Role of Vocational Training and Learning at Work in Individual Career Development Across the Life-Course: Examples from Across Europe

  • Alan BrownEmail author
  • Jenny Bimrose
Part of the Bildung und Arbeit book series (BUA)


Since 2000 the European Union has sought to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world. In line with this goal, member states committed themselves to increasing European cooperation in initial vocational training, supporting greater take-up of continuing vocational training (CVT) and promoting recognition and accreditation of other forms of learning at work. Much research in this area has focused upon the take-up of formal CVT provision or establishing through surveys patterns of individual learning and development, typically in the last month or year. What was often missing, however, in both research and policy was some sense of how individuals are putting learning and development to use in their evolving careers over a much longer time period. The study reported here was commissioned by the European Commission in 2008 and sought to develop an understanding of the different ways individuals’ careers are unfolding over time and the implications for this for European policies on CVT. This approach also sought to shed light on how these different types of learning interact across the life-course and how they may facilitate mobility in the labour thereby one of the key challenges identified in ‘Key competences for a changing world’ (EC Communication 2009). This chapter outlines the key findings and issues arising from the research (Brown et al. 2010).


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Copyright information

© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Employment ResearchUniversity of WarwickWarwickUK

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