovation system and they are involved in over 5,000 in Education. At the same time, the authors ongoing projects. Some of the mention the most important campaigns/ approximately 850 projects carried out so projects developed within the programme in far enjoyed international recognition, pre-university institutions in Romania schools in Romania were among the finalists/winners or receiving either annual eTwinning prizes or European Quality Certifications from the Central Support Services of e-Twinning in Brussels Hanson et al. SE The objective is to present the foundation This paper discusses some aspects of the Engineering education; student (2010) for and the goals with a LLL project. Nine attractiveness of engineering and recruitment; student retention; universities in EU will collaborate around technology studies to be monitored by attractiveness of engineering studies four themes to increase the attractiveness of ATTRACT project the Enhance the Engineering Education. The areas are: The Attractiveness of Studies in Science and attractiveness of being an engineer Formal Technology, ATTRACT, the project is hinders Attracting students to studies in within the EU a LLL Programme. The science and technology/engineering strength of the project is that it will be able education Student retention Result from the to go in-depth into the practices of the TREE – Teaching and Research in partner universities Engineering in Europe Socrates Thematic Network project, the TechBARO in Finland and the Technology Delegation project in Sweden has given inspiration in setting up the foundation for ATTRACT project together with other international initiatives Poulova and CZ Teams were established dealing with the In 2009 a research “Evaluation of the e-learning activities; e-learning Šimonova process of e-learning implementation in the modern technologies contributing towards implementation; tertiary education (2010) tertiary education, at the beginning being forming and development university (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords very informal, joining enthusiasts, and their students competences” focusing on e- activities were hardly supported. Pioneering learning implementation at Czech e-learning activities in this period were universities started, being supported by the usually financed from various, mostly Czech Science Foundation. There are 26 European projects. Despite the starting public universities accredited in the Czech troubles the awareness of possibilities Republic. Annual reports of these provided by e-learning was spreading universities were the main source of slowly but steadily. Nowadays there exist information for this research. These trends university departments specialized in e- have step by step resulted in both learning and its implementation into the quantitative increase in ICT implementation process of instruction. There was also and related activities in tertiary education established a system for funding e-learning and in a substantial shift in the quality of activities, so it does not depend on the formal and informal view on e-Learning random effort of single employees any more Widmark and SE The purpose of the steps for skills was to Results rely on the learning project for the Learning design; lifelong learning; Koroma (2009) improve the internal quality of health and course “Steps for Skills” which was a blended learning; collaborative learning; social care. This was to be achieved by government, a multi-year national initiative communication; learning dialogue developing the skills of the staff working to support the long-term quality of close to older people. This learning project municipalities and development of skills in for LLL has been developed in the last ten health and social care for older people. years at the Teacher Education unit of the Researchers designed courses to carry out University of Stockholm. The same design the learning activities on three levels: an but with different contents was used to individual level; an interactive level; a increase the competence of different target practical activity level. The three levels for groups; field teachers, policemen, medical learning have markedly contributed to an staff, principals, etc analysis of the geriatric care’s activity and to development and renewal Burman (2009)UK The article’s author cautions against Discussion argued that it is necessary to Life-long learning; emotional literacy subscription to emerging cultural follow the epithet “emotional literacy” very paradigm; feminist research; educational discourses promoting the validity and closely as a process of education for the research; educational development expression of emotions distinguishing production of discourses on emotion, rather between a feminist agenda and than the discovery or recognition of certain (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords appropriations of a pseudo-feminist inner, individual feelings. Rather than being discourse that now permeate neo-liberal passionate about emotions, the task is to governmentality. First, the article analyses analyze the patterns of writing about the assumptions underlying the “emotional emotions in circulation. The article ends literacy” paradigm, before, secondly, with some more general political addressing some specifically educational connections that underline the broader developments related to the shift towards political programmes served by the “life span” and “LLL” within university “emotional” turn assessment strategies in the form of “personal development profiles” Wheeler and UK To investigate implementation of e- Results show how the use of e-portfolios Lifelong learning; e-portfolio; e-learning; Yeats (2009) portfolios, an explanatory case study on also promotes inclusivity in learning as it curriculum design; summative their use was carried out, initially focusing provides students with the opportunity to assessment; on three groups of students engaged in articulate their aspirations and take the first Formative assessment work-based learning and professional steps along the pathway of LLL. However, practice. The three groups had e-Portfolios ensuring the uptake of opportunities within embedded and assessed at different levels. their learning is more complex than the Group 1 did not have the e-Portfolio students simply having access to the embedded into their curriculum nor was the software. Results also suggest that the use e-Portfolio assessed. Group 2 had the e- of e-Portfolios needs to be integral to Portfolio embedded into the curriculum and curriculum design in modules rather than formatively assessed. Group 3 also had the used as an additional tool. In addition to this e-Portfolio embedded into the curriculum more user engagement was found in Group and were summatively assessed 2 where the e-Portfolio was formatively assessed only Greener (2009) UK This paper will explore the concepts and Discussion focuses on online and mixed Role modelling; social learning theory; behaviours implied in the role-modelling of learning which become familiar aspects of teaching methods; conceptions of teaching effective e-learning in the classroom, the university landscape; pedagogical drawing on data from teachers and learners discussions receive higher priority and involved in using VLEs and other Web ideas on how students can be enabled to resources in face-to-face sessions. A study of learn the appropriate skills for Higher Education teachers in the UK employability and LLL, as well as the (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords proposed a shift in their role and behaviour thought of higher-order, attract attention. concomitant with the explosion of VLE Teachers who are open to new ways of usage in universities (Greener, 2008) thinking about their subject, and welcome these self-directed student behaviours, are more likely to integrate new technologies into their teaching and their expertise with technology it will be a factor in how this integration works Naumanen FI This paper presents principles taken from Results show how LLL as an individual Lifelong learning; elderly people; cognitive and Tukiainen literature on old age education based on activity that spans over one’s life is not a learning; ICT and elderly; computer clubs (2010) cognitive ageing (compensating and reality yet. Especially the elderly, those over supporting the deficiencies and strengths) 65 years, are in danger of lagging; the solid not forgetting the impact of empowerment trust in one’s activity and learning skills is by current ICTs in the life of elderly people. required; besides, many aged today, lack the The experience gained from directing a learning culture (Tikkanen, 2003). Moreover, computer club for the elderly is results show that the continuing education demonstrated, based on a WWW- programme for the elderly is strongly questionnaire, as well as observations made facilitated by peer-support which is during years 2007–2008 in Pieksämäki, experienced during informal club-based Finland activities, as well as having a jointly planned content, which is tailored to their needs, motivation and ability Vardiambasis GR This paper aims to identify the needs for Discussion presents how the shortage of Engineering education; consumer et al. (2007) LLL of Greek engineers, based on recent highly qualified engineers in our electronics; knowledge engineering; survey data publicly available by the knowledge-based economy requires the educational institutions; electrical Technical Chamber of Greece. This collaborative and coordinated action of products industry; continuing education; approach, as well as the experience gained academic institutions, professional societies, design engineering; power engineering from other actions carried out by TEloC (i.e. industry players, and education and energy; the establishment of a unit for lifelong policymakers. In particular, LLL of Educational technology; collaboration learning, the organization of summer engineers is considered as one of the most schools in hot areas of engineering, important presumptions for future growth workshops offered to the academic and social welfare (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords instructors), present to be efficient strategies for LLL education Dondi and IT This paper presents a methodological Results from both the projects Uni-Game Foreign countries; learning processes; Moretti (2007) proposal elaborated in the framework of two (Game-Based Learning for Universities and lifelong learning; instructional materials; European projects dealing with game-based LLL) and Sig-Glue (Special Interest Group educational games; instructional material learning, both of which have focused on for Game-Based Learning in Universities evaluation; media selection “quality” aspects to create suitable tools and LLL) are discussed. Both have involved that support European educators, organizations from different European practitioners and lifelong learners in countries, backgrounds and expertise, and selecting and assessing learning games for as a result of this work, a ’classification of use in teaching and learning processes games by learning purposes’ and an ’evaluation framework for assessing games’ have been designed and placed at the disposal of European educators, practitioners and lifelong learners Linkaityte LT The authors of this article aim to develop The paper summarizes findings from the Adult education; framework of et al. (2006) the theoretical conditions for modelling the SOCRATES Grundvig 1 project AduEdu qualifications; lifelong learning activities of adult educators in the LLL. The –“Qualifications of Adult Educator in document is based on theoretical literature Knowledge Society” and European and national policy The novelty of this model is its description documents on adult education and LLL, of the activity of adult educator on five including observations derived from the levels: national, regional, institutional, personal experience of AduEdu partners interpersonal and individual from eight European countries. The roles and functions of adult educators are explored and a model is proposed for the design of the activity system for adult educators Kavrakos GR This paper aims at understanding a Discussion presents how RDAs are some of Certification; qualifications; (2006) methodological frame of certification for the most proper organizations to provide unemployment; government; business; professional qualifications acquired via certificated training programmes using new Continuing professional development; informal learning. A operational research technologies customized for each employee (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords (OR) based model was made as a tool for or businessman or an unemployed citizen collaboration; vocational training; testing; Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and their local needs. RDAs have the legislation that consists of tests, evaluations and advantage to combine funds from the tutoring. The candidate evaluation takes European Union, the national or the local into account the formal qualifications government and demand a very small required by legislation includes the skills amount from the individual persons that and the relevant professional experience but come to be served also relates to qualifications from his attendance of professional training seminars Lenssen et al. PT This paper aims to investigate the Findings show how the sustainability of the Competitive strategy; European union; (2006) interaction between the sustainability of the European social model depends on the European union information; social European social model and the European success of the overall strategy for growth structure; lifelong learning; innovation Union’s revised Lisbon Strategy and its and jobs, in which innovation and LLL are focus on jobs and growth. The success of key. The concrete solutions to achieve a this strategy – following its five-year mid- successful combination of those factors in term review in 2005 – depends on attempts each member state need to be found by the to renew European competitiveness countries themselves. That is why the through, for example, innovation and LLL preparation and implementation of Europe- and well-designed reforms of the European wide National Reform Programmes for social model growth and jobs open an opportunity to drive competitiveness which should not be missed Kourtoumi GR The first section of the paper discusses the Results show how archives have a key role Life-long learning; social policy; digital (2006) concepts supporting digital collections by to play in underpinning learning in its collections; archival resources networking and integrating collections of broadest sense, both as a formal activity digitized archival resources to create new within an institution and informally within services and infrastructures. The second the community. This is becoming especially part of the paper analyses from the important in an increasingly KM-based educational perspective of LLL important environment where communities can look to social benefits, both quantitively and archives for support and guidance in qualitatively, of developing new accessing content information (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords infrastructures for accessing and using archival resources Anastasiades GR This paper intends to introduce the idea and The paper shows how education and Web-based education; educational digital (2005) content of educational digital divide, technology have become interrelated as divide; European union policies; life-long concerning the key actions of European concepts, now that the Internet, the learning Union policies on the confrontation of this educational multimedia and an array of social phenomenon asynchronous applications have inundated the educational environment. The educational process in the European Union is presented as the most important tool in the context of transformation towards the Information Society. Its role is to ensure the citizen all the necessary means to manage in a completely different social and technological environment Whyley and UK This paper examines the steps taken This paper reflects on the progress made by E-learning; learners; technology; Westwood towards realizing Wolverhampton Local the City of Wolverhampton in trying to personalized learning (2005) Education Authority’s (LEA) vision for a bring together all of the key elements 21st century “Learning City”– placing all currently recognized as being needed to learners at the heart of the system. An enable 21st learning. It describes how one outline is provided of the LEA’s journey – UK City has moved from a vision for e- aiming at personalized learning, from vision learning to reality in the space of four years. to reality for a city of 40,000þ learners The paper also looks beyond current developments to respond to the needs of learners as they engage in this technology- rich environment Sonyel (2004) CY This qualitative study unravels teachers’ The findings suggest that lifelong learning Educational institutions; government; perception of involvement in LLL through is significant as the nature of teaching rhythm; education; educational literature review. It also attempts to foster demands teachers to be engaged in programmes; instruments; economic and encourage LLL through continuing career-long professional forecasting; ethics; books; professional professionalism and as the twenty-first development and additionally, they are the activities century is approaching, learning throughout schools’ greatest asset to deliver knowledge. (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords life will be essential for adapting to the The findings of this study also indicate that evolving requirements of the labour market lifelong learning is significant for educators and for better mastery of the changing time- and can be summed up under three main frames and rhythms of an integral part of headings as: to develop themselves as national and international policies professionals; learning throughout life will be essential for adapting to the evolving requirements of the labour market and for better mastery of the changing time-frames and rhythms; and the view of lifelong learning can be attached to individual and social development Mihnev and BG The document conceptualizes the In developing this conceptualization the Higher education; learning demands; Nikolov (2004) experiences of the Center of Information authors use research results and political learning delivery; lifelong learning; Society Technologies, Sofia University, agendas in two distinct areas: LLL and management; organization; service Bulgaria, in satisfying the learning and higher education systems. As a result of provider training needs of non-university publics three streams of thought and practice, they