Lifelong Learning: Meaning, Challenges, and Opportunities

  • Colin Nelson Power
  • Rupert Maclean
Part of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (TVET, volume 19)


In the foreseeable future, Asia will face some daunting demographic, economic and environmental challenges, all of which will necessitate the acquisition of new knowledge and skills if development in the region is to be sustainable and to cope with the impact of climate change and advances in science and technology. In this chapter, it is argued that skills development throughout life is crucial for all, for the entire workforce ranging from ‘knowledge workers’ to those living in poverty and refugees (political, economic and environmental). The research suggests that VET, industry-based training and adult and continuing education play a pivotal vital role in providing the ‘additionality’ needed for sustainable development and that skills development must be an integral part of education at all levels and in all of its form.


Sustainable Development Lifelong Learning Poverty Reduction Poverty Alleviation Informal Learning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to acknowledge the assistance of Kenneth King, Mark Mason, Bob Adamson, Lee Moo Sung, Eric Tsang, Peter Kell and Maureen Tam who reviewed and made helpful comments on earlier drafts of this chapter. However, the authors take full responsibility for the final version of the chapter.


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Copyright information

© Asian Development Bank. The book is published with open access at 2013

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License which permits any non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of QueenslandSt. LuciaAustralia
  2. 2.Department of International Education and Lifelong LearningThe Hong Kong Institute of EducationHong KongChina

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