The Netherlands is currently seeing a great many new trends in vocational guidance and lifelong learning, ‘such as the STAP scheme (‘STAP Regeling’), NL continues to learn (‘NL leert door’) and professional development budgets (‘the individuele leerrekeningen’).

Despite the fact that there are so many options available to people, only few people seem to be aware of them, and many of the people who do avail themselves of these options belong to societal groups who are less in need of a learning budget – for instance, because they are able to finance training independently, or because their profession will continue to be relevant for a long time to come. In short, those people who are most in need of these schemes are least likely to use them. This may be due to the fact that the schemes are hard to find, or alternatively, it may be due to the fact that many people don’t realise they need to update their skills or be retrained. Which raises the question: how to reach people who, for whatever reason, are not investing in their own professional development?

Objective: On the international level, it is clear that several countries are dealing with similar dilemmas. We wish to use this exploratory study to identify the methods and approaches used by various countries to reach various target groups, in hopes that the
Netherlands will be able to learn from these examples.