Two national events were held in London yesterday as part of Adult Learners’ Week, which illustrated perfectly how learning can and does help people to completely transform their lives.
The Adult Learners’ Week National Awards Ceremony saw individuals and projects from all over England come together to accept their awards and to have their inspiring learning journeys and the life-changing opportunities they offer to others celebrated, praised and respected.
Speaking at the National Awards Ceremony, Matthew Hancock MP, Minister for Skills, said:
Higher Education Minister, David Willetts MP, yesterday acknowledged a “dramatic fall” in part-time student numbers in England and pledged that the Government will “engage the policy levers” to “do better”, at a parliamentary reception ahead of Adult Learners’ Week (18-24 May).
The proportion of young people aged 17–24 taking part in learning has fallen by 7 percentage points in the last year. There has also been a fall of 6 percentage points in the proportion of unemployed people participating in learning. These are the latest findings of the annual NIACE adult participation in learning survey for 2013, published today ahead of Adult Learners’ Week (18–24 May 2013).
David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:
The Government should maintain current levels of public and private investment in adult learning and commit to raising them towards that of the current OECD average of 1.6% of GDP by 2020 to make the economy stronger and reduce cost pressures on social care, health, benefits and pensions. This is the headline proposal from NIACE to support the economy and the needs of employers, communities and families, ahead of Adult Learners’ Week (18-24 May) and the Spending Review in June.
NIACE has welcomed the government’s response to the Richard Review and in particular its recognition that individuals of all ages can benefit from the opportunity that an Apprenticeship offers to both earn and learn. However, NIACE also believes that there should be more emphasis in the proposals on the role that Apprentices themselves can play in determining the curriculum, the scope, the delivery, the assessment and the improvements in quality.
David Hughes, NIACE Chief Executive, said:
NIACE is asking adult learning providers in England to fill out a short survey to find out more about how English and maths provision is delivered across the sector and the different approaches that are used.
Sue Southwood, Programme Manager at NIACE, said:
"We would like to hear from as many providers as possible so that we can get a full picture of current provision. Responses to this call for information will inform the design of the research and will give providers the opportunity to register their interest in taking part.
An introduction to social value and impact measurement in adult learning and skills one day training workshops will introduce providers to approaches to collecting and reporting evidence of the wider social outcomes of learning in a systematic and appropriate way.
Penny Lamb, Head of Policy Development and NIACE Lead on Impact, said:
NIACE welcomes the focus on skills from the House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Committee on Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), supporting the report’s view that skills should be a core priority for LEPs.
NIACE is encouraged that this report highlights that while many LEPs have got the balance right, others need to refocus. It recommends that ‘LEPS be required to demonstrate their levels of engagement with local education, in particular with skills and apprenticeship providers, FE colleges and schools.’