who fall into situations that can be defined outline an “interface” model of an as determined by LLL interdisciplinary university structure, which aims to explicitly satisfy LLL market demands Røsvik (2003) NO This paper presents a case study of a After an overview of Norwegian school Elementary education; conditions for Norwegian primary school as an example of system and national goals for ICT in learning; organizing for learning; the approach used to introduce ICT policy in education, the paper describes the collaboration Norway. This paper presents a programme challenges teachers and schools face when of a lower primary school (6 to 10 year-olds), implementing curricula designed to fulfil which has taken up the challenge of different national expectations, ranging focusing on learning to learn, including the from specific skills and pieces of knowledge use of ICT to more general goals such as preparing students for the future society. The most important actor in the Norwegian classroom is the student while the teacher creates stimulating learning environments. (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords Learning to learn and LLL are considered the main tasks of schools Breiter (2003) DE This paper tries to develop a concept of a Results show that the so-called ’digital Digital divide; equity; lifelong learning/ regional education network that includes divide’ seems to be a major social obstacle education; partnership pre-school, K-12 and further education, for the Information Society. Most experts public libraries and community centres, as agree that citizens will need competencies well as other educational institutions. that go beyond the basic cultural skills. The Taking the path of the digital divide as a idea of LLL illustrates a major problem of social and educational divide and focusing educational institutions: they work on the school as one major player in the separately, they only process the results of regional network, the innovation process the preceding phase and there is a lack of and the actors involved in it are highlighted interconnection and explored. Using action research in a project between schools, local community, private partners and the university, the concept of the regional network is illustrated Hylén (2001) SE The paper will deal with the two most The objectives were to find synergies Communications; innovation; networks; important challenges facing education between national initiatives, to promote the policy today: the increasing globalization and use of ICT in education and to facilitate co- permeation of ICT of our society. To meet operation between schools in Europe. Now these two challenges 18 Ministries of the time has come to ask not only what ICT Education in Europe joined forces in 1997 to can do for schools but also what ICT does to create a common internet platform, called schools? How does the influence of ICT on the European Schoolnet. Two scenarios will society change the role of the school and the be outlined: the diminishing school – a teacher? reduction of the schools and the role of the To help to transform the second scenario teacher and a growth in homeschooling; the into reality, the European Schoolnet must in expanding school – where the need for LLL the coming year focus its attention on four puts the school in the centre of the areas: collaboration, communities, content development and changes the role of the and commerce (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords teacher to become a guide to learning in schools and companies Jenkins et al. UK This article takes into consideration the While agreeing with other researchers that Life-long learning; degree; graduate lives; (2001) long-term effect of a degree in graduate there are common benefits from a degree, active learning methods; modern teaching lives. Following a degree programme that they also conclude that there is a huge methods has used active learning methods within a variation in the long-term effects of a course modular course for over 20 years, on a relatively homogeneous group of researchers provide a prototype to evaluate students. The variation derives from four lifelong learning generated by modern main sources: background of individual teaching methods students; different reconstructions of the same academic experience; the different personal circumstances during college; and the effects of individual careers after graduation (which in turn leads to further individual reconstructions) Carr (1999) UK The paper discusses a solution for Twenty interviews with key SME training Courseware delivery; life-long learning; developing multimedia management informants reveal that a simple transfer of multimedia management courseware; courseware in the higher and further material is unlikely to prove adequate; the small and medium-sized enterprises education sectors, which can then be peculiarities of the SME learning transferred to SMEs to meet their training environment represent a major challenge to needs the design and delivery of effective multimedia management training for this sector. The proposed benefits of multimedia courseware for SME training are the removal of existing training barriers: time, cover, purchasing power, socializing multimedia, ICT skills, negative attitudes, Generic versus Bespoke Training (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords Rinne (1998) FI This article presents sociologically and The article comes to the conclusion that the Labour society; learning society; life-long historically oriented reconceptualizations of first modern period, and the Keynesian learning; educational system the changing relationship between labour welfare state policy with its homogenous and learning in the reflexive modern era. It workforce and policies of full employment, claims that the whole modern division of has come to its historical end. The author labour does not merely reveal the nature by sees that education has always been seen as which we define morality but also it is a a major component in the great crucial condition for the whole solidarity of Enlightenment project, which has been humankind connected and incorporated by the national state. LLL, on the contrary, has been less incorporated, less an early modern, but more a marginal and informal position, waving the flag for both individuals and groups from below The idea of LLL first appeared in the 1970s, to promote social equality. At first, within a EJTD humanistic tradition, the first LLL policies were advocated as a model for developing a 45,6/7 better society and quality of life that would allow people to adapt better to changes. Shifting from an idealistic to a pragmatical perspective, starting from the 1980s a climate featured by young unemployment, declining productivity and increasing public deficits, raised in Europe (Rubenson, 2006). In such times, LLL policies became a solution for those dissatisfied with their employment to enhance employability levels. Towards the end of the 1990s, a new set of transitions and adjustment challenges for society, industry and individuals happened. Increased exclusion of large segments of the population, especially of young adults, exacerbated socio-economic divisions and seen as a threat to Europe cohesion as such. Moreover, while there was an understanding that adult education in itself does not serve to create jobs, LLL was addressed to promote those life learning key-competences for adapting to new social and economic life. Such a policy evolution is linked to the research stream developed to evaluate the social impact of such policies and resumed in the review presented in Table 1. In the review-table is possible to observe the above historical evolution of the LLL policies oriented to different outcomes (i.e. employability, social exclusion, development of strategic competencies). This progress is in line with a different target of the population. While that at the end 1990s LLL were thought as a way for helping older people to be updated with the last digital revolution (i.e. the spread of internet and of personal computers), nowadays LLL policies focus more on the young adult situation: namely, they are more oriented to avoid social exclusion by developing strategic LLL competencies instead of just technological skills. This change in LLL policies over time also affects the several methodologies used for delivering such policies. Indeed, lifelong learning policies are comprised between traditional and new methods programmes, very diverse and fragmented. Probably the most established LLL way of job inclusion among the EU member states is represented by apprenticeship and vocational practices, which will be next introduced together with other new learning methods-based communication technology (ICT) as a mean to educate participants, such as the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Beyond conceptual and methodological differences, it is possible to observe a convergence point among the different LLL programmes: avoiding social exclusion through participation in the job market by enhancing self-employability. On the other hand, such institutional action has also been developed to face current criticisms regarding the supply of adult education in many European countries defined as inadequate because it often fails to include the most vulnerable groups such as the young, the unemployed, the low skilled (Jarvis, 2004). Recent criticisms on LLL policies’ effects will be discussed after the following section on methods and LLL programmes. Besides social exclusion, it should also be acknowledged the links set during the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA; 2017) between LLL and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by United Nations (Robinson, 2017). The conference affirmed the essential role of LLL in supporting the future transformation of the world, especially with regards to population health, environmental sustainability and economic resilience. 2.2 Traditional and new methods for delivering lifelong learning and job market inclusion in European young adults In the following sections, we present different LLL programmes (i.e. apprenticeship systems, vocational training or vocational community colleges, active labour market programmes, ICT training and MOOCs) related to LLL policies development. Starting from the more traditional and established programme, we will introduce next how computers and the Reviewing internet have harnessed best to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of education at all twenty years levels and in both formal and non-formal settings. of LLL policies 2.2.1 Apprenticeship systems and vocational practices. In the review table, it is interesting to address the various ways in which EU member states deal with the transition from school to employment in their own country. Traditionally, there are three different ways in which the labour market integration of young peoples is organized in: apprenticeship systems (i.e. young people enter a company and attend vocational school- based training simultaneously), school/college-based vocational education, higher education (i.e. young people learn skills in an institutional setting) and learning-by-doing (i.e. young people enter the workplace and learn the necessary skills while working). In most countries, all three pathways are used depending on different occupations; however, the relevance of the different channels varies. For example, in Germany, despite many worries that the dual system no longer provides the safe transition to employment it once did (Busemeyer and Trampusch, 2013), still more than 60% of a school-leavers’ cohort enter an apprenticeship (BMBF, 2013); while in the UK, the higher education initial participation rate of 18 and 19- year old in learning was 23% (Department for Education, 2014). Mediterranean and Latin states remain relatively centralized and comprehensive, with continuing domination of a fairly traditional educational paradigm. The Nordic countries moved partially and cautiously toward the apprenticeship system. However, they still stand apart in their regional affinities for local public control combined with structural and curricula integration and universalism. The Nordic states also tend to have extensive participation in adult continuing developing the established European LLL key-competences and have, arguably, gone further than most in realizing the goals of LLL (Öhrn and Weiner, 2017). As well, the vocational education and training system is seen as a priority by the European Union to promote the development of the member states. This priority has also been reaffirmed by the Maastricht Communiqué of 14 December 2004, which indicated the need for greater European cooperation in the field of Vocational Education and Training (VET), identifying the commitments that each EU member state would take actions that need to be done in this regard (Oliver, 2010). In addition to these established pathways, many national governments installed active labour market programmes. Originally, these programmes were meant to be temporary and should address mass youth unemployment in the 1980s or after the transition of Eastern European countries (Sharland et al.,2013). However, they seemed to have become established systems to address mainly disadvantaged people. Ideally, programmes address the individual needs of young people by getting skills to find employment (e.g. Careers’ Services, finding an appropriate occupation, identification of necessary qualification needs, CV writing, job interview training), aid to gain the necessary qualifications and skills to enter a profession (e.g. school-based apprenticeships or other vocational training) or subsidized employment: i.e. young people enter temporary employment to gain work experiences and manage to build up networks, which should improve their chances in the unsubsidized labour market. 2.2.2 Innovation and new technologies for enduring learning. As a recognized part of training procedures, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the learning and training field has made progress over time. This is noticeable in the last studies present in the review table suggesting that the integration of ICT in training has positive effects on learning results (Bates, 2001; Diochon and Cameron, 2001; Jochems et al., 2013; Leask and Pachler, 2013). The way in which learning can result from the combination of education and training with the use of ICT is principally known as e-learning but also as computer-based training (CBT) and web-based training and, eventually, as MOOC, (Ismail, 2001; Šumak EJTD et al.,2011). MOOC have been considered as a possible solution for many emerging states for 45,6/7 promoting a low cost but effective teaching system (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2016). For example, learn LLL key-competences such as word processing, programming, image editing, financial spreadsheets and web development do not necessarily require the presence of traditional education. The reason why there are a variety of technologies, methodologies, frameworks and architecture systems available, is because the impact of learning aspects change, based on different user types, the subject of learning, and e-learning interaction necessary. The importance of multimedia learning aspects, for example, is related to the ability of users in dealing with these new instruments, which are in turn related to some user differences, as argued within the framework of the technology acceptance model theory (Davis et al.,1989). Current technology acceptance research evaluates causal effect sizes between unskilled and experienced users (Šumak et al.,2011). The acceptance of e-learning, studies commonly, consider young adults as typical users, where researchers usually find high acceptance of e-learning technology about this young generation compare to the previous ones. As well, from another point of view, the successful implementation and introduction of e-learning technologies require adaptability among teachers, professors and trainers who use these technologies for providing learning materials to users (Šumak et al.,2011). Usually, such people need training too, to develop those LLL competences for benefiting, providing and spreading a better e-learning service. E-learning technologies are mainly used in educational institutions, but as well in organizations to offer advanced ways of providing education to their users. The use of these technologies in the organizational field is quite recent. E-learning, as well as distance education systems, and MOOC have been considered by organizations as a possible solution for promoting a low cost, but effective training system, face learning challenges. But it is not only a question of costs; education programmes aim to address the worst contemporary problems: unemployment, skills mismatches and lack of labour mobility without borders inside or outside organizations, companies and institutions. Considering the Work programme 2014–2015 of Horizon 2020, in fact, the ICT is crucial to boosting the modernization of education and training for the developing the so-called LLL competences. The challenge is to reinvent the education ecosystem and re-empower teachers in the digital age. Partnerships and collaboration between public and private stakeholders – including innovative entrepreneurs – more open and innovative practices for richer and more engaging and motivating learning and teaching experiences will be key to facilitate the transformation of the education and training. 3. Discussion As seen, in the last decade, a new model of LLL policy was developed to facilitate a more advanced understanding of processes of social inclusion. The approach recognizes the multi- dimensional nature of vulnerability and the ways in which young people draw on different resources to secure employment. To make effective these transitions, young people have to draw on a variety of resources including educational qualifications, vocational training and skills, as well as general knowledge. Aspects of a personal agency such as initiative and motivation are also crucial, and it is essential to acknowledge processes of rationalization as a factor that provides a mediating link between such personal resources and above outcomes. In many cases, young people are able to compensate for deficits in specific resources (education, for example). However, when a resource deficit is combined with weak policy agency, there is likely to be a dramatic increase in the chances of “negative” outcomes. In these circumstances, those who were unable to rely on previous formal education were Reviewing most vulnerable to social exclusion. In light of this, the development of LLL competences twenty years becomes the first step to take for any educational policymaker. In the next section, we will of LLL policies analyze the expected outcomes of such LLL policies and a discussion concerning recent criticisms on such programmes follows. 