Adult Learning in Italy: Historical Context and Perspectives for a New Provision
At present in Italy, there is neither a specific provision, different from the traditional programs in tertiary education, nor a financial support dedicated to adults who need to be (re)skilled. Nevertheless, the needs of the most disadvantaged groups exist. This relevant gap in the Italian Vocational and Educational Training system, unprecedented in other Western developed countries (Italy is the third most important economy in the European Union) (Eurostat, Eurostat database 2016. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/population-demography-migration-projections/population-projections/database. Accessed 15 May 2016, 2016a; Eurostat site on Labour Force Survey. http://ec.europa.eu/Eurostat/web/microdata/european-union-labour-force-survey. Accessed 15 May 2016, 2016b), is the unwanted result of recent reforms of the lifelong learning system, which has seen a somewhat incoherent evolution of tools and educational provisions. This fragmentation is also the result of the European policy guidelines (governance and financing) on adult learning. Within these constraints, as a matter of fact, the Italian institutions (government, regions, employer’s representations, trade unions, etc.) have not been able to coordinate these different inputs in a homogeneous frame.
The present contribution constitutes the first step in a larger endeavor aiming at deeply analyzing the potential demand, bottlenecks and constraints, management, and financial governance related to the development of an educational offer for adults with low skills in Italy. The study is finalized to enlarge the current debate around adult learning perspectives at global and local level, especially regarding low-skilled adults, and to propose a viable and feasible alternative to the current policies in the field of adult learning in Italy.
KeywordsAdult learning policies and governance Italian adult education and learning system
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