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Participation of individuals in continuing vocational education and training

The increased participation of adults in continuing vocational education and training is an important political goal at both national and European levels. However, at the present time, continuing vocational education and training activities still fall short of the objectives.

In addition, unwelcome disparities are apparent in the participation in continuing vocational education and training, for example, in favour of people who already had a head start with their education.

Continuing education and training activities for adults are measured, primarily, in terms of participation rates. Two surveys, the Adult Education Survey (AES - data survey of participation and non-participation of adults in life-long learning) and the European Labor Force Survey (LFS), allow participation rates to be calculated, although both surveys differ strongly in terms of methods used and therefore result in very different and misleading statements concerning participation in continuing vocational education and training.

The BIBB monitors the development of participation in continuing vocational education and training with the aid of these surveys and examines their influencing factors. This also involves the analysis of the methods of measurement themselves and scrutiny of these different measurements. The BIBB was part of the consortium for the evaluation of the German AES survey in 2012 and conducted analyses of in-company continuing education and training, of the costs, benefits and gains of continuing education and training for individuals; and of adult learning in Europe.