Political heavyweights debate lifelong learning

23 February 2016

Three political heavyweights, who each made leading contributions to learning and skills policy over the past two decades, are being brought together to debate the future of lifelong learning today [Tuesday, 22 February 2016] at a special event organised by Learning and Work Institute (L&W) and the RSA, sponsored by aat,

The debate, which will inform a report to be published by L&W and RSA in the spring, will feature Lord Blunkett, Lord Willets and Sir Vince Cable – who through their ministerial roles helped set the trajectory of learning and skills policy in this country.

Learning and Work Institute’s CEO David Hughes, who will chair the debate, said it will help set a blueprint for how lifelong learning could be shaped in the future:

“All political parties support lifelong learning because of the huge economic and social benefits it brings, but there are too many people who would benefit from learning and skills who remain reluctant to engage. It has never been more important to debate and find ways to encourage people back into learning.  

“All three former ministers have made clear their passion for lifelong learning despite coming from different political traditions. I’m excited to hear them debate how we can create a learning culture in this country, based on the wealth of experience they each bring. I’m delighted that they’ve got involved and also that each has recently taken up our invitation to become Honorary Life Members of Learning and Work Institute”.

The content from the day will help inform the third paper in the RSA’s “Power To Create” series, led by RSA fellow and Creative Learning and Development Team associate Dr Tony Breslin.  The paper will restate the case for establishing a learning culture, where lifelong learning is part of civic and everyday life and set out practical and policy recommendations which help achieve it.

Anyone wanting to know more can see tweets live from the debate by following the hashtag #LWdebate