Directions for the Sustainable Development and Competitiveness of Regions
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Börje Johansson and Roger R. Stough
Chapter 12: Building rural entrepreneurship in Greece: lessons from lifelong learning programmes
The National Strategic Plan for Rural Development in Greece aims mainly at improving the competitiveness of the primary sector and at the same time promoting the sustainable management of natural resources and creating the necessary requirements to render the Greek countryside more attractive as a place for staying and doing business (Ministry for Rural Development and Foods, 2009a: 25–7). However, the low educational background of those engaged in the primary sector is one of the most important factors preventing the competitiveness of the Greek countryside. This is illustrated also by the available data indicating that 69.5 per cent of the those engaged in the aforementioned sector have graduated elementary school, 14.3 per cent have attended only some classes of elementary school or have never been to school, 15 per cent are secondary education graduates or at least junior high school graduates and just 1.2 per cent are university or college graduates. Furthermore, the data indicating the low participation of those engaged in the primary sector in education and training as well as in lifelong learning are noteworthy. In particular, the participation of farmers in basic education during 1999–2000 amounted to 2.9 per cent, whereas the corresponding participation in lifelong learning in 2004 amounted to 2.1 per cent (participants aged 25–64) (Ministry for Rural Development and Foods, 2009a: 4).
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