Hotcourses has entered into an exciting new partnership with the Learning and Work Institute to become an official partner of this year’s Festival of Learning which celebrates and encourages the outstanding achievements of adult learners.
Formerly known as Adult Learners’ Week, The Festival of Learning will host a programme of ‘have a go’ events across England and will culminate in an Awards ceremony in London in September.
Hotcourses Group maintains close relationships with further education colleges and training providers, making this partnership particularly poignant. Promoting the uptake of courses among adults works hand in hand with the Festival of Learning acknowledging and rewarding an array of people who have turned their lives around through education.
Stephen Evans, Chief Executive, Learning and Work Institute, said: “I am delighted to welcome Hotcourses as a new Festival of Learning Partner. Our organisations share a passion for helping more people re-enter learning throughout their lives.
“The benefits to people’s employment prospects, health and wellbeing and engagement in society that adult learning provides makes it an effective way to help tackle some of the big challenges we face as a country, such as an ageing population, automation in the labour market and reduced reliance on migrant labour post-Brexit.”
Marcella Collins, Managing Director, Hotcourses, said: “We have been helping adults find the right learning opportunity for over 20 years. Whether that’s a course that will help them progress in their career or one that will teach them a new fun skill, we understand that education can have a significant impact on other aspects like their mental wellbeing.”
Hotcourses Group believes that learning doesn’t end the moment you leave university or college. Opportunities to learn always present themselves throughout our working lives, but even more so, it’s important to understand the wider effects broadening your knowledge can have, such as staying in the workforce for longer, enhancing your personal development and being flexible to change.
Adult learning is experiencing something of a renaissance in the UK. FE Week launched the ‘Save our Adult Education’ campaign last month which was kicked off by an event in the Houses of Parliament where roughly 200 people within the further education sector gathered to discuss gaping holes that were leaving potential learners out in the cold.
David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, spoke passionately at the debate, saying that “1.3 million adult learners had been lost since 2010.” Coupled with statistics from the Department for Education, it was apparent that adult learning needs more attention given that participation in government funded FE courses has experienced a 11.2% decline. Apprenticeships, however, experienced a 1.9% increase in apprenticeship starts and a 3.2% increase in participation. It was agreed within the debate that FE colleges need to make more provisions and understand that closing their doors at 7pm simply doesn’t work for a working adult with a family.
This is where events like the Festival of Learning play a crucial role in reminding people of the achievements that are possible through continued education. Funded by the Department for Education, supported by Learning and Work Institute’s Patron, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, and coordinated by Learning and Work Institute, the awards are presented across four categories:
- Individuals – who have transformed their own lives and the lives of their families, friends, their communities, and the places they work through learning
- Tutors – whose valuable contribution to adult learning and the impact they have had on their learners deserves recognition
- Innovative learning projects or provision – that could be replicated or adapted by other learning providers
- Employers – that have used learning to develop and utilise the skills of their workforce to improve productivity, raise morale, increase staff retention and enhance their business performance
“Over the last 25 years, through Adult Learners’ Week and now Festival of Learning, we’ve championed individuals, learning providers, employers and projects who have changed their lives and the lives of those around them through the transformative power of adult learning,” Evans said.
The Learning and Work Institute wants to hear about all the inspiring stories and achievements within adult learning across England. Be sure to get your submissions in through the Festival of Learning website as nominations close on March 31st.