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Covid-19 recession ‘could lead to drop in adult learning’


Governments and firms could boost training offers to promote up-skilling, suggests Commission evidence service

The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic could lead to a fall in adult learning, a report published by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre evidence service has warned.

Based on an analysis of historical data, researchers led by Giorgio di Pietro of the University of Westminster in the UK reported that participation in adult learning is higher when more people are in work.

They therefore suggested that unemployment caused by the pandemic could reduce adult learning, and that even people in employment might be less able to afford to take up education.

However, di Pietro and colleagues said in their report published on 8 January that these negative effects could be partly compensated by people having more time to undertake education. 

They suggested that governments could offer funding to companies and individuals to encourage uptake of adult education, and that the public sector could set up its own training programmes to compensate for a loss of opportunities offered by companies.