Lifelong Learning Platform | LLLP - European Civil Society for Education

Investing in education

The LLLPlatform has been raising the need to invest in education – formal and non-formal through the development of validation schemes, the provision of adult education, teacher training, targeted measures for disadvantaged groups and to prevent early school leaving.

Evidence is striking; the number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion in the EU increased from 114 million in 2009 to 122,3 million in 2014. In January 2016, the youth unemployment rate was 19.7 % in the EU-28 – 48% in Greece, 45% in Spain, 44% in Croatia; while those neither in employment nor in education and training (NEETs) have significantly increased in OECD countries since the start of the crisis. Inequalities persist in European education and training systems where vulnerable groups such as migrants are particularly disadvantaged.

Beyond formal education, participation of adults in lifelong learning has been stagnating for many years (PIAAC) and 20% of the EU working age population has low literacy and numeracy skills, reducing by half their chances to be employed but also to access basic welfare services, participate in democratic and associative life or develop a sense of social cohesion. One of the key findings of the Education and Training Monitor 2014 is that socio-economic and socio-cultural inequalities continue to impact negatively upon educational outcomes.

The cost of non-investing in education especially for the most vulnerable groups is very high. Lower-skilled adults in literacy are for instance twice less likely to be employed but also to access basic welfare services, participate in democratic and associative life or even develop a sense of social cohesion.

The LLLPlatform is thus calling for a long-term and sustainable investment in lifelong learning.


  • The European Commission analyses the impact of European Quality Traineeships Framework

    The European Commission has published an evaluation of the 2014 Quality Framework for Traineeships, with the aim of assessing its implementation and contribution across the EU and the overarching goal to strengthen the quality of traineeships.
    Traineeships facilitate young pepole’s access to the labour market and play a great role for the majority of the young workforce. It is not by chance that 85% of the trainees surveyed for the evaluation said that traineeships helped them to learn things that […]

  • LLLP Reaction on EU Economic Governance review and the EU Semester 2023

    The EU institutions launched a process of reviewing the EU economic governance process framework based on lessons learned during the pandemic and the energy crisis. The first step in the review process has been a European Commission Communication on orientations for a reform of the EU economic governance framework, published on 9 November 2022. To better understand the economic governance framework, as well as the proposed new rules, LLLP prepared an InfoNote which is accessible here. The Reaction […]

  • New – Position paper on investment in education and training – A public good for all

    In this position paper, the Lifelong Learning Platform (LLLP) investigates the importance of funding in education and training, its sources and its impact on access to learning and on the quality of the learning provided. The following conversations warrant a disclaimer on the terminology used in the paper. Though at times funding and investment in education and training are used interchangeably the two have different implications.
    LLLP sides with the concept of funding when it comes to learning in this Position […]

  • Invest in ET – The underfinancing of higher education in Italy

    In Italy, the constant public underfinancing of the HE system from the Law 240/2010 to the present day has severely burdened the pockets of thousands of students. There is an 82% increase in the average annual university fee compared to the amounts students paid when they enrolled in 2004. The increase in absolute terms amounts to €609.73, raising the national average fee to €1353.43. In addition, the autonomy of HEIs in defining their own taxation creates greater inequality, defining in […]

  • Investment in Education and Training: A Public Good for All – Policy recommendations

    Recent increases in funding for education and training, such as the EU directing over EUR70 billion in the sector and Member States increasing their funding of learning as part of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP), might, out of context, appear as a watershed moment for education and training. However, strengthening the role of public funding for education means, conversely, that education stays a public good for all. Therefore, “who” or rather “what instruments” finance lifelong learning are not questions to […]

  • Investing in People and STEM – CHOICE project final conference

    The CHOICE Project intends to innovate STEM education and contribute to the policy reform of STEM curricula in European secondary schools by providing teachers and students with tools and resources promoting the STE(A)M approach, connecting STEM subjects with Arts and All the other disciplines. The project’s partnership is composed of non-profit organisations, business and private sector, education and training institutions, from five European countries: Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Belgium. 
    The project’s final conference, ‘Investing in People and STEM […]

  • The LLLWeek 2022 is here! Register now

    The 12th edition of the Lifelong Learning Week will take place in Brussels on 28 November – 2 December 2022. A milestone event in the education & training sector, the LLLWeek 2022 will be hosted by MEP Milan Zver, member of the CULT Committee of the European Parliament.
    Drawing from the latest developments in European policy, we framed the LLLWeek around the topic “Investment in Education and Training: A Public Good for All”. The goal is to reflect upon the decreasing […]

  • LLLP Statement – Pathways to School Success

    The Communication on Achieving the European Education Area by 2025 foresaw the adoption of a recommendation to repeal the 2011 Council Recommendation on policies to reduce early school leaving. Based on the 2011 Recommendation’s assessment, its implementation contributed to a decrease in the rate of early leavers from education and training (ELET) at EU level (from 13.4% in 2011 to 9.7% in 2021), and encouraged changes within educational institutions and policies. To continue, the Commission has published […]

  • New Study: Public investment on education and training in the EU: trends, challenges and future prospects

    The Lifelong Learning Platform is proud to publish its study for the ongoing campaign on “Invest in ET”.
    While the value of quality education and training is strongly acknowledged across EU Member States, it remains the case that public expenditure has failed to recover to pre-financial crisis levels at the EU level. This paper tracks the extent to which public expenditure on education and training has changed over time and puts forth the case for a marked increase in levels of public […]

  • Annual Theme 2022 – Investment in education and training: a public good for all

    Why an Annual Theme?
    The Lifelong Learning Platform addresses forward-looking issues in the field of education and training on an annual basis. This year’s theme will be explored during different events and meetings at the crossroads between the French and Czech Presidencies of the Council of the EU, thus helping the transition and bridging with the outcomes of the Future of Europe Conference led by the French Presidency.
    Investment in education and training: a public good for all

    Why investment?
    Investment in education […]

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