3.1 Employability and strategic lifelong learning key-competences development as significant outcomes of lifelong policies in Europe With the economic crisis, the decreasing of job positions for younger, and the concurrent high rates of youth jobless, young people are remaining in education and training for a longer time and they get a stable occupation later in life. On the other side, a growing number of them find new ways of combining part-time work with education and training paths, sometimes through long periods. In most of the European countries, there has been a trend to shorter job periods, job jumping, the prevalence of part-time and short-term jobs and self-employed work (Mackenbach et al., 2008). The psychological result of being a young adult without a work identity and continuously in training can generate situations of distress and negative mental states such as anxiety, depression, isolation, disaffection, disengagement, and, eventually, social exclusion (Quintano et al.,2018; OECD, 2016). Lifelong learning policies are, in a way, responding to the demands of such a context. They look for providing a greater variety of flexible learning possibilities, including different settings of learning, by replying to the challenges of modern life and to the diverseness of individual needs. Personalized training careers involve individuals able to take responsibility for building their personal learning pathways to increase their strategic LLL key-competences and next employability. Nevertheless, this also means that organizations and communities must be sensitive to people’s needs. For this reason, in many instances, LLL policies are recommended as a way of promoting social coherence (although not much attention is paid to how this can be reached). Analysis of policies across Europe ranges all the way from demand-led of voluntary partnership in the UK (i.e. the network model) to the more formalized social partnership models of the northern continental and Nordic states, to the more static models common in more of the southern European states (Green, 2002). The common trend in legislation and governance in Europe has been away from direct government administrative control over educational processes and towards greater devolution of operational control to other levels. Given that, the growing uncertainty of employment has prompted new models for employment practices, eventually leading to new patterns and status of careers (Mills et al., 2006). Lifelong learning policies represent a driver to foster expertise among multiple organizations and jobs, potentially enabling creativity and performance (Maurer, 2001). Such a consideration appears of particular importance given that nowadays fewer individuals follow stable or expected career patterns within one organization, whereas a greater and growing number of career experiences are likely to develop across, rather than inside of, company boundaries (O’Mahony and Bechky, 2006). Such a mobile labour force may well need to rely on LLL policies interventions aiming at fostering higher employability. In line with literature from the career realm, it is underlined the role of the individual in continually managing career-related changes, entailing willingness and adaptability (Pulakos et al., 2006) and defined career identity to give direction to one’s career pathway. Such a LLL skill can be well-defined in terms of employability, which refers to the full range of individual capabilities to gain and maintain an employment and to obtain a new one if required (Hillage and Pollard, 1998). Employability has been conceptualized from multiple perspectives and theoretical proposals, which encompass a EJTD focus on the individual, the organization, or the society as a whole. Such a construct, 45,6/7 therefore, represents a concept underlying the development of LLL policies aiming to enable young adults to identify and develop the key-competences necessary to find, retain and progress in employment. 3.2 Lifelong learning policies collateral effect: challenging young people social exclusion issues in contemporary Europe Young people at risk of social exclusion can also hold multiple disadvantages (e.g. disabilities, lack of school qualification, belonging to a minority ethnic group), all of which decrease further their chances of finding, retaining, and progressing in employment. Other young people come from a family background where previous generations were excluded from the labour market, and thus, lack an understanding of the needs to acquire or retain key-competences. These conditions can create vulnerable groups of people with few chances to be involved in LLL programmes. However, even without these kinds of disadvantages, the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) within Europe remains high. It is remarkable that the number of young people not in employment but attending formal education varies across different European countries. The differences stem from the educational systems, but other factors such as the length of compulsory schooling and access to tertiary education also play a role. On average, 37% of all young people within European member states are in formal education; however, this varies across the individual member states. After leaving formal education, they are either unemployed, inactive, passive job seekers, discouraged to enter the labour market or deliberately to avoid it. In 2009, when the financial crisis worsened by leaving few available jobs, in the EU, nearly 17% of the population 18–24 years of age were classified as NEET, varying from 6% in The Netherlands to 26% in Spain. As seen earlier, LLL is expected to contribute to overcome the economic and social crisis and meet the Europe 2020 targets on employment, poverty reduction, education, sustainability and innovation. Especially for young adults, suitable LLL skills and qualifications are necessary to gain access to employment. In recent decades, there have been structural shifts which created mismatches between labour supply and demand (e.g. shift towards the service industries, shift towards non-manual labour) and those without the skills to adapt to these changes are more likely to become long-term unemployed or to work in low-paid unstable work (Forrier and Sels, 2003). Recent research shows that in a European comparison, there is a less vertical mismatch if the school-to-work transition is more highly stratified (Levels et al., 2014). Lifelong learning, in this context, allows young people to build up a lifelong habit to adapt to changes in the workplace. As the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting recalls that the last economic crisis accentuated the importance of the education to work transition: ensuring that young people leave education and training with the best possible support to obtain their first job is critical. Young people who face unemployment or a slow transition may experience long-term adverse effects in terms of future labour market success, earnings or family formation. This may, in turn, jeopardize public and private investment in their education and training, which results in a loss for the society as a whole. This is particularly true in the context of demographic challenges, which put added pressure on Europe’s increasing scarcity of young people to integrate quickly and effectively into the labour market. As a consequence, several EU benchmarks set for the 2020 focus on the transition from education and training into the labour market for facilitating policy exchanges under the Education and Training 2020 (ET2020) framework on measures to enhance the employability of graduates (Council of the European Union, 2012). Moreover, for Reviewing young adults, it is also relevant to remaining trainable by understanding the need to develop twenty years key-competences according to changes in the workplace. Nowadays every workplace of LLL policies presents rapid changes in tasks and in the structure, and it requires employees with the ability to adapt to these changes, to be positively engaged in LLL programmes. 3.3 All that glitters is not gold: risks connected to lifelong learning programmes and new challenges Considering the situations seen above, the presence of several policies, programmes, institutions and guidelines related to LLL constitutes an important background for an analysis of existing LLL policies across European countries. On the other hand, the risk of an uncontrolled promotion of LLL policies exists. For instance, it is important to consider LLL as a universal right; however, it must be contextualized on the basis of the real needs of the stakeholder. Among others, the greatest risk is to create a logic of competition that encourages the continuing education of people already trained or with a stable job, excluding those who are not entered in any career or training programme. Moreover, another challenge to be faced is represented by the uneven distribution of the costs for LLL between enterprises, individuals and families (OECD, 2001). Both the underrepresentation of vulnerable groups and the uneven distribution of funding show the persistent weakness and ineffectiveness of some adult education policies. However, the role of LLL is still vital to overcome the economic and social crisis and to meet the Europe 2020 targets by fostering higher. Indeed with the last decade, the focus on young people was reinforced with the adoption of the first European LLL political strategy. Quality education and training, successful labour market integration and increased mobility were identified as key to unleashing young people’s potential and achieving the ongoing Europe 2020 objectives. To reach such goals, EU LLL programmes, policies and strategies were implemented as follows: The Youth Guarantee Scheme, which has been implemented at European or national level to ensure that all young people aged under 25 get good-quality employment offers, continuing education or an apprenticeship or traineeship within four months of leaving school or becoming unemployed. It is included in the Youth Employment Package. The EU Youth Strategy for 2010–2018, which aims to provide more and equal opportunities for young people in education and in the labour market, and to promote active citizenship and social inclusion for all young people. Youth on the Move, a framework of policy priorities for action at national and EU level to reduce youth unemployment by facilitating the transition from school to work and reducing labour market segmentation. Here, the role of public employment services is vital, as they promote the Youth Guarantee scheme to ensure that all young people are in a job, in education or in activation, creating a European Vacancy Monitor and supporting young entrepreneurs. The agenda for new skills and jobs (COM:2010; 682): a European contribution towards full employment, aimed at enhancing the performance of education and training systems and seeking to equip young people with the relevant skills and competences for labour market needs. Which aims to improve employability and employment opportunities for young people. The “Youth employment initiative” (2013), which reinforces and accelerates the measures outlined in the “Youth employment initiative”. It supports particularly young people not in education, employment or training in regions with a youth unemployment rate above 25%. It is expected that appropriate investment in LLL will contribute to the overcoming the EJTD economic and social crisis and meet the Europe 2020 targets on employment, poverty 45,6/7 reduction, and innovation. However, since then almost fifty policies have been developed over the last twenty years, recognize successful LLL programmes, both traditional and innovative, already reach out to young adults at risk of work and social exclusion, might help for developing new and better programs. In the next section, we analyze the practical implications concerning the present review and ways for managing such data. 4. Practical implications Analyzing why, for which particular target group, and in which national and regional section, LLL programmes can be identified as successful could lead to better policy-making implantation. A practical proposal could be related to the development of a computational model that analyses, simplifies and connects data from all EU policy documents to allow easier access to information and to support policymaker in the different phases of the policy cycle. In this way, the policymaker would have the opportunity to explore the consequences of the introduction of new policies in advance of its effective application following a “what if [...]” approach. The investigation should consider quantitative and qualitative analyses to investigate policies both at the European and at the national level and in particular LLL policies, considering diversity issues as gender, culture, language, educational attainment, LLL competences developed, labour status, costs of previous LLL projects, etc. This would be an opportunity to generate new scientific knowledge, to create cooperation amongst different European countries and to collect data to compare and analyse adult education across Europe. Since that most Educational and Training systems are now LLL competencies-centered, to guide the analysis of EU policies, the European taxonomy of Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations (ESCO) can establish a framework capable of transcending sector and national specificities. Developed by the European Commission, the CEDEFOP (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training), and a group of stakeholders, this taxonomy focused to the creation of a common language between education and training, and the labour market. ESCO is structured in three main hierarchical pillars: occupation (i.e. a grouping of jobs involving similar tasks, and which require a similar skillset); skill and competence; qualification (i.e. the formal outcome of an assessment and validation process which is obtained when a competent body determines that an individual has achieved learning outcomes to given standards). These pillars are interrelated to each other. In June of 2002, the European Commission identifies fifteen qualitative indicators of LLL grouped in four main areas: (1) skills, competencies, and attitudes (Area A); (2) access and participation (Area B); (3) resources for Lifelong Learning (Area C); and (4) strategies and system development (Area D). In light of this LLL policy analysis, the assessment and feasibility of the policy-making could be supported by intelligent DSS based on this common language. DSS is a computer technology solution that can be used to support complex decision making and problem- solving. Over the past three decades, DSS has taken on both a narrower or broader definition, while other systems have emerged to assist specific types of decision-makers faced with specific kinds of policy-making problems (Shim et al.,2002). As a computer-based system the DSS, simplifying the language, knowledge, and problem processing systems, could: and spell out the multiple indicators, taxonomies, and analyses conducted; Reviewing connect all variables aimed to highlight the theoretical policy-effects associations. twenty years of LLL policies In the end, the model could show the effects of the overall system under the application of a certain policy. In this way, to obtain the desired achievements, the policymaker would have the opportunity to explore the consequences of the introduction of new LLL policies in advance, as well as its effective application, testing different scenarios. 5. Limitations This study has some limitations, such as the presence of researches with different approaches in the vast area of lifelong learning. Indeed, lifelong learning policies could be applied to very specific fields, such as computer science or medical professions, to extreme generic jobs. Moreover, approaches of such studies present methodological differences among them, which make comparisons hard to establish. Many of these studies are based on descriptive and narrative experiences related to EU projects developed, whereas just a limited portion of them regard quantitative studies. Finally, some of European countries, such as Slovenia, do not present any study in relation to the experience of LLL policies in the past ten years. 6. Conclusion The aim of this contribution was to deal with and then report about, the education policies aimed at increasing employability applied across Europe, through a comparative review of adult education and LLL. Such a recognition allows unearthing successful programmes applied by countries that tackled the unemployment raising of the past years more efficiently than others, confining the damages arose by social exclusion and inequality. This promises a potential for a stronger strategic focus, greater synergies and sharing best practices, simplification of the structure with fewer actions, as well as changes that are in line with the proposed recommendations for a provision of more inclusive and accessible opportunities. Perhaps most significantly, the new education and training programmes bring about a positive change to the legal framework of the programme, committing the Commission and Member States to ensure particular efforts to facilitate the participation of people with difficulties for educational, social, gender, physical, psychological, geographical, economic and cultural reasons (Kapoor et al.,2017). This is a significant step in the process and represents a unique opportunity to implement LLL for all. On the other hand, this contribution aimed at proposing a tool to support policy-making, which can be constituted by an intelligent DSS that would facilitate the institutions’ decision processes and its policy-making. In particular, a DSS can show which education policy is needed, preventing future labour crisis and the formation of more NEET individuals. The creation of such an intelligent DSS could have implications on the whole of the European community, especially for policymakers as a guideline in the process of decision making for identifying appropriate measures for supporting young people and adults, taking into account diversity issues that represent risks of social exclusion and deepening the analysis of several labour market policies to capitalize on existing knowledge. Note 1. 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Foster employability and fight social exclusion through the development of lifelong learning (LLL) key-competences: reviewing twenty years of LLL policies

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© Andrea Ceschi, Marco Perini, Andrea Scalco, Monica Pentassuglia, Elisa Righetti and Beniamino Caputo.
