Latest news on European research in learning and work - April 2020


In this edition of the L&W Newsletter you should note in particular several calls for proposals and updates relating to international conferences: the Stockholm conference on VET, the UFHRD conference in Budapest, #LearnOrg in Grimstad, Eucen on lifelong learning in Budapest, the Adult education conference in Vancouver, BCES on comparative education in Sofia (see Conferences), also calls for applications for BeChangeMaker and Skills challenge innovation (see Programmes and Projects), the call for proposals for Game-based learning (see Publications) and the call for applications for a Conference bursary of the Edge Foundation (see Networks and Organisations).

Special thanks to all who - though faced with the Coronavirus crisis - contributed information for this edition, and also to our partners CR&DALL, CVER, Education & Employers Research, ILO Employment Policy Department, PASCAL International Observatory, UFHRD, UNEVOC, VET&Culture and VETNET for providing input and sharing the L&W Newsletter via their mailing lists and web portals.

The L&W Newsletter focuses on transnational research activities across Europe in the field of human resource development (HRD) and vocational education and training (VET), centred on major categories: conferences, networks and organisations, programmes, projects and publications. The next edition will appear in early April 2020. You are invited to submit short texts (100 to 200 words, including links to web pages, but without attachments) - please by 31 May 2020 at the latest!

The L&W Newsletter reaches you via a mailing list of experts in and beyond Europe. You can also view the latest edition in the relaunched WIFO Gateway and download the L&W Newsletter in PDF [featured below;Ed]. Please pass the Newsletter on to your colleagues and networks.

Best wishes and keep well!
Sabine Manning
Research Forum WIFO
Editor of the L&W Newsletter

Please note: My new email address has replaced the former address <sabine.manning[at]>. My contact address continues to be valid.


Stockholm conference on VET: Update
The organizing committee of the 8th Stockholm International Conference on Research in VET has announced that, due to the current health situation internationally, the conference originally planned for 7 and 8 May 2020 is postponed to 5 and 6 October 2020. All the bookings paid by confirmed participants will move to the selected date. No action is needed by the participants. For updates please visit the website of the conference.
The conference is part of the core events of the European Network for Vocational Education and Training (VETNET). The conference welcomes papers dealing with a variety of research problems of relevance for the advance of research in vocational education and training. Selected contributions will be published in the book series Emergent Issues on research in VET. There is no conference fee, participants pay only for the cost of the stay. For more information visit the conference site: or contact the organizers Professor Lázaro Moreno Herrera ( and Associate Professor Marianne Teräs (
(Contributed by Lázaro Moreno Herrera)

UFHRD 2020: Postponed to June 2021
21th International UFHRD Conference "Sustainability and Ethics: The Responsibility of HRD in the Global Society" hosted by the Budapest Business School and the University of Pécs in Budapest, Hungary (
In the light of recent developments around the global COVID-19 outbreak we decided to postpone the 21st International UFHRD Conference (10-12 June 2020 Budapest) to June 2021. In doing so, we are following the Hungarian Government's policies that were declared in this state of emergency, which prohibits all indoor events with 50 or more people - until further notice. It was a very sad and hard decision, but together with the leadership of UFHRD we feel that it is impossible to know if and how this situation will change in the near future. At this time, the health, safety and wellbeing of all members of our community is of paramount importance.  We are following the re-scheduling of all the June events (e.g., the European Football Championship) and we will communicate the exact dates of the June 2021 Conference as soon as possible. Please note that all registration fees for the 2020 Conference will be refunded. We would like to thank all the Stream Leaders, Reviewers and all Colleagues who supported us for the past year. We hope that all of you will continue to work with us to make the 2021 Conference in Budapest a memorable one. We are sending all of you our best wishes for health and wellbeing in these uncertain times. Best regards, Your Hungarian UFHRD Conference Team.
(Contributed by Maria Cseh <>)

#LearnOrg2021: Update
Learning Organization Conference: Modernizing the Concept and Practice of the Learning Organization for New Challenges, Venue: University of Agder, Campus Grimstad, Norway: Due to the current developments of COVID-19, we have decided to postpone the Learning Organization conference until 17th and 18th of June 2021. Please, check the web page for updates! We will be back with more news. Hope to see you in June 2021!
This conference is for any scholar ("practitioners" are also warmly welcomed!) who has an interest in the learning organization (or any of the following: organizational learning, organizational unlearning, group/team learning), and especially in efforts to modernize the idea to better answer the challenges that organizations of various kinds face today and will face in the future. Such challenges include (but are not limited to): #environmental challenges (such as the current climate changes); #a desire to better consider values other than profit-maximization and effectiveness; #failed efforts to put the concept into practice; #the emergence of (many) other fashionable management concepts; #the fact that it is easy to disconnect what one says from what one does; #digitalization; #difficulties when trying to adapt the concept to fit any particular type of organization; #the occurrence of a multitude of (somewhat) different definitions. Abstracts or full papers (or paper ideas) should be sent to Anders Örtenblad (, who is the main conference organizer. Papers/ abstracts/ paper ideas can be sent at any time. For more information, please see conference page.

