The Lifelong Learning (LLL) study group is oriented to the concept of lifelong learning, which means the acquisition and expansion of knowledge and skills throughout life, additionally to forms of education (Commission of the European Communities, 2001). In this context, this means general and vocational education (BIBB, 2003). Learning is thus understood as a holistic concept.
The topic becomes relevant from different perspectives. At the individual level, there is a need for constant further training, as school education and professional training in times of constant social and technological transformation are not enough for a decade-long professional career. Lifelong learning plays an important role in tackling skill gaps with a new focus on the higher-quality skills, digital competencies and mindsets required by the modern world of work. Digital innovations change jobs, existing skills are not enough and require new skills. Lifelong learning also means creating and maintaining a positive attitude towards learning for both professional and personal development.
Due to these changes, it is also necessary at the level of society as a whole to provide educational policy measures in adult education in order to enable individuals to continuously expand their knowledge and skills through lifelong learning, so that their professional and social participation can be guaranteed (Stahl, 2020). In addition, further training and skills development is an important factor for the innovative strength and success of companies.
The holistic picture of lifelong learning thus goes beyond the professional perspective, in that socially relevant topics such as equal opportunities and the inclusion of disadvantaged groups are important. In this regard, the LLL study group is the interface between companies, education institutions and individuals.
The relevance of lifelong learning (LLL) as an educational paradigm is highlighted in view of the increased use of digital technology in organizations, the increasing workers skill gaps, the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Sustainable Development Goals SDG https: // sdgs. un.org/goals) and not least due to COVID-19. The United Nations' 2030 Agenda includes objectives for sustainable development on an ecological, economic and social level with a total of 17 objectives in different areas. The fourth goal (SDG4) “Education for all - ensuring inclusive, equitable and high-quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all” focuses on education and particularly on lifelong learning (U.N. General Assembly, 2015). In the course of this, the study group for lifelong learning tries to contribute to the implementation of the following tasks through LLL approaches.
- Developing high-level cognitive and non-cognitive/transferable skills, such as problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, communication skills and conflict resolution, which can be used across a range of occupational fields.
- Contributing that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development.
The Lifelong Learning Study Group focusses its activities in participation at national and international projects, cooperation with small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), with education and social institutions, presentation at different events, publications.
Some of main topics are