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2046-9012
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10.1108/ejtd-07-2019-0126
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Purpose – This study aims to provide an overview of the past two decades of lifelong learning (LLL) policies for enhancing employability and reduce social exclusion in young people of European countries through the development of the so-called LLL key-competences. Design/methodology/approach – Built on a quasi-systematic review, this contribution explores traditional and new methods for promoting the LLL transition, and then employability, in young adults (e.g. apprenticeship, vocational training, e-learning, etc.). Findings – It argues the need to identify all the possible approaches able to support policymakers, as they can differently impact key-competence development. Originality/value – Finally, based on the consolidated EU policy experience, we propose a strategy of implementation of the LLL programmes that facilitates the institutions’ decision processes for policy-making through the use of decisional support system. Keywords Employability, Decision support system, Lifelong learning, Key-competences Paper type Literature review 1. Introduction 1.1 Fostering employability through the development of lifelong learning key-competences A wide range of aspects revolves around employability, a concept used by Hillage and Pollard (1998) to indicate those capabilities necessary to find andretaina joband obtain a new one when needed (Ceschi et al.,2017). Indeed, several factors can impact on employability. First, the context interpreted as the current trends in the market labour but also some individual difference traits, which can have an impact on the individual employability since they have been for a long time assessed for predicting workers’ success at the early stage of their career (Sartori et al., 2016a; Sartori et al., 2016b; Sartori et al., 2017). On the other hand, about employability, great emphasis is usually assigned to the role of competences that can be acquired, developed and transferred in a © Andrea Ceschi, Marco Perini, Andrea Scalco, Monica Pentassuglia, Elisa Righetti and Beniamino Caputo. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons European Journal of Training and Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative Development Vol. 45 No. 6/7, 2021 works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full pp. 475-511 Emerald Publishing Limited attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at 2046-9012 http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode DOI 10.1108/EJTD-07-2019-0126 constant manner throughout the all stages of life, namely, key-competences for LLL or just key- EJTD competences. Key-competences have been associated over the years with several definitions 45,6/7 (Elbers, 1991; Mulder, 2007; McClelland, 1973), as affirmed by Velde (2001,p. 1): [.. .] there is both a concern about the meaning of competence and how it is interpreted in the workplace, and the demand for competence in the workplace, for different kinds of worker key competence, for more opportunities to become competent, and for it to be sustained and nourished in a lifelong learning way. Indeed, several attempts have been proposed over the years to define but also distinguish, competences for LLL. For instance, Sloane (2011) suggested distinguishing key-competences between hard and soft skills: while the former set relates to technical competences and it is highly dependent on task, the latter ones identify interpersonal competences that can be applied across different activities and developed across the lifespan. Similarly, Billett (2009) argued that LLL key-competences could be understood from two different points of views: the social and personal perspectives, and to evaluate the worker’ success, both of these perspectives must be considered since these competences comprise a set of knowledge, abilities and attitudes that allow a person to be competent in the workplace, as well as in everyday life (Sartori et al., 2018). In this sense, key-competences correspond to antecedents the concept of employability assets proposed by Hillage and Pollard (1998). Lifelong learning key-competences are also recognized as factors of innovation, which are strongly linked with training and development processes oriented to foster employability (Sartori et al., 2013). As affirmed by Sartori et al. (2018,p. 2) “these competences are a key concept within the perspective of both lifelong learning and change management”, in which on the one hand, competence-based training paths have been investigated to facilitate the development of employability in specific environments, and on the other hand, they have actually considered the antecedents for building-up LLL processes which does not limit only to the work dimension (Velde, 2001). Indeed, the Recommendation 2006/962/EC of the European Council (European Parliament and Council of the European Union, 2006) on key-competences for LLL identifies eight of them that are considered crucial for individuals in a lifelong knowledge-based society, i.e. communicating in a mother tongue, communicating in a foreign language, mathematical, scientific and technological competence, digital competence, learning to learn, social and civic competences, sense of initiative and entrepreneurship; cultural awareness and expression. The aim of this taxonomy of key-competences is to create a frequent basis for European LLL policies and the exchange of good educational and vocational training practices around Europe. This is also considered a call for educational and vocational systems not only to facilitate employability but also to enhance LLL policies oriented to fight social exclusion, especially among the young population. 1.2 Not only employability, lifelong learning for tackling social exclusion Lifelong learning is a process through which individuals acquire information, knowledge and competencies in a range of formal and informal settings, throughout life (Sartori and Tacconi, 2017). It may occur as part of schooling, education, training, personal development (Brookfield, 1986) or workplace-based learning (Billett, 2011), and applies to people working in organizations, vocational teachers and trainers included (Mulder et al.,2007; Sartori et al., 2015). Lifelong learning is considered to be an appropriate response to changes (Gibbs et al., 2007) and a key lever for resilience, adaptation and development (Smidt and Sursock, 2011)of both individuals and organizations (Roland, 2010). It has been argued that it can represent the means by which people go on acquiring such LLL key-competences (Garavan et al.,2002), Reviewing gain expertise (Jarvis, 2009), adapt to different job market conditions (International Labour twenty years Organization, 2000) and develop employability while growing up (Commission of the of LLL policies European Communities, 2007). Lifelong learning represents the cornerstone of the learning society described by Frank Coffield (2000,p. 5) “[.. .] in which all citizens acquire a high- quality general education, appropriate vocational training and a job [...] while continuing to participate in education and training throughout their lives”. That is, LLL is a theoretical and practical concept that refers to the fact that it is both possible and necessary for human beings to keep on getting information, knowledge and learn those LLL key-competences for professional purposes (Sartori et al.,2018). On the other hand, professional purposes are not the only outcome of LLL policies; the LLL perspective has also been conceptualized within a political framework, which focuses on the role and the function of knowledge and learning to enhance the cohesion of societies. European policies, in this sense, are intended to support LLL as a factor underlying the development of practical institutional actions aiming at fostering social participation (Lodigiani, 2008). As a result, in many European countries, LLL policies have been developed to improve the integration of young people at the risk of social and work exclusion (Bynner and Parsons, 2002). Lifelong learning policies can be defined, as well as a guide to actions taken by institutions to foster LLL in a manner consistent with local laws and social customs. Their purpose is to disseminate the relevance of LLL in the specific context where young adults live, contextualizing it in accordance with their developable competences and social barriers they face to be included in society. 1.3 Reach out to European young adults at risk of work and social exclusion; the challenge of lifelong learning policies In light of the above considerations, at the individual level, LLL policies aim to enable young adults to identify and develop those key-competences necessary to find, retain and progress in employment: that is, to improve their employability. In the past two decades, the development of LLL policies resulted in a diversified market configuration for adult education throughout Europe, which is expected to increase further. The continuous acquisition of key-competences is perceived determinant for professional success and career for two main reasons. First, the expected growth of the adult education market has resulted in the need to develop a systematic analysis of education policies linking it to forecasts for the demand of work skills in the future. Secondly, referring to the Strategic objective 1 “Making lifelong learning and mobility a reality” of EU Council (2009/C 119/02), a significant issue related to LLL is the idea of social justice. Limited learning opportunities and the inequitable access to the training system provide a broader social exclusion of many groups of young people (Gorard and Rees, 2002). Success, in this context, is understood as those policies that show the improvement of learning outcomes, particularly those reaching out to young adults at risk of social exclusion and other vulnerable groups. Following this framework, as well as the EU Council Resolution on a renewed European agenda for LLL adult learning (2011), new policies are going to be developed over the Horizon 2020 programme [1], with the aim to encourage higher education institutions to embrace adult learners as a means of displaying social responsibility and a greater openness towards the community at large. The overarching objective of these new policies is the improvement of the above key-competences related to adult education in general, and young adults and vulnerable groups in particular, focusing on the area of integration between LLL programmes and higher employability. In this context, previous successful policies, both traditional and innovative, that reached out to young adults at risk of work and social exclusion, have been first identified with the present literature review. Next, we will focus on EJTD the outcomes and effects of such policies above briefly presented (i.e. strategic LLL key- 45,6/7 competences development, employability, challenging social exclusion). While analyzing why, for which target group, and in which national and regional section these programmes could be successful, by using a new technological decision support system (DSS), will be finally discussed as a possible practical solution applied to the present review. 1.4 Methodology This article aims to identify LLL policies approaches that can guide the choices of policymakers regarding policies for enhancing the employability in young people and reduce risks of social exclusion. The initial assumption (discussed in the first part of the article) is that the key-competences promote by LLL correspond to antecedents of the concept of employability and to improve LLL policies means enhancing the employability of young adults in Europe to fight phenomena of social exclusion. The paper is built on a quasi-systematic review of the approaches to LLL policies present in the literature of the last twenty years, and the identified methodology is divided into three phases. Phase 1: longitudinal analysis using semantic search by keywords (e.g. lifelong learning policy; LLL policy; lifelong-learning policy [.. .]) present in the following DBs such as Scopus, PubMed, Embase and Psychinfo. The inclusion criteria included all the published articles about lifelong learning policies (years 1998–2018) involving original article written in English with qualitative and quantitative approaches, review literature and mixed- method study. The exclusion criteria included articles by unknown authors, review sections of books, and articles written in a language other than English. This result in 109 articles extracted. Phase 2: Mapping of the analysis results (Peersman, 1996) and selection of the most representative research on LLL policies in European countries based on the following analysis units: the orientation of LLL policies and related professional practices; criticism of the effects of LLL policies; and programmes for the implementation of LLL policies. After such a review, 87 articles were selected for the assessment of the next phase. Phase 3: Elaboration of the summary map with a focus on the objectives and results of the research. Such a quality assessment was conducted by two reviewers, and it was mainly based on the relevancy and validity of studies. Articles were carefully examined and selected by one of the two authors. Finally, 50 articles were included, and the most important points were extracted and summarized in a table (Table 1). Based on a thematic content analysis, articles were discussed next in a narrative form in line with the research goal. 2. Literature review 2.1 Reviewing twenty years of lifelong learning policies in Europe Despite the term, LLL has an extensive practice in contexts, and its meaning is often not very clear (Clain, 2016), each country has its own definition and, consequently, its own LLL policies. Although there are some definitions of LLL (TeAchnology, 2010; Evaluate IT, 2004; Tempus, 2002; Idahoe-Campus, 2009), we can consider LLL as training that: [.. .] should take place at all stages of the life cycle (from the cradle to the grave) and, in more recent versions, that it should be life-wide; that is embedded in all life contexts from the school to the workplace, the home and the community (Laal, 2011, p. 471). Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. The present quasi- systematic review is based on a search strategy performed for the period 1998 to 2018 (August) Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords Ferrari et al. IT This research study addresses how access to Analysis of the data supported the ideas Inclusive citizenship; school digital (2018) information and the development of digital that digital forms of participation are district; digital inclusion; Inclusive skills mitigated aspects of social exclusion particularly valuable for people at risk of education; capacity building; lifelong and triggered more active participation in the exclusion in communities; consistent with learning life of the community. The project team European Union [EU] policies, education observed the process of digitalization as it and particularly its digital form is a affected administrators, teachers, parents, and valuable key to civic inclusion; and efforts students over four years at educational digitalization must be long- Data in the form of structured observations, term and intentional to be sustainable meeting and interview transcripts, and actual usage rates were collected, categorized, and eventually sorted into three main categories: administrative promotion of inclusion; school investment inequitable access to digital resources; and capacity-building among stakeholders Mystakidis GR, FI The University of Patras has launched a The results of the study suggest that the e-learning; distance education; blended et al. (2018) project for the provision of short, accessible, project led to the rapid provision of e- learning; technology enhanced learning; certified distance life-long learning learning programmes that used successfully life-long learning; deep learning programmes. The main pillars of this active learning methods to achieve high project are Excellence, Specialized learner satisfaction and address training Personalized Training at cutting-edge needs and skills gaps. Evaluation and data subjects, Quality, Deep Learning and analysis from completed e-Learning courses Innovation. The research study was revealed that the University of Patras’ conducted using an online questionnaire blended quality strategy had an overall and aimed at estimating the level of positive effect participants satisfaction using interactive learning methods such as collaborative learning. The formative evaluation process was conducted by external assessors based on context, input, process, product approach. The evaluation instruments were (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords online questionnaires, structured and semi- structured observation Abel et al. SE The article considers the problem of how The experiments explore the performance of Life-long learning; policy transfer; value (2018) best to use prior experience to bootstrap the jumpstart policies and showcase the transfer; life-long reinforcement learning LLL, where an agent faces a series of task practicality of MAXQINIT for accelerating instances drawn from some task algorithms in lifelong RL in simple domains. distribution. First, it identifies the initial Empirical and theoretical results show that policy that optimizes expected performance the practical and simple new method, over the distribution of tasks for MAXQINIT, can lower the sample increasingly complex classes of policy and complexity of lifelong learning via value- task distributions. It empirically function-based transfer demonstrates the relative performance of each policy class’ optimal element in a variety of simple task distributions. It then considers value-function initialization methods that preserve PAC guarantees while simultaneously minimizing the learning required in two learning algorithms, yielding MAXQINIT, a practical new method for