(Update obtained from website; contribution by Anders Örtenblad)

Eucen 2020: Lifelong learning - Update and call
52nd eucen conference in Budapest (HU), entitled “University Lifelong Learning for Increased Participation, Performance and Partnership”.
Due to the Covid19 outbreak, we had to postpone the eucen conference (see Announcement). It will be held in Budapest, Wednesday 18 to Friday 20 November 2020, hosted by Central European University. The Call for contributions continues to be opened (see Studies site). The 2020 eucen conference will focus on trends in ULLL in the frame of three particular streams to highlight some key areas for action. Therefore, we welcome papers and presentations that address participation, performance and partnership within the following main streams: University Lifelong Learning in learning cities; Universities promoting inclusive education and community engagement; Universities’ roles in the development of work-based learning. You can submit your abstracts until Friday 11 September 2020. For further information please visit the conference website.
(Lated info received from eucen Secretariat <>; update obtained from website)

Adult education in global times: Update
International Research Conference "Adult Education in Global Times" (AEGT2020) originally scheduled for Vancouver (Canada) 4-7 June 2020 (see conference website): The Conference has been cancelled due to the spread of COVID-19. CASAE and UBC will be exploring with the various partnering organizations the possibility of rescheduling the conference for 2021. Further details see Notice of Cancellation .
(Info obtained from the conference website)

BCES 2020 update: Educational reforms worldwide
XVIII Annual International Conference of the Bulgarian Comparative Education Society (BCES), originally planned to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, from 23 to 26 June 2020: Please be informed that the XVIII BCES Conference will be carried out distantly (virtually). Specific details will soon be uploaded. Late registration: Open. Click HERE. Abstract submission (for oral presentation only): Still open. Click HERE. Volume 18 / 2020 of BCES Conference Books is being prepared for printing. Further details see Conference page.
The Conference focuses on past, current and upcoming reforms at all levels of the educational systems - preschool, primary, lower and upper secondary, postsecondary, and higher education; and in all educational streams – general, vocational, and special education.  Participants are invited to present their theoretical, methodological or empirical studies on reforms of various educational aspects - aims, priorities, missions, governance, finance, structures, curricula, syllabi, textbooks, teaching and learning styles, innovations, examinations, graduation requirements, academic degrees, etc. All accepted papers will be published in Vol. 18 / 2020 of BCES Conference Books. For more information please visit the Conference website:
(Info received from CR&DALL Site Digest and CR&DALL website)

NOTE: Forthcoming and recent events related to European research in work and learning are listed on the WIFO Conference page [].

Networks and Organisations

Conference bursary for emerging East European researchers
The Edge Foundation is planning to sponsor the participation of 3-4 emerging researchers from East Europe who would participate at ECER with a research presentation and in a panel discussion. If you know someone who may be interested in this, please ask them to send Andrea Laczik ( a brief outline of their proposed research presentation (max 300 words). The bursary will be 600 Euro/person which will be reimbursed after ECER, to cover the conference registration fee and some other costs. Many Eastern European countries experience considerable changes in their vocational education and training (VET) systems; hence research in this area is vital. There is clear interest in policy developments and practices of VET. However, this is not reflected in the participation of East European VET researchers in VETNET (Network 2) at ECER (European Conference for Educational Research) and at the Emerging Researchers Conference of EERA. First, the proposed panel discussion aims at engaging with emerging East European researchers about recent VET research in their regions, encouraging the contribution of those who are not regular participants. Secondly, during the panel discussion, a broad overview of research in Eastern European countries will be given. The main focus of the panel will be to put a spotlight on four examples of high-quality VET research from three to four East European countries. The panel will facilitate both the scientific discussion of the presented pieces of research and finding potential ways of future participation of colleagues from Eastern European countries in VETNET.
(Info received from Andrea Laczik/Edge Foundation)

NOTE: References to research networks in the field of European work and learning are available on the WIFO page Networks at a glance []. Contact: Sabine Manning

