Shaping human capital for the needs of a knowledge-based economy (KBE) constitutes a challenge for the system of both formal and continuing education in Poland. These challenges were related with basic components and causative factors of human (including cultural and social) and intellectual capital. These capitals have been presented in the form of functions of selected (most important) elements. Each of these elements was perceived in another way than in KBE. These conditionings must be taken into consideration in the process of education. Introduction of changes in the system of formal education is a long-term process. The implementation of KBE in most regions, excluding urban agglomerations, constitutes at present a prerequisite for their development. The process of preparing human capital for the needs of KBE may be accelerated through adequate activities undertaken by local self-governments. Examples of these activities have been presented in this article.