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Lifelong Learning

Child and adult reading a book.

Learning no longer takes place in educational institutions alone, and it no longer ends on the last day of school. Lifelong learning requires that individuals have access to the educational opportunities appropriate for their current phase and style of life. In the future, people who pursue their employment goals in a creative, targeted manner will prove successful on the job market. To support them, educational paths are required that go beyond those offering formal certification. It is critical that individuals can continue to develop their interests and skills in all stages of life and to actively participate in society even in later years. With our ELLI monitoring tool we want to increase awareness of opportunities for lifelong learning and professional qualification, while making it easier to compare them.

Focus Areas

Continuing Education for All

According to the most recent estimates, Germany will by the year 2025 face a shortage of qualified skilled labor on the order of 1.8 million. In order to redress this shortage and promote social participation through gainful employment for everyone, new approaches are needed in broadening access to continuing education and the opportunities it provides. A continuing education system of the future must be able to address and adapt to the needs of the disadvantaged, including low-skilled laborers, immigrants and the atypically employed. At the same time, any future system must also be capable of dismantling the barriers to participation, such as low motivation levels, a lack of guidance and the failure to recognize achieved learning outcomes. The continuing education initiative is developing and testing the pillars of a system suited to future needs. The first involves adaptive forms of learning that are practical in nature and adaptable to individual learning styles as well as changing life circumstances. The second pillar foresees localized education and training guidance that is tailored to the individual and delivers useful information about qualification options. The third pillar advocates the formal recognition of competences gained through informal learning and experience.


Learning - Throughout Life

The aging and shrinking of Germany’s workforce is not irreversible. At the same time, future working environments will demand more from the fewer workers found there. One of the key challenges facing society will therefore be identifying, promoting and making use of each individual’s unique potential, regardless of his or her age. Only by adopting a holistic approach to learning and professional education can we succeed in integrating people into the workforce more effectively and for longer periods of time, thereby increasing their quality of life.



Libraries are important educational resources and important venues for self-directed learning. They are customer-centric and provide access to modern media, making them key components in a knowledge-based society. In addition, thanks to the expertise of their staff, libraries provide information, entertainment and continuing education opportunities based on each patron’s individual needs.


Contact Person Learning - Throughout Life
Headshot of Frank Frick Frank Frick
+49 5241 81-81253
Portrait Martin Noack Martin Noack
+49 5241 81-81476
Contact Person Libraries
Portrait of Petra Klug Petra Klug
+49 5241 81-81347
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