Programmes and Projects

BeChangeMaker: Call for application
This is the fourth year that we are launching BeChangeMaker as the virtual social entrepreneurship programme with the HP Foundation. We have received great support from the Forum last year to promote the call for applications. I hope this year you could also share this wonderful opportunity with your network or young people whom you think would beneift from the free programme that comes with great incentives for networking and high-quality support. We are bringing the top finalists to Dublin, Ireland for the final pitch at WorldSkills General Assembly 2020. See this video for BeChangeMaker 2019 highlights, where the final pitch took place in Kazan, Russia. Call for application for BeChangeMaker 2020 will close by 15 May 2020. Follow this link to apply online. If you require any further MarCom materials to promote the programme, feel free to use the assets (e.g. digital flyers, videos, and images) provided here. Like in the previous years, we would be happy to list your organizations as part of the promotional partners on the BeChangeMaker website if you let us know that you would be happy to share the programme with your network. Feel free to get in touch if you have any further questions. Contact: Grace Lung (
(Posted by Grace Lung via Unesco-Unevoc TVeT Forum digest - 26 March 2020)

Skills challenge innovation: Call
The ILO is looking for innovative ideas and solutions to address the different forms and dimensions of skills mismatch. The Skills Challenge Innovation Call will recognize and support the development of solutions that aim to equip people with the skills they need to thrive in today's job market. The winning idea will receive a $50.000 grant. Apply now! We are open to all ideas and solutions at any stage of development. They can be at an early-stage or more mature innovation. They can be a one person’s idea or involve a collaborative joint effort from different actors, such as governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations. Submission deadline for ideas: 13 April 2020. Find more information here!
(Info received from ILO Employment Newsletter March/April 2020 <>)

Global mobility project under COVID-19 challenge
The Global mobility project (GLOMO) is an international research cooperation, co-ordinated by Professor Maike Andresen from the University of Bamberg, Germany. It has received funding from the European Union's H2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 765355. 15 early stage researchers (ESRs) based in six universities located in Bamberg (D), Cranfield (UK), Copenhagen (DK), Amsterdam (NL), Toulouse (F) and Vasa (FI) as well as in one research institute in Nuremberg (D) and in one multinational company (F) are working on interconnected research sub-project missions as part of the Innovative Training Network (ITN) project. At present, their secondments in several countries as well as their collaboration with companies are challenged by COVID-19, since the researchers' mobility and research data collections is jeopardized with confinements and sanitary avoidance of physical interpersonal contacts across all EU and the UK. This exceptional situation makes all researchers experiencing and reflecting on pandemic threats to global mobility and will be furthermore included into the adapting research missions. For more information see
(Contributed by Cordula Barzantny <>)

NOTE: Contributions are invited to update the Overview of European research projects [], provided as part of the WIFO Gateway. Contact: Sabine Manning


Game-based learning: Call for proposals
Dear Colleague, we would like to invite you to submit your proposal for an edited volume on "Game-based Learning across the Disciplines" to be published by Springer, Cham.  If you are interested to contribute to the book project, we are asking you to submit a 1-page proposal to either to Carmela Aprea ( or to Dirk Ifenthaler ( by 30 April 2020, including author's name (co-authors are welcome), affiliations, tentative title, chapter outline (max. 300 words), five keywords, key references. Early submissions are encouraged. All submissions will undergo a rigorous double-blind peer review who will recommend full submissions from among the proposals. You may refer to the below detailed information or visit the website. You may also share this CfP with your colleagues. Kind regards, Carmela Aprea & Dirk Ifenthaler
(Posted by Carmela Aprea <>)

Youth exclusion from jobs and training
Global Employment Trends for Youth 2020: Technology and the future of jobs. ILO Report March 2020 [Details]
Young people face an uncertain future in the labour market because of automation, the narrow focus of much vocational training and the lack of jobs to match their qualifications, says a new ILO report.  The number of young people currently not in employment, education or training (NEET) is rising, and young women are more than twice as likely as their male counterparts to be affected. Young people (those aged 15-24) who are employed also face a greater risk than older workers of losing their jobs because of automation, and those with vocational training are particularly vulnerable. This reflects how the occupation-specific skills imparted by vocational training tend to become obsolete faster than general education skill. The report calls for vocational training programmes to be revised and modernized so that they meet the changing demands of the digital economy. Further information is available on the ILO page.
(Info received from ILO Employment Newsletter March/April 2020 <>)

