Table of contents


Understanding the adult learning challenge : adults with low level skills are less likely to participate in learning.

Key facts:

  • A fifth of adults in Europe have only basic levels of literacy, while a quarter have only basic numeracy.
  • Nearly half of adults have only basic levels of technological proficiency.
  • By 2012, only five EU countries (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) had reached the EU2020 target of 15% of the adult population aged 25-64 participating in lifelong learning.
  • Adult participation in formal and non-formal learning remains very uneven among European countries as the proportion of learners in the adult population ranges from very low in Romania to very high in Denmark.
  • Adult learning remains most prominent amongst the young, the highly-educated and among those in highskilled occupations.
  • Most adult learning occurs in a non-formal setting, is job-related and employer-sponsored (although the number of workers who paid for their own training has risen in recent years).

The full text of the Analytical highlight can be downloaded from the link below:

PDF icon EUSP_AH_AdultLearning.pdf214.6 KB