Europe’s ageing population has a wealth of knowledge and experience that should be harnessed to benefit future generations; however this is at risk of being lost as older people face social exclusion. Part of Europe’s 2020 Strategy seeks to address this issue by focusing on the sustainability of knowledge and experience. This strategy is relevant to all sectors of our society.

Main challenges of the ageing knowledge economy are constant upgrading of the skills of the active population and mitigating new and old social risks. In the aging society and the globalised knowledge economy, the people in mid-life are increasingly exposed to social risks of exclusion from the labour market. They are also excluded from formal Lifelong Learning (LLL), specifically Tertiary Lifelong Learning (TLL). The access of mid-life learners to TLL and their retention in the system have an increasing relevance for the socio-economic sustainability of the ageing European knowledge society.