Regional lifelong learning policies and the social vulnerability of young adults in Girona and Vienna

Xavier Rambla*, Yuri Kazepov, Judith Jacovkis, Lukas Alexander, Marcelo Parreira Do Amaral

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the interface between lifelong learning policies and the definition of social vulnerability of young adults in two regions located within the European Union. Girona comprises a constellation of small towns with important industry, service and hospitality sectors. Vienna is a global city where many key international operators are based and employ a large number of highly qualified professionals. The article explores to what extent the meta-governance and the ‘causal narratives’ of lifelong learning policies contribute towards shaping the prevailing images of youth vulnerability in these regions. In Girona, bureaucratic governance patterns lifelong learning policies, which strongly rely on the potential of career guidance to encourage the youth to undertake further education. Correspondingly, policy designs and professional discourses emphasise that the beneficiaries previously failed at school. In Vienna, authorities govern lifelong learning by means of both bureaucracy and complex networks of employers and non-profit organisations. The ‘causal narrative’ of the policies straightforwardly claims that all youth must have an experience with employment, whether in apprenticeships or in transitional workshops that emulate real jobs. There, policies portray beneficiaries according to their capacity to undertake and finish apprenticeships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-60
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Lifelong Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • Lifelong learning
  • functional regions
  • vulnerability
  • young adults


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