Learning and Work Institute respond to All Party Parliamentary Group report

6 July 2016

Responding to Adult Education: Too Important to be left to chance, Learning & Work Chief Executive, David Hughes, said:

“This a timely report, not least as the country begins to understand the opportunities and implications of the EU referendum vote. I have said already that Brexit is just the latest in a long line of very compelling reasons for renewed commitments to adult education and lifetime learning. This report identifies some of the other issues; an ageing working population; the way technology is changing work and access to services; and poor productivity relative to our international competitors.

 ”I would also add devolution. There are twelve devolution deals on the table seeking policy and funding powers from Westminster. Most deals have a ‘skills’ element within them, but all of them will have to recognise adult education as fundamental for the cohesive and socially just communities and labour markets they will want to build. If done correctly, where commissioners have a good understanding of the benefits and pathways adult education provides, I am optimistic that devolution will provide more and better adult education opportunities.

“I am particularly pleased to see that Mid-Life Career Reviews, which Learning and Work Institute has developed and trialled, feature in the report’s recommendations. This is a good example of the kind of exciting innovation that should be fostered through devolution.

“Finally – I welcome the report’s emphasis on the importance of basic skills training. Evaluation of our Citizens’ Curriculum pilots has shown positive social and employment outcomes through the improvement of basic skills delivered as part of an highly individualised programme.”