The training of adults in firms has become a central issue in European policy-making and one of importance for public authorities and corporate planners. A recent Communication by the Commission of the European Communities bears witness to this new awareness at the European level.
The dramatic revolution at the work place over the last decade, brought about by rapidly evolving technologies and marked by structural change, has forced firms to consider human resources as the main asset upon which to build their future. «Investment in training» has thus become the new key concept by which private corporations justify their long term policies for the mobilization and improvement of human resources.
This report is about the need for and risks of further integration of work and learning. It has been written to accompany the preparation of a future programme of activities in this field and is largely based on discussion that took place during a 3 day international workshop organised by the European Centre for Work and Society and funded by the European Cultural Foundation.
The first part of the report contains a general analysis of the problems of work and learning and addresses the question of why, and to what extent work and learning is defined as problematic. This part makes use of the discussions held during the workshop but also draws heavily on additional information. The second part closely follows the workshop discussions which focused on four important dimensions of work and learning, and attempts to draw up a number of relevant issues for further research or other action. The third and final part of the report presents a summary of the principal open questions identified by our short survey of the problematic.