Promoting Life Long Learning through Individual Accounts: from Asset-Based to Capability-Based policies
The promotion of Life Long Learning (LLL) has become a high priority in the economic and social agenda of OECD countries. It is considered as one of the corner stones of the “active welfare state”. Several countries have introduced (or at least experimented) Individual Learning Accounts as a way to promote LLL. ILAs designate all the schemes that provide the individual with funds he/she can use to take-up further training on his/her own initiative. Our aim here is to analyze the theoretical and political underpinnings of ILAs policies and to make a link between those underpinnings and both the design, the implementation and the potential outcomes of existing schemes. In section 1 we introduce the distinction between two political paradigms which may provide underpinnings for ILAs : the asset-based view versus capability-based view. In section 2 we analyze some experiences of ILAs in the light of this distinction, focusing mainly on three countries : The United-Kingdom, the United-States and France.
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