Present discourses on lifelong learning have expanded its coverage to include horizontal integration, recognizing that there are more than just schools that deal with education. By highlighting economic concerns, however, the dominant discourse on lifelong learning offers a fragmented and narrow appreciation of women and men’s roles in societies. In Europe, where there were record numbers of unemployed in the nineties, lifelong learning was reintroduced to mean mere retraining.
More recently, this vocational orientation has slowly been balanced by the introduction of citizenship education. Ranson (1998) writes of the importance of a society where the processes of learning are tied to active participation in the community and in wealth creation. It is learning for life through active participation in social life itself throughout the lifetime of the learner.” MENDEL-ANONUEVO, 2001
DANIELLE COLARDYN & JENS BJORNAVOLD, Validation of Formal, Non-Formal and Informal Learning: policy and practices in EU Member States, European Journal of Education, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2004
In general, change has become a core concept in today’s working life. Lifetime employment becomes an exception, the majority of employees will, voluntarily or not, change job and career several times in their work lifespan. Labour market change, reflecting evolutions in technologies, markets and organisations, requires that skills and competences can be transferred and be ‘reprocessed’ within a new working environment. Employees who leave or lose their job must be able to transfer knowledge and experience to a new enterprise, sector or even a new country.
Validation of non-formal and informal learning is very much related to this . The purpose is to make visible the entire scope of knowledge and experience held by an individual, irrespective of the context where the learning originally took place. F or an employer it is a question of human resource management, for individuals a question of having the full range of skills and competences valued and for society a question of making full use of existing knowledge and experience, thus avoid- ing waste and duplication.
Review of concepts, theory and evidence relating to the demand for skills in the UK.