Adult learning is a vital component of European Union education policies, as it is essential for competitiveness and employability, social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development across Europe. The challenge is to provide opportunities for all, especially the most disadvantaged groups who need learning most. The European Union is fully aware that an effective adult learning sector is vital to our economy and society for the next decade. Over the past ten years it has taken a strong lead in encouraging Member States to make lifelong learning the basic principle underlying education and training. Given demographic patterns in Europe, it is urgent to extend learning opportunities over the adult life-course, offering all adults possibilities to renew their skills and competences for life and work as the need arises.
The Action Plan on Adult Learning It is always a good time to learn (2008-2010) provided for the first time a set of common priorities to be encouraged in the adult learning sector, introduced the sector to the Open Method of Coordination and thus initiated intensified European cooperation between its diverse actors. It defined concrete actions which the European Commission and Member States should seek to implement in order to increase participation in and quality of adult learning, and develop efficient systems that reach all adults and involve all relevant stakeholders. In December 2010, the Action Plan on Adult Learning comes to the end of its lifecycle, having accomplished its initial tasks. The final conference It is always a good time to learn is the major concluding event at European level relating to the Action Plan and provides an opportunity to assess the results achieved during the three years of its implementation. It will give impetus to the continuation of work in this field and inspiration on what should be done through to 2020.
The conference in Budapest will bring together a wide range of key stakeholders in the adult learning field – senior officials responsible for adult learning and leading European experts, practitioners involved in high quality projects, networks and partnerships, social partners, and important national and European organisations. In all, some 250 people from over 30 countries are expected to attend.
Participation in the conference is by invitation only. In order to be able to register, you will need to have received a formal letter from the European Commission inviting you to attend and the e-mail from Teamwork informing you of the correct password to use for this purpose. The registration is open from 15th January. (Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org)