value-function-based transfer Galanis et al. ES This paper proposes a framework to gather, The paper summaries several guidelines for Informal learning; non-formal learning; e- (2017) enhance, organize, evaluate and showcase a validating and evaluating informal learning learning; e-learning; lifelong learning; user’s informal learning using a social experiences and formalizing their outcomes. social learning; validation; evaluation approach to engage the learners to use the This especially, where technology has system by providing valuable brought together different cultures and recommendations, contacts and feedback educational systems, managing to keep track of a learner’s competences is a daunting task, and when trying to take into account, the competences acquired through informal means (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords Pilkinton- FI Living in learning societies has brought an This analysis shows that the tasks in our Life-long learning; educational policies; Pihko and increased focus to LLL and educational RPL test of English differ considerably from recognition of prior learning; RPL test Suviniitty policies that support it. One such policy is those reported in our survey of RPL seekers. (2017) the recognition of prior learning (RPL). In This mismatch indicates that we should Finnish higher education, the most popular either adopt an open, divergent assessment procedure for RPL is a test. This raises the method, such as a portfolio or change our question of how well this assessment undergraduate English curricula for both method serves its purpose engineering and industrial design to better align them with the working-life communication tasks identified in this study - if a closed, convergent assessment method (such as a test) is preferred Pérez-Escoda, ES This essay presents some of the results from The comprehensive statistical analysis of Digital citizenship; digital competences; A., et al. (2016) a broader research project on the digital the results reflects that both teachers and teachers; students; education; information competences of primary school teachers and students lack digital skills. This means that and communication technologies students in Castile and Leon (Spain). The teachers cannot make pedagogical use of main goal of the study is to evaluate digital them so that teacher-Training policies in competence levels drawing on an earlier this field should be reconsidered. In study on the specific international students, it reflects the danger of a digital assessment of digital literacy and digital gap that would not be brought about for skills reasons of use or access but from lack of training Irvine et al. NL, AT Sustainable river basin management The DANCERS project identified key short Sustainable development; integrated river (2016) depends on knowledge, skills and education. and medium-term needs for education and basin management; skill development; EU The DANCERS project set out to identify research to support the progressive policy feasible options for achieving education for adoption of sustainable development, and sustainable water management across the the necessary dialogue across the public and Danube river basin, and its integration with private sectors to align policies. These a broader education and economic include the development of new education development networks for masters and PhD programmes, including joint programmes; improved access to technical training and LLL (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords programmes for skills development; developing formalized and certified competency structures and associated accreditation of institutions Hanemann DE This article discusses recent developments The authors analyze well-being at age 50 as Literacy; lifelong learning; adult learning; (2015) in conceptualizing literacy as a foundation an outcome in structural equation models post-2015 education agenda of LLL. The authors of this paper seek to (SEM). Results suggested a three- replicate and extend his pioneering work, dimensional analytical framework which using data from the National Child considers literacy as a lifelong and life-wide Development Study (NCDS), a large-scale learning process and as part of LLL survey containing information on all those systems. The research draws a number of born in Britain in one week in 1958. Follow- conclusions for policy and practice of up data were collected at various points in literacy as a foundation of LLL. These childhood and adulthood, most recently conclusions are a timely contribution to the when the cohort reached the age of 50, thus ongoing post-2015 education debate enabling insights into long-term developments Jenkins and UK The study presented in this article adopts a The authors analyse well-being at age 50 as Adult education; well-being; Wiggins life-course approach to participation in an outcome in. This approach helps to qualifications; mid-life; SEM (2015) learning and the potential benefits of understand the pathways through which learning. The authors concentrate on adult adult education has an impact on well- education in mid-life, that is, between the being. The estimated models show how ages of 33 and 50, as the measure of adult education in mid-life has an influence learning participation. The authors of this on the type and quality of jobs which are paper seek to replicate and extend his accessible to individuals, and how this, in pioneering work, using data from the turn, can contribute to higher well-being at National Child Development Study (NCDS), age 50 a large-scale survey containing information on all those born in Britain in one week in 1958. Follow-up data were collected at various points in childhood and adulthood, most recently when the cohort reached the (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords age of 50, thus enabling insights into long- term developments Bomba and SK The article deals with LLL of teachers in Results show how social and economic Higher education; university; blended Zacharova Slovakia and the use of blended learning as changes in Slovakia after 1989 and after the learning; lifelong learning; neoliberal (2014) a means of increasing the teachers’ Velvet Revolution had their impacts on governmentality; teacher; Slovak qualification credit as employees. The education, on redefining the functions of education; Slovakia mainline of this article is tracking the LLL school, on changing the nature of education, of the Slovak teachers in the context of school computerization and total neoliberalism and its influence on education modernization but also on the decrease of with some implications for teachers teachers’ social status and on changing the school funding and long-term underfunding of the Slovak educational system Fonfara et al. DE The task is to learn a dialogue policy that Results show that by using lifelong model Dialog system; imitation learning; lifelong (2014) deals with changing user goals, can act updates, it is possible to apply the expert’s learning; cognitive robotics; bayesian under uncertainty, and is easy to apply in policy correctly even if the user behaviour network practice. Unlike reinforcement learning- changes over time. However, the executed based systems, the proposed simulator-free policies strongly depend on teacher approach avoids common problems such as demonstrations, depending on the reward tuning and state-space exploration. complexity of the task sufficient teacher Researchers apply imitation learning to demonstrations have to be recorded to cover mimic an expert’s behaviour based on a all situations one wants to consider small number of Wizard-of-Oz experiments. A dynamic Bayesian Network is used to track hidden user goals Sienkiewicz PT The aim of the paper is the presentation of Results refer to the PQF in the European Qualifications framework; knowledge and the development of the polish qualifications Qualifications Framework. The publication management in public policy; lifelong Trawinska- framework (PQF) and qualifications system of the report allowed further sharing of learning; human capital Konador as an example of the implementation of knowledge with a broader spectrum of (2014) knowledge management in public policy in stakeholders. The subsequent phases of the Poland. As a result of applying the process included an assessment of the knowledge management approach, the information and knowledge needs to be initial proposal of the PQF was enriched and needed to proceed with the modernization of (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords enabled a proposal to be elaborated for the the qualifications system in Poland, to close modernization and integration of the the knowledge management cycle qualifications system in Poland that allows for integration and permeability between specific qualifications subsystems as a part of the reform of lifelong learning policy in Poland Thelen et al. DE The study presents a platform named The article suggests that to cope with the E-learning; microtraining; semantic-based (2012) RELOAD based on so-called Microtrainings demographic change and to face the knowledge platform; demographic and the usage of a semantic net. Thereby, shortage of skilled workers, the change; low skilled ageing workers they are individual, self-directed and employability of ageing workers has to be continuous learning processes secured through demographic-sensitive learning offers. Striking and alerting in this context is that the participation rate of low- skilled and ageing workers in further education lags behind other groups of learners, and nearly no learning offers to exist which are directly targeted to this group and their special learning needs Thiriet et al. FR The present research develops the work The article suggests to do not focus too Lifelong learning; recognition; mobility (2012) achieved within the ELLEIEC project, much about the actual courses followed by a Of students; harmonization; RPL; relative to International Modules (IM) and student (which is extremely tricky when a accreditation International Curricula Networks (ICN), student is sent abroad) but more on what concepts proposed in the project and he/she gets as a whole concerning experimented practically, to facilitate the knowledge, skills and competences, taking mobility of students and of citizens/workers also account of soft or generic skills like internationalization, multiculturalism, team group work, foreign language. Another interesting aspect is the use of tools such as RPL which is very useful Yankova et al. BG The main goal of this research is to The paper explores the role and Library association; LIS higher education; (2012) systematize the achievements in the contribution of the Bulgarian library lifelong learning; state university of implementation of projects and initiatives of associations in the development of (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords the Bulgarian library associations in an librarianship in the country, in establishing library studies and effort to be effective partners of LIS higher a modern vision for libraries and librarians Information technology education (especially with the State and their involvement in the information, University of Library Studies and educational, scientific and cultural Information Technology), in LLL of LIS construction of the emerging knowledge professionals. The article investigates the society. It is focused on the priorities in the impact of the library organizations’ work of library associations in response to activities on the theoretical fields of library mobilizing science knowledge and policy for and information science and education and sustainable development also on library practice. Research methods: retrospective and systematic analysis, desk research and critical analysis of the results Kalman (2012) HU The paper presents a research study Results show how learning during Informal – nonformal – formal learning; launched in 2008 that was part of the call for adulthood is considered by most lifewide – lifelong learning; adult proposals “Training of competences that respondents to be essential for the work, education establish LLL in the non-formal and lifestyle and general human behaviour that informal learning dimension”. The survey drives people to solve new challenges in the aimed to examine the will of the adult natural and social context. The personal population to learn after completing formal motivation of adult education can be studies. The methodology of the research determined by a multitude of factors. One of relies on methods of analysis and the the most important resources for continuous devices of the empirical study, implement learning is learning and the methodological the pilot studies, analyze the results and the culture of learning promotion observations of the study, elaborate the development proposals and the recommendations concerning the support priorities Witt and Lill EE This paper describes a study of learner Results suggest that at the policy level, a Lifelong learning; engineering education; (2011) perceptions of construction industry skills simple, elegant vision of integration and learner models; construction industry; requirements in Estonia mutual dependence between learners, Estonia industry and higher education institutions is prescribed. When investigated in more (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords detail, however, the individuality of learners, the pace at which skill level requirements are changing in the industry and the accommodation of previous, legacy education systems among other challenges add complexity Pacheco (2011)PT Drawing upon the concept of “sliding Results show how reflecting upon Educational policies; training policies; signifiers” as having a multiplicity of curriculum, LLL and evaluation as themes globalization; life-long learning; meanings in a given context according to its related to education and training policies evaluation; curriculum actors and contexts, this paper explores imply the discussion of their meanings globalization which does not mean taking into account different ways of homogeneity and uniformity. The paper looking at them, especially in a field which examines these meanings by discussing the is marked by a disciplinary view. This does diverse points of view based upon existing not mean the general acceptance of educational and training policies, within the uniformity and the rejection of diversity, framework of the world agencies. The paper particularly when curriculum, learning and includes, in the first section, an integrated evaluation are discussed taking a personal approach of the concepts of curriculum, LLL stance and evaluation and, in the second section, the discussion of each of these concepts Farrow (2011) UK A taxonomy of ethical questions based on In this article, the author discusses some of Mobile learning; policy; education; dominant positions in metaethical moral the ethical issues related to the use of mobile metaethics; methodology theory is proposed. The author explains technologies in education. He argues that how this taxonomy can be applied in a way the frameworks used by educators and that facilitates the understanding of ethical technologists fail to grasp the nature, scope issues in mobile learning and impact of ethical issues in mobile learning. This approach is intended to enhance (rather than replace) reflection on ethical issues and support those involved with mobile learning by helping them to think about ethics in a systematic way (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords Aurora- RO The purpose of the article is to present the Results emphasize the benefits of co- Etwinning; information technologies; Nicoleta et al. main objectives and actions taken by the working in such projects using the tools of lifelong learning (2010) Romanian Institute of Education Sciences as the eTwinning platform. Approximately, national support services for e-Twinning in 70,000 schools from 32 states are part of the collaboration with the Center for Innovation system and they are involved in over 5,000 in Education. At the same time, the authors ongoing projects. Some of the mention the most important campaigns/ approximately 850 projects carried out so projects developed within the programme in far enjoyed international recognition, pre-university institutions in Romania schools in Romania were among the finalists/winners or receiving either annual eTwinning prizes or European Quality Certifications from the Central Support Services of e-Twinning in Brussels Hanson et al. SE The objective is to present the foundation This paper discusses some aspects of the Engineering education; student (2010) for and the goals with a LLL project. Nine attractiveness of engineering and recruitment; student retention; universities in EU will collaborate around technology studies to be monitored by attractiveness of engineering studies four themes to increase the attractiveness of ATTRACT project the Enhance the Engineering Education. The areas are: The Attractiveness of Studies in Science and attractiveness of being an engineer Formal Technology, ATTRACT, the project is hinders Attracting students to studies in within the EU a LLL Programme. The science and technology/engineering strength of the project is that it will be able education Student retention Result from the to go in-depth into the practices of the TREE – Teaching and Research in partner universities Engineering in Europe Socrates Thematic Network project, the TechBARO in Finland and the Technology Delegation project in Sweden has given inspiration in setting up the foundation for ATTRACT project together with other international initiatives Poulova and CZ Teams were established dealing with the In 2009 a research “Evaluation of the e-learning activities; e-learning Šimonova process of e-learning implementation in the modern technologies contributing towards implementation; tertiary education (2010) tertiary education, at the beginning being forming and development university (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords very informal, joining enthusiasts, and their students