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Governance and financing of lifelong learning

The ETF promotes lifelong learning, emphasising the importance of the efficiency, inclusivity and resilience of lifelong learning governance systems. These systems rely on:

  • strong partnerships enabling cooperation among social partners, civil society organisations, and other state and non-state actors in lifelong learning;
  • robust institutional architecture strengthening the coordination mechanisms across governance systems and levels (national, regional, sectoral and local), with a focus on legislative measures and transparent institutional arrangements;
  • regular monitoring of the strengths and weaknesses of governance systems and mechanisms, informing policy options for good governance;
  • effective and sustainable financing ensuring adequate, reliable, and long-term funding mechanisms to support continuing education opportunities for all.

Key activities in the field of governance

GLAD (Governance, Learning, Action, and Dialogue) Network – Launched in 2022, the network provides a space for peer learning and knowledge exchange by bringing together governmental actors, social partners and civil society organisations.

Youth Guarantee in the Western Balkans – The ETF facilitates effective collaboration among governments, educational institutions, employers, and social partners to design and implement policies that enhance young people's employment and skills development. 

Civil society organisations (CSOs) and human capital development – Since 2015, the ETF has been supporting CSOs in EU neighbouring countries in their efforts to bridge the gaps between governments, communities, and individuals, particularly in marginalised and underserved populations, carrying out capacity-building initiatives, fostering partnerships, and sharing best practices.

Tripartite Exchange Seminar on the role of social dialogue in the green and just transition – Organised in May 2024 in partnership with Eurofound, Cedefop and the European Environment Agency, and for the first time involving social partners from the Western Balkans.

Key resources in the area of financing

The ETF has developed innovative concepts and tools to support non-EU countries in the financing aspects of their governance systems – moving from a technical view focused on monetary and resourcing aspects, towards a holistic approach based on an analysis of the financial sustainability of vocational education strategies. See in particular:

  • a paper on financing vocational education and skills development which highlights the importance of investing in this policy area and the main challenges in our partner countries;
  • methodology to assess the governance and financing of vocational education strategies;
  • a series of guideline documents on key aspects of financing – training levies, incentives, and formula funding;
  • a tool for policy and social dialogue on vocational education financing offering a geometric and a conceptual framework for modelling critical questions relating to funding and financing schemes.

Learn more about vocational education costing and financing within a governance community on ETF Open Space.