Lifelong Learning in the Informal Economy: A Literature Review

This literature review aims to provide an update to current debates on how to bridge the gap for informal economy workers to access and participate in relevant and quality skills development and recognition throughout their lives, identifies research gaps and provides recommendations for future programming.

This literature review examines lifelong learning opportunities in the informal economy. It highlights findings from the past decade on how skills are acquired by workers in the informal economy, and what barriers workers and enterprises face to access lifelong learning and upskilling opportunities. The review discusses financial arrangements and presents promising practices, including through formal and non-formal technical and vocational education and training, upgrading informal apprenticeships, skills development in rural areas, recognizing prior learning, and opportunities through digitalization. It identifies research gaps and new pointers for programming through skills and lifelong learning to promote transitions to formality.