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Knowledge institutions from the Northern Netherlands present their joint Life-Long Learning action agenda

31 January 2024

Yesterday afternoon, the knowledge institutions of the University of the North presented their Life-Long Learning ( Leven Lang Ontwikkelen , LLO) action agenda. The action agenda describes how the knowledge institutions plan to implement their LLO ambition in the coming years to prepare the regional market for the future. Portfolio holder Carin Bloemhoff, who is also the chair of the Northern Labour Market Administrative Meeting, received the LLO action agenda from Dick Pouwels, President of the Executive Board of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences.

Bloemhoff: ‘LLO is about stimulating individuals to continue to develop themselves during their career so that they’re able to respond to the changing demand from the labour market. Knowledge institutions play a crucial role in this, which is why I applaud the fact that the Northern Netherlands knowledge institutions have formulated the ambition to give the working population of the Northern Netherlands access to the excellent teaching and development opportunities available to us in the North throughout their working life.’

Alignment with national trend

The regional LLO ambition does not occur in isolation and aligns with the Nationaal Groeifonds Programma LLO Katalysator [National Growth Fund Programme project LLO Catalyst] (only in Dutch) and the oproep van de SER [Appeal by the Social and Economic Council (SER)] (only in Dutch) to the new cabinet to structurally invest in LLO.

Permanently changed labour market due to need for transitions

Dick Pouwels, President of the Executive Board of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences and chair of the LLO steering group of the University of the North: ‘LLO occupies a prominent place within our society. The days when you said goodbye to school once you graduated are over. Because of demographic developments and transitions in healthcare, circularity, the transition to sustainable energy, and digitization, the labour market has changed forever and requires a flexible working population that continually develops itself. With our unique continuous learning pathway from vocational education to university education, we want to make a fundamental contribution. To press home our ambition, we established the LLO action agenda (only in Dutch) that concretely shows which steps we will be taking in the coming years, in collaboration with employers’ and employees’ organizations, Training and Development funds, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV), and governments, to boost the labour market of the Northern Netherlands.’

Study among northern working population as starting point

In addition to the LLO action agenda, the LLO Monitor Noord-Nederland [LLO Monitor Northern Netherlands] (only in Dutch) was presented by Arjen Edzes, Lector of Regional Labour Market at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences and associate professor at the UG. The LLO Monitor is the result of a study conducted among 9,000 northerners and 900 employers from the north and paints a picture of how we currently learn and develop ourselves in the Northern Netherlands.

The realization is there but the practice is intractable

The study shows that one in three residents has pursued some form of education in the past year, but it also shows that there are major differences between working people, retirees, economically inactive people, self-employed people, and students. In particular people with a practical education, who are actually the most vulnerable in the changing labour market, have participated the least in a course or training programme in the past year. The study also shows that northerners–both employers and citizens–acknowledge the importance of LLO, but they sometimes struggle to bring it into practice. With the current labour market shortage, employers are hard put to recruit new employees, and citizens indicate that they do not always have the financial resources for further education.

Arjen Edzes: ‘Both knowledge institutions and employers still have a long way to go in the area of LLO. We have to do it together and I’m convinced that we have taken a crucial step by creating the Monitor and the action agenda.’

Representatives of the Life Long Learning action agenda

More information

For more information on the LLO action agenda, please contact Ilse van der Hoek.

For more information on the LLO Monitor of the Northern Netherlands, please contact Arjen Edzes.

Last modified:31 January 2024 3.52 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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