Nicola Aylward

Head of Learning for Young People

Nicola Aylward is Head of Learning for Young People at Learning and Work Institute, leading on work to enable all young people, regardless of their background and circumstances, to access opportunities to participate in and benefit from learning. Nicola joined NIACE in 1997 and has progressed through a range of roles, including management of the Young Adult Learners Partnership whilst seconded to The National Youth Agency.She has developed a strong programme of work that has been effective in securing policy impact and improved experiences of learning for young people, particularly those from vulnerable and marginalised groups, such as young adult carers and care leavers. Nicola is a strong advocate of the importance of empowering learners, listening to their views and of developing an evidence base to promote social inclusion that directly reflects young people's needs and experiences.Nicola lives in Leicestershire, has three young children and is a volunteer reading champion at a local primary school.

Helping young adult carers on their pathway to independence
16 September 2019 by Nicola Aylward

Helping young adult carers on their pathway to independence

For young adult carers, the publication of the Carer’s Action Plan in June 2018 brought several things to celebrate. It was the first time that the needs of this group of young people had been addressed...Read more »

The new cross-government action plan for carers
13 June 2018 by Nicola Aylward

The new cross-government action plan for carers

Last week the Department of Health and Social Care published its new cross-government action plan for carers. Two years ago, L&W, and many other organisations responded to the Department’s call for evidence, to inform a new...Read more »

25 January 2017 by Nicola Aylward

Young Adult Carers – responsibilities, but what about rights?

For most young people the acquisition of rights and responsibilities goes hand in hand. As they get older, their responsibilities gradually increase, but so do their rights. This process is an important part of growing up...Read more »

12 July 2016 by Nicola Aylward

Maximising the impact of Traineeships

Guest blogs from our IntoWork Convention 2016 partners.

2 February 2016 by Nicola Aylward

‘Equity in education requires early intervention’ – impact and challenges of low literacy and numeracy levels amongst young people in England

Last week the OECD published its latest report into literacy and numeracy skills. Building Skills for All: A Review of England provides shocking evidence of poor basic skills levels amongst young people in England.  The report...Read more »

17 September 2015 by Nicola Aylward

Employers are from Mars, Young People are from Venus…

Nicola Aylward explains how our 'What Employers Want' project can provide support for young people who are looking for employment, following on from the European Agenda for Adult Learning Conference held in London on 10-11 September 2015 as part of our #EUlearning series.

8 June 2015 by Nicola Aylward

Three simple policy changes could better support young adult carers

To mark Carers Week (8-14 June), Nicola Aylward, NIACE's Head of Learning for Young People, is calling for three simple policy changes that could make a positive impact on the lives and life chances of young adult carers.

6 May 2015 by Nicola Aylward

Unlocking the talents of Young Adult Carers

In the next in our series of blogs examining our Ten Policies for Ten People blogs, Nicola Aylward details the actions the next Government must take to help unlock the talents of Young Adult Carers.

31 July 2013 by Nicola Aylward

New measures to counter youth unemployment

Whilst youth unemployment has fallen by 59,000 since the launch of the Youth Contract in April 2012, figures published last week by DWP show that the scheme has fallen substantially short of original targets.