1.3 million people in adult education

08/09/2003 10:00

Participation in adult education was nearly 14 percent in 2002. This means that 1.3 million people aged between 15 and 64 years who are not full-time pupils or students, are enrolled in some type of education.

Slight increase in short courses

In 2002 1.3 million people in the Netherlands reported that they had taken part in some form of education in the four weeks preceding the interview. Of these people, 711 thousand were enrolled in an extended course (for at least six months) and 589 thousand did short course. In the period 1995-2002 there was a slight increase in participation in short courses and a slight fall in enrolment for extended courses.

Participation in adult education, 2002

Participation in adult education, 2002

Older people do fewer courses

As age increases, interest in education decreases. Two out of ten people aged under twenty who are not in formal education take part in a course. Over fifty years of age this is fewer than one in ten. For extended courses, in particular, there is a strong correlation with age.

Work main motive

People’s motives to enrol for courses are mainly related to paid work: 85 percent said that the course was important for getting or doing a job. Sixteen percent of the employed labour force were enrolled in education, twice the rate for people not in the labour force. For the unemployed labour force, the proportion enrolled in extended courses is highest: 9 percent.

Participation in adult education of 15-64 year-olds by labour market position, 2002

Participation in adult education of 15-64 year-olds by labour market position, 2002

Most courses for people in finance

There are differences in participation between sectors of industry. The highest participation rate is for people working in the financial and corporate services sector and government (including non-commercial services). Fewer people in manufacturing, trade and the hotel and restaurant sectors are enrolled in education.

Participation in adult education by sector of industry, 2002

Participation in adult education by sector of industry, 2002

The most popular subjects for courses have been the same for a number of years now: languages, computer skills and management. Nearly one in three people can claim study leave from their employers, on average 4.5 hours a week, and half of participants do not have to pay for the course themselves.

Max van Herpen