competences” focusing on e- activities were hardly supported. Pioneering learning implementation at Czech e-learning activities in this period were universities started, being supported by the usually financed from various, mostly Czech Science Foundation. There are 26 European projects. Despite the starting public universities accredited in the Czech troubles the awareness of possibilities Republic. Annual reports of these provided by e-learning was spreading universities were the main source of slowly but steadily. Nowadays there exist information for this research. These trends university departments specialized in e- have step by step resulted in both learning and its implementation into the quantitative increase in ICT implementation process of instruction. There was also and related activities in tertiary education established a system for funding e-learning and in a substantial shift in the quality of activities, so it does not depend on the formal and informal view on e-Learning random effort of single employees any more Widmark and SE The purpose of the steps for skills was to Results rely on the learning project for the Learning design; lifelong learning; Koroma (2009) improve the internal quality of health and course “Steps for Skills” which was a blended learning; collaborative learning; social care. This was to be achieved by government, a multi-year national initiative communication; learning dialogue developing the skills of the staff working to support the long-term quality of close to older people. This learning project municipalities and development of skills in for LLL has been developed in the last ten health and social care for older people. years at the Teacher Education unit of the Researchers designed courses to carry out University of Stockholm. The same design the learning activities on three levels: an but with different contents was used to individual level; an interactive level; a increase the competence of different target practical activity level. The three levels for groups; field teachers, policemen, medical learning have markedly contributed to an staff, principals, etc analysis of the geriatric care’s activity and to development and renewal Burman (2009)UK The article’s author cautions against Discussion argued that it is necessary to Life-long learning; emotional literacy subscription to emerging cultural follow the epithet “emotional literacy” very paradigm; feminist research; educational discourses promoting the validity and closely as a process of education for the research; educational development expression of emotions distinguishing production of discourses on emotion, rather between a feminist agenda and than the discovery or recognition of certain (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords appropriations of a pseudo-feminist inner, individual feelings. Rather than being discourse that now permeate neo-liberal passionate about emotions, the task is to governmentality. First, the article analyses analyze the patterns of writing about the assumptions underlying the “emotional emotions in circulation. The article ends literacy” paradigm, before, secondly, with some more general political addressing some specifically educational connections that underline the broader developments related to the shift towards political programmes served by the “life span” and “LLL” within university “emotional” turn assessment strategies in the form of “personal development profiles” Wheeler and UK To investigate implementation of e- Results show how the use of e-portfolios Lifelong learning; e-portfolio; e-learning; Yeats (2009) portfolios, an explanatory case study on also promotes inclusivity in learning as it curriculum design; summative their use was carried out, initially focusing provides students with the opportunity to assessment; on three groups of students engaged in articulate their aspirations and take the first Formative assessment work-based learning and professional steps along the pathway of LLL. However, practice. The three groups had e-Portfolios ensuring the uptake of opportunities within embedded and assessed at different levels. their learning is more complex than the Group 1 did not have the e-Portfolio students simply having access to the embedded into their curriculum nor was the software. Results also suggest that the use e-Portfolio assessed. Group 2 had the e- of e-Portfolios needs to be integral to Portfolio embedded into the curriculum and curriculum design in modules rather than formatively assessed. Group 3 also had the used as an additional tool. In addition to this e-Portfolio embedded into the curriculum more user engagement was found in Group and were summatively assessed 2 where the e-Portfolio was formatively assessed only Greener (2009) UK This paper will explore the concepts and Discussion focuses on online and mixed Role modelling; social learning theory; behaviours implied in the role-modelling of learning which become familiar aspects of teaching methods; conceptions of teaching effective e-learning in the classroom, the university landscape; pedagogical drawing on data from teachers and learners discussions receive higher priority and involved in using VLEs and other Web ideas on how students can be enabled to resources in face-to-face sessions. A study of learn the appropriate skills for Higher Education teachers in the UK employability and LLL, as well as the (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords proposed a shift in their role and behaviour thought of higher-order, attract attention. concomitant with the explosion of VLE Teachers who are open to new ways of usage in universities (Greener, 2008) thinking about their subject, and welcome these self-directed student behaviours, are more likely to integrate new technologies into their teaching and their expertise with technology it will be a factor in how this integration works Naumanen FI This paper presents principles taken from Results show how LLL as an individual Lifelong learning; elderly people; cognitive and Tukiainen literature on old age education based on activity that spans over one’s life is not a learning; ICT and elderly; computer clubs (2010) cognitive ageing (compensating and reality yet. Especially the elderly, those over supporting the deficiencies and strengths) 65 years, are in danger of lagging; the solid not forgetting the impact of empowerment trust in one’s activity and learning skills is by current ICTs in the life of elderly people. required; besides, many aged today, lack the The experience gained from directing a learning culture (Tikkanen, 2003). Moreover, computer club for the elderly is results show that the continuing education demonstrated, based on a WWW- programme for the elderly is strongly questionnaire, as well as observations made facilitated by peer-support which is during years 2007–2008 in Pieksämäki, experienced during informal club-based Finland activities, as well as having a jointly planned content, which is tailored to their needs, motivation and ability Vardiambasis GR This paper aims to identify the needs for Discussion presents how the shortage of Engineering education; consumer et al. (2007) LLL of Greek engineers, based on recent highly qualified engineers in our electronics; knowledge engineering; survey data publicly available by the knowledge-based economy requires the educational institutions; electrical Technical Chamber of Greece. This collaborative and coordinated action of products industry; continuing education; approach, as well as the experience gained academic institutions, professional societies, design engineering; power engineering from other actions carried out by TEloC (i.e. industry players, and education and energy; the establishment of a unit for lifelong policymakers. In particular, LLL of Educational technology; collaboration learning, the organization of summer engineers is considered as one of the most schools in hot areas of engineering, important presumptions for future growth workshops offered to the academic and social welfare (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords instructors), present to be efficient strategies for LLL education Dondi and IT This paper presents a methodological Results from both the projects Uni-Game Foreign countries; learning processes; Moretti (2007) proposal elaborated in the framework of two (Game-Based Learning for Universities and lifelong learning; instructional materials; European projects dealing with game-based LLL) and Sig-Glue (Special Interest Group educational games; instructional material learning, both of which have focused on for Game-Based Learning in Universities evaluation; media selection “quality” aspects to create suitable tools and LLL) are discussed. Both have involved that support European educators, organizations from different European practitioners and lifelong learners in countries, backgrounds and expertise, and selecting and assessing learning games for as a result of this work, a ’classification of use in teaching and learning processes games by learning purposes’ and an ’evaluation framework for assessing games’ have been designed and placed at the disposal of European educators, practitioners and lifelong learners Linkaityte LT The authors of this article aim to develop The paper summarizes findings from the Adult education; framework of et al. (2006) the theoretical conditions for modelling the SOCRATES Grundvig 1 project AduEdu qualifications; lifelong learning activities of adult educators in the LLL. The –“Qualifications of Adult Educator in document is based on theoretical literature Knowledge Society” and European and national policy The novelty of this model is its description documents on adult education and LLL, of the activity of adult educator on five including observations derived from the levels: national, regional, institutional, personal experience of AduEdu partners interpersonal and individual from eight European countries. The roles and functions of adult educators are explored and a model is proposed for the design of the activity system for adult educators Kavrakos GR This paper aims at understanding a Discussion presents how RDAs are some of Certification; qualifications; (2006) methodological frame of certification for the most proper organizations to provide unemployment; government; business; professional qualifications acquired via certificated training programmes using new Continuing professional development; informal learning. A operational research technologies customized for each employee (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords (OR) based model was made as a tool for or businessman or an unemployed citizen collaboration; vocational training; testing; Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and their local needs. RDAs have the legislation that consists of tests, evaluations and advantage to combine funds from the tutoring. The candidate evaluation takes European Union, the national or the local into account the formal qualifications government and demand a very small required by legislation includes the skills amount from the individual persons that and the relevant professional experience but come to be served also relates to qualifications from his attendance of professional training seminars Lenssen et al. PT This paper aims to investigate the Findings show how the sustainability of the Competitive strategy; European union; (2006) interaction between the sustainability of the European social model depends on the European union information; social European social model and the European success of the overall strategy for growth structure; lifelong learning; innovation Union’s revised Lisbon Strategy and its and jobs, in which innovation and LLL are focus on jobs and growth. The success of key. The concrete solutions to achieve a this strategy – following its five-year mid- successful combination of those factors in term review in 2005 – depends on attempts each member state need to be found by the to renew European competitiveness countries themselves. That is why the through, for example, innovation and LLL preparation and implementation of Europe- and well-designed reforms of the European wide National Reform Programmes for social model growth and jobs open an opportunity to drive competitiveness which should not be missed Kourtoumi GR The first section of the paper discusses the Results show how archives have a key role Life-long learning; social policy; digital (2006) concepts supporting digital collections by to play in underpinning learning in its collections; archival resources networking and integrating collections of broadest sense, both as a formal activity digitized archival resources to create new within an institution and informally within services and infrastructures. The second the community. This is becoming especially part of the paper analyses from the important in an increasingly KM-based educational perspective of LLL important environment where communities can look to social benefits, both quantitively and archives for support and guidance in qualitatively, of developing new accessing content information (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords infrastructures for accessing and using archival resources Anastasiades GR This paper intends to introduce the idea and The paper shows how education and Web-based education; educational digital (2005) content of educational digital divide, technology have become interrelated as divide; European union policies; life-long concerning the key actions of European concepts, now that the Internet, the learning Union policies on the confrontation of this educational multimedia and an array of social phenomenon asynchronous applications have inundated the educational environment. The educational process in the European Union is presented as the most important tool in the context of transformation towards the Information Society. Its role is to ensure the citizen all the necessary means to manage in a completely different social and technological environment Whyley and UK This paper examines the steps taken This paper reflects on the progress made by E-learning; learners; technology; Westwood towards realizing Wolverhampton Local the City of Wolverhampton in trying to personalized learning (2005) Education Authority’s (LEA) vision for a bring together all of the key elements 21st century “Learning City”– placing all currently recognized as being needed to learners at the heart of the system. An enable 21st learning. It describes how one outline is provided of the LEA’s journey – UK City has moved from a vision for e- aiming at personalized learning, from vision learning to reality in the space of four years. to reality for a city of 40,000þ learners The paper also looks beyond current developments to respond to the needs of learners as they engage in this technology- rich environment Sonyel (2004) CY This qualitative study unravels teachers’ The findings suggest that lifelong learning Educational institutions; government; perception of involvement in LLL through is significant as the nature of teaching rhythm; education; educational literature review. It also attempts to foster demands teachers to be engaged in programmes; instruments; economic and encourage LLL through continuing career-long professional forecasting; ethics; books; professional professionalism and as the twenty-first development and additionally, they are the activities century is approaching, learning throughout schools’ greatest asset to deliver knowledge. (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords life will be essential for adapting to the The findings of this study also indicate that evolving requirements of the labour market lifelong learning is significant for educators and for better mastery of the changing time- and can be summed up under three main frames and rhythms of an integral part of headings as: to develop themselves as national and international policies professionals; learning throughout life will be essential for adapting to the evolving requirements of the labour market and for better mastery of the changing time-frames and rhythms; and the view of lifelong learning can be attached to individual and social development Mihnev and BG The document conceptualizes the In developing this conceptualization the Higher education; learning demands; Nikolov (2004) experiences of the Center of Information authors use research results and political learning delivery; lifelong learning; Society Technologies, Sofia University, agendas in two distinct areas: LLL and management; organization; service Bulgaria, in satisfying the learning and higher education systems. As a result of provider training needs of non-university publics three streams of thought and practice, they who fall into situations that can be defined outline an “interface” model of an as determined by LLL interdisciplinary university structure, which aims to explicitly satisfy LLL market demands Røsvik (2003) NO This paper presents a case study of a After an overview of Norwegian school Elementary education; conditions for Norwegian primary school as an example of system and national goals for ICT in learning; organizing for learning; the approach used to introduce ICT policy in education, the paper describes the collaboration Norway. This paper presents a programme challenges teachers and schools face when of a lower primary school (6 to 10 year-olds), implementing curricula designed to fulfil which has taken up the challenge of different national expectations, ranging focusing on learning to learn, including the from specific skills and pieces of knowledge use of ICT to more general goals such as preparing students for the future society. The most important actor in the Norwegian classroom is the student while the teacher creates stimulating learning environments. (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords Learning to learn and LLL are considered the main tasks of schools Breiter (2003) DE This paper tries to develop a concept of a Results show that the so-called ’digital Digital divide; equity; lifelong learning/ regional education network that includes divide’ seems to be a