Video pedagogy for vocational education
Cattaneo, A., Evi-Colombo, A., Ruberto, M. & Stanley, J. (2019). Video Pedagogy for Vocational Education. An overview of video-based teaching and learning. Turin: European Training Foundation [Details/ PDF Download].
The research report aims to provide a research-grounded and, at the same time, practice-oriented overview of how video can contribute in three contexts of vocational education: teacher training and professional development, school-based learning and corporate training. These three contexts are treated in separate chapters, following an overview of the research provided in the first chapter. This  explains what is distinctive and effective about teaching and learning through and with video. A final chapter brings together some examples of video pedagogy from ETF's partner countries.
(Contributed by Julian Stanley <>)

Simulation-based training in VET
Song-ee Ahn & Sofia Nyström (2020). Simulation-based training in VET through the lens of a sociomaterial perspective. Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training, Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training, Vol. 10, No. 1 [Article]
This article aims to review the pedagogical research on simulation training in vocational education and training (VET) and to discuss the emerging teaching practice from a sociomaterial perspective on learning and practice. The article finds three main themes: 1) the effect of technology-enhanced simulation training, 2) the fidelity and authenticity of simulation and learning, and 3) pedagogical consideration and underpinnings. To problematise and discuss the findings of previous research, the article draws on a sociomaterial perspective which makes it possible to elaborate on how technology, educational practice and social relations are intertwined and precondition each other. Based on the analysis, the article argues that the development of new technology and new teaching methods, in this case simulators, is prompting a new teaching practice to emerge. It discusses how the introduction of simulation-training as a teaching method brings about changes to the material set-ups in which the learning takes place. It argues further that the changes in material set-ups in practice also affect expectations of what can be learned, how teaching and learning are organized and how the teaching practices are enacted as consequences.
(Contributed by Sofia Nyström <>)

Civic engagement and prospect for VET
Giuditta Alessandrini (senior professor Roma TRE University) has published her paper entitled "Developing Capacitation: Civic Engagement and prospect for VET development" in the Journal of Professional Studies of the University of Bergamo. This paper intends to analyse the relevance of the notion of human development, as explored by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, along with the issue about "how to implement" the civic engagement for young people to generate cohesion and social justice. The paper made use of theoretical research work carried out through a desk analysis, and research on the OECD, ILO and CEDEFOP Reports and pedagogical/ philosophical literature. The discussion about the actuality of the capability approach enhances a new awareness of the role of education, such as to create a new opportunity for individuals, and social contexts to implement civic engagement (for example the role of the notion of agency). The paper will particularly address two dimensions: the relationship between the training of capabilities and the "civic engagement" of the younger generations; accompanying the transitions between training and work with particular regard to the prospects of VET development as an inclusive educational context. This paper can reflect on some very relevant issues: how to implement educational levels also for a population of low skilled adults (reskilling and upskilling); how – also within a legislative framework – to implement strategies of lifelong learning in connection with the labour market and social policies; how to rethink VET solutions in order to give new chances of employability and social inclusion to people.
(Contributed by Giuditta Alessandrini <>)

Social exclusion in EU policies for LLL
Elena Tuparevska, Rosa Santibáñez & Josu Solabarrieta. Social exclusion in EU lifelong learning policies: prevalence and definitions. International Journal of Lifelong Education - Published online: 19 Feb 2020 [Details]
The aim of the article is to analyse the concept of social exclusion in EU lifelong learning policies: how the concept has evolved from the 1990s in terms of meaning, definitions and closely connected concepts, what are the implications of this evolution, and whether there is coherence between the conceptual evolution and lifelong learning policy. Using a qualitative methodology, this article focuses on policy documents that form the European Union's legal and political framework of reference in the lifelong learning area in the last two and a half decades. A total of 59 documents issued between 1992 and 2017 have been analysed using content analysis. The analysis of the documents has been complemented by 6 semi-structured interviews with EU lifelong learning experts. The results show that the concept is narrowly defined in terms of specific groups at risk of being socially excluded and in terms of employability, thus individualising the problem of exclusion and distracting attention from structural factors.
(Info obtained from publisher's page)

Network governance of European LLL
Marcella Milana, Gosia Klatt & Luigi Tronca. Towards a network governance of European lifelong learning: a structural analysis of Commission expert groups.  International Journal of Lifelong Education - Published online: 26 Feb 2020 [Details]
The influence of the European Commission (EC) expert groups on policy coordination within the European Union has received a growing interest among researchers, who have assessed their role in policy-making processes, their participation patterns, their transparency, and their knowledge-generating process. This article interrogates the structural configuration of the networks, and the relationships between the actors, formed through the Commission expert groups on adult learning, and under the Education and Training 2020 work programme, respectively, by means of a Social Network Analysis. So attention is paid on the mutual-constitutivness of a social network and its members, or the potential power within a network, and of a network, to influence member states' domestic adaptation of communitarian policies. Our analysis points at noticeable differences between the connectivity of each of the Commission expert groups. A key result, however, is that two actors (i.e. Flemish Department for Education and Training, Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland) stand out as fully embedded in both forms of network governance, and represent highly connected 'informal' brokers across policy domains.
For more information, please view a related article by the same authors: European Governance in Adult Education: On the comparative advantage of joining working groups and networks [Details]
(Contributed by Marcella Milana <>)

