UNESCO and the EU Join Forces to Help Equip Adults with 21st-Century Skills and Competences

Experts from the EU and UNESCO Member States from the Pan-European region took part in a conference in Vilnius, Lithuania to assess implementation of the Renewed European Agenda for Adult Learning and the Belém Framework for Actionin light of recently published findings of the OECD’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)

The Conference, entitled Equipping adults for the 21st Century: Joining Forces for Action on Skills and Competences, was organized by the Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission (DG EAC) and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), within the context of the Lithuanian Presidency of the European Union

More than two hundred participants, including National Coordinators for Adult Learning, members of the EU’s Thematic Working Groups on quality and financing adult learning, and representatives of regional and multilateral organizations, met to discuss policies that can increase access to and participation in adult education, while also improving quality and efficiency. 

The economic crisis, rapid changes in technology and industry, and demographic changes in Europe have highlighted the key role of adult and lifelong learning in promoting competitiveness, employability, equity, social inclusion, and active citizenship.

The Conference has produced action points on how to ensure that all adults have access to relevant and high-quality learning opportunities to develop appropriate skills and competences throughout their lives.