Lifelong learning and 'time competence'

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This article addresses the question of the strategies and responsibilities of employers and employees with regard to the investment of time into learning. It is based on the findings of a study of medium-sized businesses in Thüringen 2002/2003. Employees and human resources (HR) personnel from thirteen companies were surveyed about general and vocational training and asked how time for learning is integrated into commercial and everyday activities. The study arose from the assumption that today's popular motto of lifelong learning can only be made possible if individuals are able to co-ordinate a number of different 'time windows': work time, family time, free time and learning time. In the past, the debate about lifelong learning has focussed primarily on the points of view of finance, target groups and educational institutions. Until now, the time dimension has not really been taken seriously. However, it is an essential prerequisite and condition of vocational training and it is for this reason that a specific study dedicated to this issue was undertaken. Some introductory remarks and a brief description of how the study was carried out appear below (1). This is followed by a description of the central theoretical perspectives (2). Detailed results of the study appear next (3). Finally, conclusions about vocational training in businesses are drawn from the results (4).

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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