At top level, the responsibility for adult education and training is distributed between two (2) ministries:
The Ministry of Education is responsible for:
- Formal and non-formal adult education
- Lifelong learning
- Youth education and training
- Liberal education
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is responsible for policies that:
- Prevent and tackle unemployment (Active employment policies)
- Address the social integration of vulnerable groups.
Bodies under the competence of the Ministry of Education
The Secretariat General for Vocational Education and Training, Life Long Learning and Youth/Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, as reorganized by law 4763/2020, is the mainly responsible thematic Secretariat of the Ministry for Adult Education and Training. Its mission is planning, coordinating, supervising and assessing policies, acts and programs in the field of vocational education and training, lifelong learning and youth, without discriminations and exclusions aiming at providing to the country’s human resources the current qualifications, adapted to the real needs of the labour market, increasing employment with quality job placements, better organizing the competitiveness of the Greek economy, reinforcing citizen’s personal development and their upskilling, ensuring rights and equal opportunities for all young people that will lead to their unhampered inclusion to the educative, social and economical life of the country.
Two (2) main relevant state bodies are under the supervision of the Ministry of Education:
- The National Organisation for the Certification of Qualifications and Vocational Guidance (EOPPEP) implements the national Accreditation & Certification System for non-formal learning, including Initial and Continuing Vocational Training and provides scientific support to vocational guidance & counseling services both at national and local/regional levels.
- The Youth and Lifelong Learning Foundation (INEDIVIM), aims at realizing acts, programs and projects for Life Long Learning and Youth (focusing on supporting young people’ s educative and professional pathways and mobility, bringing out and reinforcing innovation and mobility) and managing issues related in any way to pupil and student care. It is also the responsible national agency for implementing and monitoring the Erasmus+ program (jointly with IKY) as well as the European Solidarity Corps program.
Policy priorities are mainly set by the following laws:
- Law 3879/2010 which brought Life Long Learning to the fore with emphasis and still provides the in force definitions for Life Long Learning and Popular Adult Education.
- Law 4763/2020, which attempts a holistic reform of Vocational Education and Training and Life Long Learning with three linchpins:
- the common planning of Vocational Education and Training and Life Long Learning,
- linking Vocational Education and Training and Life Long Learning with the real needs of the labour market ,
- upgrading the provided Vocational Education and Training.
Bodies under the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs defines policy directions based on governmental policy priorities, as they are specified (prioritization of target groups and programs) and linked to the guiding principles for employment that have been adopted by the Council of Ministers of Employment.
The bodies involved in the process of planning and implementing employment policies are:
OAED and the General Secretariat for Reinforcing Employment, to which have been transferred the agencies (concerning competencies, established posts, personnel and supervised bodies).
- The Directorate for Inclusion in Labour of the General Directorate for Labour Relations, Health and Safety and Inclusion in Labour.
- the Directorate for Social and Solidarity Economy.
- Special Service NSRF (Executive Structure Partnership Agreement) of the Ministry for Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity.
- Special Service NSRF (Executive Structure Partnership Agreement) of the Ministry for Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity-Division of Social Solodarity.
- Special Service NSRF (Executive Structure Partnership Agreement) of the Ministry for Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity-Division of Employment and Social Economy.
The Special Service NSRF (Executive Structure Partnership Agreement) of the Ministry for Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity-Division of Employment and Social Economy is competent for planning the active policies for employment and the social economy policies, for programming, specifying, preparing and implementing actions funded via Special Services NSRF of each program period as well as for each relevant action and/or program that is co-funded form other EU funding mechanisms or/and the European Economic Area as the European Globalization Adjustment Fund. The European Globalization Adjustment Fund implements acts for the immediate relief and the reentry into the labour market of fired employees from large companies or domains. At the same time, The Special Service NSRF (Executive Structure Partnership Agreement) of the Ministry for Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity-Division of Employment and Social Economy via Systematic Intervention for Social Economy contributes to the development of a holistic plan for Social and Solidarity Economy. The main aim is to promote further development of social and solidarity economy as it creates economic environments that provoke multiple benefits for all stakeholders.
The Labour Force Employment Agency (OAED) aims at three pillars:
- promotion of employment
- unemployment insurance and social protection of maternity and family; and
- vocational education and training.
OAED is the public authority and central body managing:
- Active Labour Market Policies for halting unemployment, promoting employment and vocational training for both unemployed and employed people.
- Passive Labour Market Policies with regard to measures for unemployment insurance (regular unemployment benefit) and other social protection benefits and allowances
- Active Labour Market Policies for initial vocational education combined with on-the-job training (Apprenticeship system).
In reality, adult education and training takes place at several different structures. It uses various educational offers such as:
- General adult education
- Vocational-oriented programmes
- Lifelong learning programmes within higher educational institutions.
Finally, regional and local authorities offer non-formal learning opportunities (Chapter 8.3 Main Providers).