On 21st November 2001, European Commission adopted a communication for Making European Area of Life long learning a Reality and for that, it decided to 'identify coherent strategies and practical measures with a view to fostering lifelong learning for all.' Adult cognition as a dimension of lifelong learning resulted in open universities and distant learning. Learning cannot be dichotomised into a space and time any more and with IT like ever-renewing subjects, there is no end to learning and school days never get over.
"Lifelong learning creates the challenge to understand, explore, and support new essential dimensions of learning such as self-directed learning, learning on demand, collaborative learning, and organizational learning". Fischer (2000).
It also challenges discourses of inclusion and exclusion by lifting curricula off limits of conventional universities. It removes education from the traditional theories and managements and makes it generally available to all. It gives more options to people who were deprived of further studies due to some reason or other. It also enables those who need to change their employment or line of speciality. It empowers individuals who have diverse interests and changing intellectual needs.
Government of UK's provision of lifelong learning is debated in this study along with the concept, organisations and barriers that stand in the way of further studies and the limitations of UK organisations that have become/going to become lifelong learning educational organisations. The concept has opened up a new vista of unlimited possibilities for its population by introducing part time study and research into the field. Today, those who are aspiring for better jobs, who would like to attain better qualifications and better lifestyle, are benefited by Lifelong learning. It has introduced job-specific courses and non-task specific training both so that a vast number of populations could be benefited whatever their needs are. Older learners are being empowered to a large extent. It is necessary to see the role of policy makers, job designs, future benefits, possibilities and the higher levels of skills that should be imparted in lifelong learning curricula.
In the Scottish Executive Response to the Final Report of the Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Committee Inquiry into the Delivery of Local Economic Development Services in Scotland, dated 6th December 2000, final conclusion is stated as: "There is congestion within the field of local economic development in Scotland. There is confusion, overlap, duplication and even active between the many agencies involved".
Life long learning is the outcome of progressive policies like social cohesion, equal opportunities, non-discrimination, inclusion and active participation. It is also human resource development of a better kind. It is the expansion of learning, training, employability and competitiveness where the goal is the welfare state. It is also the part of 'learning culture' and 'learning revolution'.
Apprenticeship that comes as part of lifelong learning is an innovative idea as it leads to direct employment and one such challenge