The validation of informal and non-formal learning
The importance of validation of informal and non-formal learning has been emphasised within the context of the development of lifelong learning policies in Europe over the last decade. According to the recommendation of European Inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning the national arrangements should enable individuals to make visible the knowledge, skills and competences they have acquired through non-formal or informal means. EU countries should, moreover, provide opportunities to obtain qualifications on the basis of learning outcomes achieved through non-formal and informal learning [European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, 2014]. Until recently, learning was associated primarily with the formal education system (schools and universities) and only with young people (up to 30-year-old). The conviction that learning should be provided only in designated institutions still translates into numbers. According to Eurostat in 2014 only 29% of Europeans aged 18-64 years raised their competence through participation in training or courses or learning alone. 11.5% of respondents learned informally, without the participation of teachers and trainers, 17.5% – non formal, or on various courses and training. Desire to learn expressed most frequently people with higher education, employees in professional careers and higher level managers.
In half of the cases participated in courses funded by employers, 20% – by the participants themselves. On the other hand, 75% of employers in the study reported that in 2014 they had problems with finding suitable candidates for the job. At the same time a little more than half of them (52%) planned to carry out any activities aimed at improving the competence of their employees.