major social obstacle education; partnership pre-school, K-12 and further education, for the Information Society. Most experts public libraries and community centres, as agree that citizens will need competencies well as other educational institutions. that go beyond the basic cultural skills. The Taking the path of the digital divide as a idea of LLL illustrates a major problem of social and educational divide and focusing educational institutions: they work on the school as one major player in the separately, they only process the results of regional network, the innovation process the preceding phase and there is a lack of and the actors involved in it are highlighted interconnection and explored. Using action research in a project between schools, local community, private partners and the university, the concept of the regional network is illustrated Hylén (2001) SE The paper will deal with the two most The objectives were to find synergies Communications; innovation; networks; important challenges facing education between national initiatives, to promote the policy today: the increasing globalization and use of ICT in education and to facilitate co- permeation of ICT of our society. To meet operation between schools in Europe. Now these two challenges 18 Ministries of the time has come to ask not only what ICT Education in Europe joined forces in 1997 to can do for schools but also what ICT does to create a common internet platform, called schools? How does the influence of ICT on the European Schoolnet. Two scenarios will society change the role of the school and the be outlined: the diminishing school – a teacher? reduction of the schools and the role of the To help to transform the second scenario teacher and a growth in homeschooling; the into reality, the European Schoolnet must in expanding school – where the need for LLL the coming year focus its attention on four puts the school in the centre of the areas: collaboration, communities, content development and changes the role of the and commerce (continued) EJTD 45,6/7 Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords teacher to become a guide to learning in schools and companies Jenkins et al. UK This article takes into consideration the While agreeing with other researchers that Life-long learning; degree; graduate lives; (2001) long-term effect of a degree in graduate there are common benefits from a degree, active learning methods; modern teaching lives. Following a degree programme that they also conclude that there is a huge methods has used active learning methods within a variation in the long-term effects of a course modular course for over 20 years, on a relatively homogeneous group of researchers provide a prototype to evaluate students. The variation derives from four lifelong learning generated by modern main sources: background of individual teaching methods students; different reconstructions of the same academic experience; the different personal circumstances during college; and the effects of individual careers after graduation (which in turn leads to further individual reconstructions) Carr (1999) UK The paper discusses a solution for Twenty interviews with key SME training Courseware delivery; life-long learning; developing multimedia management informants reveal that a simple transfer of multimedia management courseware; courseware in the higher and further material is unlikely to prove adequate; the small and medium-sized enterprises education sectors, which can then be peculiarities of the SME learning transferred to SMEs to meet their training environment represent a major challenge to needs the design and delivery of effective multimedia management training for this sector. The proposed benefits of multimedia courseware for SME training are the removal of existing training barriers: time, cover, purchasing power, socializing multimedia, ICT skills, negative attitudes, Generic versus Bespoke Training (continued) Reviewing twenty years of LLL policies Table 1. Authors – Year Country Aim – Method Discussion – Results Keywords Rinne (1998) FI This article presents sociologically and The article comes to the conclusion that the Labour society; learning society; life-long historically oriented reconceptualizations of first modern period, and the Keynesian learning; educational system the changing relationship between labour welfare state policy with its homogenous and learning in the reflexive modern era. It workforce and policies of full employment, claims that the whole modern division of has come to its historical end. The author labour does not merely reveal the nature by sees that education has always been seen as which we define morality but also it is a a major component in the great crucial condition for the whole solidarity of Enlightenment project, which has been humankind connected and incorporated by the national state. LLL, on the contrary, has been less incorporated, less an early modern, but more a marginal and informal position, waving the flag for both individuals and groups from below The idea of LLL first appeared in the 1970s, to promote social equality. At first, within a EJTD humanistic tradition, the first LLL policies were advocated as a model for developing a 45,6/7 better society and quality of life that would allow people to adapt better to changes. Shifting from an idealistic to a pragmatical perspective, starting from the 1980s a climate featured by young unemployment, declining productivity and increasing public deficits, raised in Europe (Rubenson, 2006). In such times, LLL policies became a solution for those dissatisfied with their employment to enhance employability levels. Towards the end of the 1990s, a new set of transitions and adjustment challenges for society, industry and individuals happened. Increased exclusion of large segments of the population, especially of young adults, exacerbated socio-economic divisions and seen as a threat to Europe cohesion as such. Moreover, while there was an understanding that adult education in itself does not serve to create jobs, LLL was addressed to promote those life learning key-competences for adapting to new social and economic life. Such a policy evolution is linked to the research stream developed to evaluate the social impact of such policies and resumed in the review presented in Table 1. In the review-table is possible to observe the above historical evolution of the LLL policies oriented to different outcomes (i.e. employability, social exclusion, development of strategic competencies). This progress is in line with a different target of the population. While that at the end 1990s LLL were thought as a way for helping older people to be updated with the last digital revolution (i.e. the spread of internet and of personal computers), nowadays LLL policies focus more on the young adult situation: namely, they are more oriented to avoid social exclusion by developing strategic LLL competencies instead of just technological skills. This change in LLL policies over time also affects the several methodologies used for delivering such policies. Indeed, lifelong learning policies are comprised between traditional and new methods programmes, very diverse and fragmented. Probably the most established LLL way of job inclusion among the EU member states is represented by apprenticeship and vocational practices, which will be next introduced together with other new learning methods-based communication technology (ICT) as a mean to educate participants, such as the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Beyond conceptual and methodological differences, it is possible to observe a convergence point among the different LLL programmes: avoiding social exclusion through participation in the job market by enhancing self-employability. On the other hand, such institutional action has also been developed to face current criticisms regarding the supply of adult education in many European countries defined as inadequate because it often fails to include the most vulnerable groups such as the young, the unemployed, the low skilled (Jarvis, 2004). Recent criticisms on LLL policies’ effects will be discussed after the following section on methods and LLL programmes. Besides social exclusion, it should also be acknowledged the links set during the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA; 2017) between LLL and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by United Nations (Robinson, 2017). The conference affirmed the essential role of LLL in supporting the future transformation of the world, especially with regards to population health, environmental sustainability and economic resilience. 2.2 Traditional and new methods for delivering lifelong learning and job market inclusion in European young adults In the following sections, we present different LLL programmes (i.e. apprenticeship systems, vocational training or vocational community colleges, active labour market programmes, ICT training and MOOCs) related to LLL policies development. Starting from the more traditional and established programme, we will introduce next how computers and the Reviewing internet have harnessed best to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of education at all twenty years levels and in both formal and non-formal settings. of LLL policies 2.2.1 Apprenticeship systems and vocational practices. In the review table, it is interesting to address the various ways in which EU member states deal with the transition from school to employment in their own country. Traditionally, there are three different ways in which the labour market integration of young peoples is organized in: apprenticeship systems (i.e. young people enter a company and attend vocational school- based training simultaneously), school/college-based vocational education, higher education (i.e. young people learn skills in an institutional setting) and learning-by-doing (i.e. young people enter the workplace and learn the necessary skills while working). In most countries, all three pathways are used depending on different occupations; however, the relevance of the different channels varies. For example, in Germany, despite many worries that the dual system no longer provides the safe transition to employment it once did (Busemeyer and Trampusch, 2013), still more than 60% of a school-leavers’ cohort enter an apprenticeship (BMBF, 2013); while in the UK, the higher education initial participation rate of 18 and 19- year old in learning was 23% (Department for Education, 2014). Mediterranean and Latin states remain relatively centralized and comprehensive, with continuing domination of a fairly traditional educational paradigm. The Nordic countries moved partially and cautiously toward the apprenticeship system. However, they still stand apart in their regional affinities for local public control combined with structural and curricula integration and universalism. The Nordic states also tend to have extensive participation in adult continuing developing the established European LLL key-competences and have, arguably, gone further than most in realizing the goals of LLL (Öhrn and Weiner, 2017). As well, the vocational education and training system is seen as a priority by the European Union to promote the development of the member states. This priority has also been reaffirmed by the Maastricht Communiqué of 14 December 2004, which indicated the need for greater European cooperation in the field of Vocational Education and Training (VET), identifying the commitments that each EU member state would take actions that need to be done in this regard (Oliver, 2010). In addition to these established pathways, many national governments installed active labour market programmes. Originally, these programmes were meant to be temporary and should address mass youth unemployment in the 1980s or after the transition of Eastern European countries (Sharland et al.,2013). However, they seemed to have become established systems to address mainly disadvantaged people. Ideally, programmes address the individual needs of young people by getting skills to find employment (e.g. Careers’ Services, finding an appropriate occupation, identification of necessary qualification needs, CV writing, job interview training), aid to gain the necessary qualifications and skills to enter a profession (e.g. school-based apprenticeships or other vocational training) or subsidized employment: i.e. young people enter temporary employment to gain work experiences and manage to build up networks, which should improve their chances in the unsubsidized labour market. 2.2.2 Innovation and new technologies for enduring learning. As a recognized part of training procedures, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the learning and training field has made progress over time. This is noticeable in the last studies present in the review table suggesting that the integration of ICT in training has positive effects on learning results (Bates, 2001; Diochon and Cameron, 2001; Jochems et al., 2013; Leask and Pachler, 2013). The way in which learning can result from the combination of education and training with the use of ICT is principally known as e-learning but also as computer-based training (CBT) and web-based training and, eventually, as MOOC, (Ismail, 2001; Šumak EJTD et al.,2011). MOOC have been considered as a possible solution for many emerging states for 45,6/7 promoting a low cost but effective teaching system (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2016). For example, learn LLL key-competences such as word processing, programming, image editing, financial spreadsheets and web development do not necessarily require the presence of traditional education. The reason why there are a variety of technologies, methodologies, frameworks and architecture systems available, is because the impact of learning aspects change, based on different user types, the subject of learning, and e-learning interaction necessary. The importance of multimedia learning aspects, for example, is related to the ability of users in dealing with these new instruments, which are in turn related to some user differences, as argued within the framework of the technology acceptance model theory (Davis et al.,1989). Current technology acceptance research evaluates causal effect sizes between unskilled and experienced users (Šumak et al.,2011). The acceptance of e-learning, studies commonly, consider young adults as typical users, where researchers usually find high acceptance of e-learning technology about this young generation compare to the previous ones. As well, from another point of view, the successful implementation and introduction of e-learning technologies require adaptability among teachers, professors and trainers who use these technologies for providing learning materials to users (Šumak et al.,2011). Usually, such people need training too, to develop those LLL competences for benefiting, providing and spreading a better e-learning service. E-learning technologies are mainly used in educational institutions, but as well in organizations to offer advanced ways of providing education to their users. The use of these technologies in the organizational field is quite recent. E-learning, as well as distance education systems, and MOOC have been considered by organizations as a possible solution for promoting a low cost, but effective training system, face learning challenges. But it is not only a question of costs; education programmes aim to address the worst contemporary problems: unemployment, skills mismatches and lack of labour mobility without borders inside or outside organizations, companies and institutions. Considering the Work programme 2014–2015 of Horizon 2020, in fact, the ICT is crucial to boosting the modernization of education and training for the developing the so-called LLL competences. The challenge is to reinvent the education ecosystem and re-empower teachers in the digital age. Partnerships and collaboration between public and private stakeholders – including innovative entrepreneurs – more open and innovative practices for richer and more engaging and motivating learning and teaching experiences will be key to facilitate the transformation of the education and training. 3. Discussion As seen, in the last decade, a new model of LLL policy was developed to facilitate a more advanced understanding of processes of social inclusion. The approach recognizes the multi- dimensional nature of vulnerability and the ways in which young people draw on different resources to secure employment. To make effective these transitions, young people have to draw on a variety of resources including educational qualifications, vocational training and skills, as well as general knowledge. Aspects of a personal agency such as initiative and motivation are also crucial, and it is essential to acknowledge processes of rationalization as a factor that provides a mediating link between such personal resources and above outcomes. In many cases, young people are able to compensate for deficits in specific resources (education, for example). However, when a resource deficit is combined with weak policy agency, there is likely to be a dramatic increase in the chances of “negative” outcomes. In these circumstances, those who were unable to rely on previous formal education were Reviewing most vulnerable to social exclusion. In light of this, the development of LLL competences twenty years becomes the first step to take for any educational policymaker. In the next section, we will of LLL policies analyze the expected outcomes of such LLL policies and a discussion concerning recent criticisms on such programmes follows. 