New organisation will make learning and work count

11 January 2016

A new independent research, development and campaigning organisation, Learning and Work Institute, launches today, with the aim of promoting lifelong learning, full employment and inclusion. 

The new organisation, which brings together the ‘National Institute of Adult Continuing Education’ and the ‘Centre for Economic & Social Inclusion’, will build on their work to achieve a prosperous and fair society in which learning and work provide opportunities for everyone to realise their potential and ambitions throughout life. It will be a powerful voice for adult learners, the low paid, the unemployed and those most disadvantaged in society.

David Hughes, CEO, said:
“We believe that better learning and employment opportunities are needed so that more people can achieve in learning, progress at work and be active citizens throughout their lives. We want learning and work to count so that we have a skilled workforce, higher productivity and better paid jobs – that’s good for business, good for the economy, and good for society.

“There has never been a more important time for learning, employment and inclusion issues to be tackled together. With 5 million adults in the UK lacking basic literacy and numeracy skills alongside widening skills gaps, we believe learning investment needs to increase for people across their careers and support people into active retirement. 

“The devolution of employment and skills will provide great opportunities for better support to get people into work and to progress at work, but more needs to be done to understand how to do that and to find out what works best. Better services at local level will lead to more inclusive economic growth.”

Learning and Work Institute will launch at an event on 13 January and will showcase Ambition London, a new project funded by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. 

David Hughes continued:

“London is a dynamic, vibrant economy, but one in five people earn less than the London Living Wage. At the same time, as the capital’s economy grows, more and more employers are reporting skills gaps and shortages. 

“Ambition London is a great example of how we will be tackling learning, employment and inclusion – by testing out new ways to stimulate demand for intermediate level skills which will help people progress their careers and improve productivity for employers.” 

Hang Ho, Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, JPMorgan Chase Foundation said:

“Despite recent growth trends in employment, we know that there are still persistent challenges around unemployment and productivity. That is why we are delighted to work with Learning and Work Institute on Ambition London, which will support those that are stuck in low-paid, low-skilled employment to progress and build a skilled workforce for today and tomorrow.” 

The new organisation will offer research and development project services, policy development, statistical analysis, events, conferences and campaigns.

David Hughes concluded:

 “As a new thinktank, our work will deliver the evidence we need to endorse, challenge and improve public policy and delivery, employer behaviour and society’s attitudes to learning, skills and employment. We will continue to campaign for lifelong learning, full employment and inclusion.

“This is an exciting day for us – both NIACE and Inclusion were much-loved, highly respected and influential organisations for many years. The decision to merge was a positive response to our current economic and policy environment and establishes a new organisation that builds on its shared past impact”.


Read David’s welcome blog

See David’s welcome video