Skip to main content
European Commission logo


EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Support measures for learners in adult education and training


12.Educational support and guidance

12.7Support measures for learners in adult education and training

Last update: 27 November 2023

Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Definition of the Target Group(s)  

In Mars 2010 a new Adult Education Act was put into practice. The objectives of the new act are among others:

*to provide increased opportunities for active participation in society to individuals with short formal education,

*to provide suitable education and training opportunities to individuals on the labour market, who have short formal education, and enable them to recommence their studies,

*to provide adult education to individuals with reduced educational and professional opportunities, considering their competences and unequal situation. 

Special emphasis is put on education and courses for adults that have been unemployed for some time or are at risk of poverty and social exclusion. The courses are free of charge and aim to empower and encourage this target group.  

Specific Support Measures

The state finances an independent institute, Adult Education for people with disability. This institute operates three centres in different places. The institute employs 30 teachers and offers free-standing courses to individuals over 20 years of age who are mentally disabled and do not have access to any other educational opportunity. Most of the courses last for one term and they consist of courses in training in life skills, the use of leisure time, preparation for further study, sport, artistic expression, etc. The institute is also responsible for education for adults with psychological difficulties. 

Vocational and educational rehabilitations centres offer job training and preparation workshops or seminars for further learning to people over the age of 18 who have suffered illnesses, accidents or other trauma in their life. It is also suitable for those that have little prior education or specific learning disabilities, such as Dyslexia and ADD/ADHD. Their common goal is to enable their clients to enter the labour market, or enter another school after the programme. The project is run by the Trade and Labour Unions with finance by the Ministry of Welfare. The seminars are organised as a three-term course and taught by part-time teachers who come from business, industry and upper secondary schools. The training program consists of courses in basic skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic as well as social studies and social skills, but main emphasis is on teaching and training in skills important for office and service work e.g. book-keeping, Icelandic, English and the use of computers, with the emphasis on word processing, worksheets and the use of the internet. In addition, a variety of supports is offered, depending on the individual´s needs, e.g. vocational counselling, social counselling and psychological support and so forth. 

Regional Educational Centres for Adults run a variety of courses targeted at adults e.g. computer science, book-keeping, foreign languages, mathematics, Icelandic as a second language and personal development for adults with learning difficulties traditional and Private Coaching for those with ADHD. 

In addition, the centres offer Dyslexia Analysis and some centres offer special courses e.g. the Davis technique for those with severe reading difficulties.