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Lifelong learning is key if individuals are to succeed in labour markets and societies shaped by megatrends such as increases in life expectancy, rapid technological changes, globalisation, migration, environmental changes and digitalisation, as well as sudden shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic. In a fast-changing and uncertain world, lifelong learning can help individuals adapt and become resilient to external shocks.

While government support remains valuable to ensure that major structural changes do not lead to deep tears in the social fabric, creating a culture of lifelong learning gives individuals themselves agency to manage change. This calls for evidence on the best ways to support lifelong learning journeys so that individuals can “learn how to learn”.

This edition of the OECD Skills Outlook 2021 explores how policies, particularly those that govern skills development and use, can best promote lifelong learning for all. The report exploits comparative quantitative data to highlight the key role played by socio-emotional and motivational factors in shaping successful engagement with lifelong learning. While such factors are essential to sustain lifelong learning in general, the pandemic has further increased their relevance.

Skills intelligence publication details

Target audience
Digital skills for all
Digital technology / specialisation
Digital skill level
Basic
Intermediate
Geographic scope - Country
Austria
Belgium
Czech republic
Denmark
Estonia
Industry - field of education and training
Generic programmes and qualifications not further defined
Type of initiative
International initiative
Publication type
Report