Professional identity transformation
Jenny Bimrose & Alan Brown (2019). Professional identity transformation: supporting career and employment practitioners at a distance. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, Volume 47, Issue 6 [Details]
The professional identity of career counselling and employment practitioners is somewhat fragile. Balancing tensions like meeting targets that exist around funding, whilst attending to the individual needs of the clients they serve, can prove challenging. Maintaining professionalism is increasingly also challenging for practitioners because they need to attend continually to their professional learning needs, ensuring familiarity with new theories, research and ways of working. This article draws on European research (2014–2018) that examined how career guidance counselling and employment practitioners can be supported at a distance using technology, to facilitate their professional identify transformation. Results from an international online learning course designed to support practitioners across Europe as part of this research are presented and the implications for practice discussed.
(Info received from Education and Employers Research: Digest February 2020 <>)

L&D professionals in organisations
Garavan, T., Heneghan, S., O’Brien, F., Gubbins, C., Lai, Y., Carbery, R., Duggan, J., Lannon, R., Sheehan, M. and Grant, K. (2019). L&D professionals in organisations: much ambition, unfilled promise. European Journal of Training and Development, Vol. 44 No. 1 [Details]
This monograph reports on the strategic and operational roles of learning and development (L&D) professionals in Irish, UK European and US organisations including multinational corporations, small to medium enterprises, the public sector and not for profit organisations. It aims to investigate the contextual factors influencing L&D roles in organisations, the strategic and operational roles that L&D professionals play in organisations, the competencies and career trajectories of L&D professionals, the perceptions of multiple internal stakeholders of the effectiveness of L&D roles and the relationships between context, L&D roles, competencies/expertise and perceived organisational effectiveness. The authors gathered data from executives, senior managers, line managers, employee and L&D professionals using multiple methods. The analysis reveals that L&D professionals increasingly respond to a multiplicity of external and internal contextual influences, and internal stakeholders perceived the effectiveness of L&D professionals differently with significant gaps in perceptions of what L&D contributes to organisational effectiveness. L&D professionals perform both strategic and operational roles in organisations and they progress through four career levels. Each L&D role and career level requires a distinct and unique set of foundational competencies and L&D expertise.
(Contributed by Thomas Garavan <>)

Global entrepreneurial talent management
Alison Pearce, Brian Harney, Nada Zupan, Brenda Stalker: Global Entrepreneurial Talent Management challenges and opportunities for HRD (Editorial). International  Journal  of  HRD  Practice,  Policy  and  Research  2019,  Vol  4  No 2 [Details]
This special issue of the International Journal of HRD Practice, Policy and Research brings together on-going work from the Global Entrepreneurial Talent Management3 (GETM3) project. GETM3 is a European Union Research Innovation and Staff Exchange (RISE) project investigating the HRD implications of the way existing and future talent can be managed at work, harnessing the entrepreneurial attitudes and skills of young people. The project is both interdisciplinary and international, exploring the key challenges of managing this entrepreneurial talent within organizations. At the heart of GETM3 is an appreciation that true understanding and impact can only come from engagement with multiple stakeholders. This editorial provides a brief contextual overview of GETM3, focusing on its relevance for HRD, before providing a brief review of the articles and opinion/forum pieces that make up the special issue. The papers in this special issue certainly make a contribution to enhanced understanding and equally to bridging the seemingly ever-widening theory-practice gap.
(Info obtained from publishers' page)

NOTE: References to publications on European research in learning and work are provided by the WIFO pages on Books [],  Journals [] and Articles [].


Editor of the L&W Newsletter: Dr Sabine Manning, Research Forum WIFO;
Email:  (or:;
Address: Neue Blumenstr. 1, D-10179 Berlin, Germany;
Editions of the L&W Newsletter: six times a year, every two months (at the beginning of February, April, June, August, October, December);
Deadline for contributions to the L&W Newsletter: end of January, March, May, July, September, November;
Details and Archive of the L&W Newsletter [];
See also our update on Data Protection.


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