3.1 Employability and strategic lifelong learning key-competences development as significant outcomes of lifelong policies in Europe With the economic crisis, the decreasing of job positions for younger, and the concurrent high rates of youth jobless, young people are remaining in education and training for a longer time and they get a stable occupation later in life. On the other side, a growing number of them find new ways of combining part-time work with education and training paths, sometimes through long periods. In most of the European countries, there has been a trend to shorter job periods, job jumping, the prevalence of part-time and short-term jobs and self-employed work (Mackenbach et al., 2008). The psychological result of being a young adult without a work identity and continuously in training can generate situations of distress and negative mental states such as anxiety, depression, isolation, disaffection, disengagement, and, eventually, social exclusion (Quintano et al.,2018; OECD, 2016). Lifelong learning policies are, in a way, responding to the demands of such a context. They look for providing a greater variety of flexible learning possibilities, including different settings of learning, by replying to the challenges of modern life and to the diverseness of individual needs. Personalized training careers involve individuals able to take responsibility for building their personal learning pathways to increase their strategic LLL key-competences and next employability. Nevertheless, this also means that organizations and communities must be sensitive to people’s needs. For this reason, in many instances, LLL policies are recommended as a way of promoting social coherence (although not much attention is paid to how this can be reached). Analysis of policies across Europe ranges all the way from demand-led of voluntary partnership in the UK (i.e. the network model) to the more formalized social partnership models of the northern continental and Nordic states, to the more static models common in more of the southern European states (Green, 2002). The common trend in legislation and governance in Europe has been away from direct government administrative control over educational processes and towards greater devolution of operational control to other levels. Given that, the growing uncertainty of employment has prompted new models for employment practices, eventually leading to new patterns and status of careers (Mills et al., 2006). Lifelong learning policies represent a driver to foster expertise among multiple organizations and jobs, potentially enabling creativity and performance (Maurer, 2001). Such a consideration appears of particular importance given that nowadays fewer individuals follow stable or expected career patterns within one organization, whereas a greater and growing number of career experiences are likely to develop across, rather than inside of, company boundaries (O’Mahony and Bechky, 2006). Such a mobile labour force may well need to rely on LLL policies interventions aiming at fostering higher employability. In line with literature from the career realm, it is underlined the role of the individual in continually managing career-related changes, entailing willingness and adaptability (Pulakos et al., 2006) and defined career identity to give direction to one’s career pathway. Such a LLL skill can be well-defined in terms of employability, which refers to the full range of individual capabilities to gain and maintain an employment and to obtain a new one if required (Hillage and Pollard, 1998). Employability has been conceptualized from multiple perspectives and theoretical proposals, which encompass a EJTD focus on the individual, the organization, or the society as a whole. Such a construct, 45,6/7 therefore, represents a concept underlying the development of LLL policies aiming to enable young adults to identify and develop the key-competences necessary to find, retain and progress in employment. 3.2 Lifelong learning policies collateral effect: challenging young people social exclusion issues in contemporary Europe Young people at risk of social exclusion can also hold multiple disadvantages (e.g. disabilities, lack of school qualification, belonging to a minority ethnic group), all of which decrease further their chances of finding, retaining, and progressing in employment. Other young people come from a family background where previous generations were excluded from the labour market, and thus, lack an understanding of the needs to acquire or retain key-competences. These conditions can create vulnerable groups of people with few chances to be involved in LLL programmes. However, even without these kinds of disadvantages, the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) within Europe remains high. It is remarkable that the number of young people not in employment but attending formal education varies across different European countries. The differences stem from the educational systems, but other factors such as the length of compulsory schooling and access to tertiary education also play a role. On average, 37% of all young people within European member states are in formal education; however, this varies across the individual member states. After leaving formal education, they are either unemployed, inactive, passive job seekers, discouraged to enter the labour market or deliberately to avoid it. In 2009, when the financial crisis worsened by leaving few available jobs, in the EU, nearly 17% of the population 18–24 years of age were classified as NEET, varying from 6% in The Netherlands to 26% in Spain. As seen earlier, LLL is expected to contribute to overcome the economic and social crisis and meet the Europe 2020 targets on employment, poverty reduction, education, sustainability and innovation. Especially for young adults, suitable LLL skills and qualifications are necessary to gain access to employment. In recent decades, there have been structural shifts which created mismatches between labour supply and demand (e.g. shift towards the service industries, shift towards non-manual labour) and those without the skills to adapt to these changes are more likely to become long-term unemployed or to work in low-paid unstable work (Forrier and Sels, 2003). Recent research shows that in a European comparison, there is a less vertical mismatch if the school-to-work transition is more highly stratified (Levels et al., 2014). Lifelong learning, in this context, allows young people to build up a lifelong habit to adapt to changes in the workplace. As the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting recalls that the last economic crisis accentuated the importance of the education to work transition: ensuring that young people leave education and training with the best possible support to obtain their first job is critical. Young people who face unemployment or a slow transition may experience long-term adverse effects in terms of future labour market success, earnings or family formation. This may, in turn, jeopardize public and private investment in their education and training, which results in a loss for the society as a whole. This is particularly true in the context of demographic challenges, which put added pressure on Europe’s increasing scarcity of young people to integrate quickly and effectively into the labour market. As a consequence, several EU benchmarks set for the 2020 focus on the transition from education and training into the labour market for facilitating policy exchanges under the Education and Training 2020 (ET2020) framework on measures to enhance the employability of graduates (Council of the European Union, 2012). Moreover, for Reviewing young adults, it is also relevant to remaining trainable by understanding the need to develop twenty years key-competences according to changes in the workplace. Nowadays every workplace of LLL policies presents rapid changes in tasks and in the structure, and it requires employees with the ability to adapt to these changes, to be positively engaged in LLL programmes. 3.3 All that glitters is not gold: risks connected to lifelong learning programmes and new challenges Considering the situations seen above, the presence of several policies, programmes, institutions and guidelines related to LLL constitutes an important background for an analysis of existing LLL policies across European countries. On the other hand, the risk of an uncontrolled promotion of LLL policies exists. For instance, it is important to consider LLL as a universal right; however, it must be contextualized on the basis of the real needs of the stakeholder. Among others, the greatest risk is to create a logic of competition that encourages the continuing education of people already trained or with a stable job, excluding those who are not entered in any career or training programme. Moreover, another challenge to be faced is represented by the uneven distribution of the costs for LLL between enterprises, individuals and families (OECD, 2001). Both the underrepresentation of vulnerable groups and the uneven distribution of funding show the persistent weakness and ineffectiveness of some adult education policies. However, the role of LLL is still vital to overcome the economic and social crisis and to meet the Europe 2020 targets by fostering higher. Indeed with the last decade, the focus on young people was reinforced with the adoption of the first European LLL political strategy. Quality education and training, successful labour market integration and increased mobility were identified as key to unleashing young people’s potential and achieving the ongoing Europe 2020 objectives. To reach such goals, EU LLL programmes, policies and strategies were implemented as follows: The Youth Guarantee Scheme, which has been implemented at European or national level to ensure that all young people aged under 25 get good-quality employment offers, continuing education or an apprenticeship or traineeship within four months of leaving school or becoming unemployed. It is included in the Youth Employment Package. The EU Youth Strategy for 2010–2018, which aims to provide more and equal opportunities for young people in education and in the labour market, and to promote active citizenship and social inclusion for all young people. Youth on the Move, a framework of policy priorities for action at national and EU level to reduce youth unemployment by facilitating the transition from school to work and reducing labour market segmentation. Here, the role of public employment services is vital, as they promote the Youth Guarantee scheme to ensure that all young people are in a job, in education or in activation, creating a European Vacancy Monitor and supporting young entrepreneurs. The agenda for new skills and jobs (COM:2010; 682): a European contribution towards full employment, aimed at enhancing the performance of education and training systems and seeking to equip young people with the relevant skills and competences for labour market needs. Which aims to improve employability and employment opportunities for young people. The “Youth employment initiative” (2013), which reinforces and accelerates the measures outlined in the “Youth employment initiative”. It supports particularly young people not in education, employment or training in regions with a youth unemployment rate above 25%. It is expected that appropriate investment in LLL will contribute to the overcoming the EJTD economic and social crisis and meet the Europe 2020 targets on employment, poverty 45,6/7 reduction, and innovation. However, since then almost fifty policies have been developed over the last twenty years, recognize successful LLL programmes, both traditional and innovative, already reach out to young adults at risk of work and social exclusion, might help for developing new and better programs. In the next section, we analyze the practical implications concerning the present review and ways for managing such data. 4. Practical implications Analyzing why, for which particular target group, and in which national and regional section, LLL programmes can be identified as successful could lead to better policy-making implantation. A practical proposal could be related to the development of a computational model that analyses, simplifies and connects data from all EU policy documents to allow easier access to information and to support policymaker in the different phases of the policy cycle. In this way, the policymaker would have the opportunity to explore the consequences of the introduction of new policies in advance of its effective application following a “what if [...]” approach. The investigation should consider quantitative and qualitative analyses to investigate policies both at the European and at the national level and in particular LLL policies, considering diversity issues as gender, culture, language, educational attainment, LLL competences developed, labour status, costs of previous LLL projects, etc. This would be an opportunity to generate new scientific knowledge, to create cooperation amongst different European countries and to collect data to compare and analyse adult education across Europe. Since that most Educational and Training systems are now LLL competencies-centered, to guide the analysis of EU policies, the European taxonomy of Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations (ESCO) can establish a framework capable of transcending sector and national specificities. Developed by the European Commission, the CEDEFOP (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training), and a group of stakeholders, this taxonomy focused to the creation of a common language between education and training, and the labour market. ESCO is structured in three main hierarchical pillars: occupation (i.e. a grouping of jobs involving similar tasks, and which require a similar skillset); skill and competence; qualification (i.e. the formal outcome of an assessment and validation process which is obtained when a competent body determines that an individual has achieved learning outcomes to given standards). These pillars are interrelated to each other. In June of 2002, the European Commission identifies fifteen qualitative indicators of LLL grouped in four main areas: (1) skills, competencies, and attitudes (Area A); (2) access and participation (Area B); (3) resources for Lifelong Learning (Area C); and (4) strategies and system development (Area D). In light of this LLL policy analysis, the assessment and feasibility of the policy-making could be supported by intelligent DSS based on this common language. DSS is a computer technology solution that can be used to support complex decision making and problem- solving. Over the past three decades, DSS has taken on both a narrower or broader definition, while other systems have emerged to assist specific types of decision-makers faced with specific kinds of policy-making problems (Shim et al.,2002). As a computer-based system the DSS, simplifying the language, knowledge, and problem processing systems, could: and spell out the multiple indicators, taxonomies, and analyses conducted; Reviewing connect all variables aimed to highlight the theoretical policy-effects associations. twenty years of LLL policies In the end, the model could show the effects of the overall system under the application of a certain policy. In this way, to obtain the desired achievements, the policymaker would have the opportunity to explore the consequences of the introduction of new LLL policies in advance, as well as its effective application, testing different scenarios. 5. Limitations This study has some limitations, such as the presence of researches with different approaches in the vast area of lifelong learning. Indeed, lifelong learning policies could be applied to very specific fields, such as computer science or medical professions, to extreme generic jobs. Moreover, approaches of such studies present methodological differences among them, which make comparisons hard to establish. Many of these studies are based on descriptive and narrative experiences related to EU projects developed, whereas just a limited portion of them regard quantitative studies. Finally, some of European countries, such as Slovenia, do not present any study in relation to the experience of LLL policies in the past ten years. 6. Conclusion The aim of this contribution was to deal with and then report about, the education policies aimed at increasing employability applied across Europe, through a comparative review of adult education and LLL. Such a recognition allows unearthing successful programmes applied by countries that tackled the unemployment raising of the past years more efficiently than others, confining the damages arose by social exclusion and inequality. This promises a potential for a stronger strategic focus, greater synergies and sharing best practices, simplification of the structure with fewer actions, as well as changes that are in line with the proposed recommendations for a provision of more inclusive and accessible opportunities. Perhaps most significantly, the new education and training programmes bring about a positive change to the legal framework of the programme, committing the Commission and Member States to ensure particular efforts to facilitate the participation of people with difficulties for educational, social, gender, physical, psychological, geographical, economic and cultural reasons (Kapoor et al.,2017). This is a significant step in the process and represents a unique opportunity to implement LLL for all. On the other hand, this contribution aimed at proposing a tool to support policy-making, which can be constituted by an intelligent DSS that would facilitate the institutions’ decision processes and its policy-making. In particular, a DSS can show which education policy is needed, preventing future labour crisis and the formation of more NEET individuals. The creation of such an intelligent DSS could have implications on the whole of the European community, especially for policymakers as a guideline in the process of decision making for identifying appropriate measures for supporting young people and adults, taking into account diversity issues that represent risks of social exclusion and deepening the analysis of several labour market policies to capitalize on existing knowledge. Note 1. 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Journal

European Journal of Training and DevelopmentEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 16, 2021

Keywords: Employability; Decision support system; Lifelong learning; Key-competences

References