Lifelong Learning and Development

life long learning

Research leader:

Künn, A

Research team: Henry Abbink (ROA), Sabine Baumann (ROA), Didier Fouarge (ROA)

Funded by: Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (2020), NRO (2016; file number 405-16-402), Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (2013, 2010), ECBO (2007), CINOP (2004)

Latest publication: Leven lang ontwikkelen in Nederland (in Dutch)

The ROA Lifelong Learning Survey monitors since 2004 post-initial learning, informal learning and knowledge development in the Netherlands. The survey is fielded once every three years among working and non-working individuals aged 16 and older. The questionnaire develops further every wave. Most waves also include a stated preferences experiment. The most recent wave of data gathering was done in 2020. In 2020, questions were added that address self-directed learning, learning climate and perceived impact of the Covid-19 crisis on learning at the workplace.

Key features of the ROA Lifelong Learning Survey

  • The survey consists of a core of unchanged survey questions allowing for analyses of trends in learning activities.
  • The survey is one of the few that explicitly measures informal learning, which represents 90% of total learning time and is a major source of new knowledge.
  • The survey includes information on individuals and characteristics of their job and workplace that can be related to learning and knowledge development.
  • Each edition of the survey includes specific questions that allow for a deeper understanding of factors that positively or negatively affect participation in learning activities and the time devoted to learning time. Most waves also include a stated preferences experiment.
  • The 2004-2013 waves were fielded among respondents of the DNB Household Survey. The 2017 and 2020 waves were fielded among respondents to the LISS panel. Our ROA Lifelong Learning Survey can be matched at the individual level to these data and enriched with information collected at other occasions among the same set of respondents.
  • The 2010 and 2013 waves of data are available through DANS. The 2017 and 2020 waves are available through the LISS panel.

Results from main surveys

Sixth survey (2020 data)

Fifth survey (2017 data)

Fourth survey (2013 data)

  • Lex Borghans, Didier Fouarge, Andries de Grip, Jesper van Thor (2014). Werken en leren in Nederland. ROA-R-2014/3, Maastricht, ROA.
  • Didier Fouarge (2015). Leren door te doen. ESB, 100 (4704): 113.

Third survey (2010 data)

  • Lex Borghans, Didier Fouarge, Andries de Grip (2011). Een leven lang leren in Nederland, ROA-R-2011/5, Maastricht, ROA.
  • Fouarge, Didier (2012). Nooit op training of cursus. ESB, 97(4644): 573.
  • Fouarge, Didier (2011). Kennisontwikkeling van oudere werkenden. ESB, 96 (4614 & 4615): 439.

Second survey (2007 data)

  • Lex Borghans, Bart Golsteyn, Andries de Grip, Annemarie Nelen (2009). De betekenis van het leren op het werk, ECBO, ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

First survey (2004 data)

  • Lex Borghans, Bart Golsteyn en Andries de Grip (2006). Meer werken is meer leren, CINOP Expertisecentrum, ’s-Hertogenbosch.
  • Lex Borghans, Bart Golsteyn, Andries de Grip (2007). Werkend leren, Economische Statistische Berichten, jaargang 92, 4 mei 2007.

Results on specific topics

Flex workers

Automation, tasks and learning

Informal learning and course participation

  • Bakens, J., Fouarge, D., & Goedhart, R. (2020). Beroepen met complexe vaardigheden minst geraakt door de coronacrisis. ESB, 105(4789), 410-413.
  • Zafer Büyükkeçeci, Didier Fouarge & Andries de Grip. Why do some workers never participate in training? ROA-RM (forthcoming).
  • Didier Fouarge (2016). Leren in de Zorg & Welzijn. Maastricht: ROA-F-2016/4.
  • Andries de Grip (2015). The importance of informal learning at work. IZA World of Labor 2015: 162.
  • Didier Fouarge (2015). Leren door te doen. ESB, 100 (4704): 113.
  • Lex Borghans, Bart Golsteyn, Andries de Grip, Betekenis (in)formeel leren voor kennisontwikkeling van de beroepsbevolking, in: Cees Doets, Wil van Esch en Anneke Westerhuis (eds), Een brede verkenning van een leven lang leren, CINOP, ’s-Hertogenbosch, juli 2008, pp. 157-172.
  • Didier Fouarge (2012). Nooit op training of cursus. ESB, 97(4644): 573.
  • Andries de Grip, Jan Sauermann (2013). The effect of training on productivity: The transfer of on-the-job training from the perspective of economics, Educational Research Review, 8, 28-36.
  • Didier Fouarge, Andries de Grip (2012). Postinitieel leren: deelname en rendement. Maastricht: ROA-PP-2012/1.

Low-skilled workers

  • Didier Fouarge, Trudie Schils, Andries de Grip (2010). Prikkels voor postinitiële scholing voor laagopgeleiden, ECBO, ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
  • Didier Fouarge, Trudie Schils, Andries de Grip (2013). Why do low-educated workers invest less in further training?, Applied Economics, Vol. 45(18), 2587-2601
  • Didier Fouarge, Bereidheid tot scholing, ESB, 95(4587), 2010: 369
  • Didier Fouarge, Trudie Schils, Andries de Grip (2010). Postinitiële scholing van laagopgeleiden in Nederland: de rol van economische prikkels en HRM, Werk Tijdschrift van het Steunpunt WSE, 20(2), 67-73.

 Older workers

  • Fouarge, D., de Grip, A., Künn-Nelen, A., Poulissen, D. (2019). Investeren in de inzetbaarheid van oudere werknemers, Me Judice, 19 augustus 2019.
  • Didier Fouarge, Andries de Grip (2014). Gaan 50-plussers meer investeren in hun scholing? Tilburg University, Netspar, NEA paper 54.
  • Didier Fouarge (2013). Training and employability of older workers, The Hague, SZW, OECD mission, 4 February 2013
  • Didier Fouarge (2011). Kennisontwikkeling van oudere werkenden. ESB, 96(4614 & 4615): 439.
  • Didier Fouarge, Andries de Grip (2011). Depreciatie van menselijk kapitaal. ROA-R-2011/1, Maastricht, ROA.

 Part-time work

  • Künn, A. (2018). Trainingsdeelname laagste onder mannen met een deeltijdbaan, Economisch Statistische Berichten, vol. 103(4766), pp. 479-479.
  • Annemarie Nelen, Andries de Grip (2008). De investeringen in menselijk kapitaal van deeltijders, ESB, jaargang 93, 653-654.
  • Annemarie Nelen, Andries de Grip (2009). Why do part-time workers invest less in human capital than full-timers?, Labour, vol. 23, 61-83

Interesting podcasts and presentations related to Lifelong Learning and Development

Related projects

Interesting reads

  • Künn - Nelen, A., Dirven, H-J., & Perez, S. A. (2021). Werknemers met arbeidsbelemmering raken baan vaker kwijt, ondanks scholing. Economisch Statistische Berichten, 106(4796), 279-281.
  • Jansen, G., Janssen, S., Künn-Nelen, A., Levels, M., and L. Voermans (2021). Bij- en omscholing en automatisering in Nederland: Kansen en beperkingen. University of Twente.
  • Künn, A., Smits, W., & de Vries, J. (2020). Baan- en werkzekerheid van flexibele werknemers, doen ontwikkelmogelijkheden op het werk ertoe? In K. Chkalova, J. van Genabeek, W. Smits, & S. Verbiest (Eds.), Dynamiek op de Nederlandse Arbeidsmarkt: De focus op zekerheid (pp. 103-125). CBS/TNO.

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