NIACE creating cross-party consensus on lifelong learning

17th March 2015

An agenda for lifelong learning for the next Parliament (2015 – 2020) will be launched today, with cross-party support, by NIACE at an event in the House of Lords.

The agenda – which links to the priority actions for the next Government from NIACE’s General Election manifesto – will focus on three core policy priorities.

  1. Support for a new localism which integrates skills with economic growth strategies at a local level supported by a national, integrated skills and industrial strategy.
  2. Emphasis on informal and non-formal, as well as formal learning, to enable people to gain economically and socially useful skills.
  3. The need to ensure that every Apprenticeship provides an expansive education and foundation for a successful career.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“This simple agenda has widespread support from across all of the political parties. Creating a lifelong learning society will benefit all of us in so many different ways, as our research over the years has shown. However, the pressures on Government, employer and household budgets often lead to less being invested in learning and skills than is needed.

“We want to build on the consensus about how important lifelong learning is to develop a new settlement for funding and meeting the learning needs and ambitions of everyone in society. That’s why we called for an independent review to be set up after the election, with cross-party and wider society support. I believe that we are within touching distance of achieving that and helping to create an environment in which people to have the opportunities to learn and get on in their careers and in life.

“Since we published our Manifesto last June – detailing six actions we see as priorities for the next Government to ensure a skills-led recovery – we have been developing those solutions. This includes work on the Mid-life Career Reviews to help older people stay productively in work for longer, our Prospectus for LEPs with new approaches to the ageing workforce, skills gaps, low productivity & unemployment challenges, our Policy Solution on Progression for people on low pay to progress in their careers and the development of our Apprentice Charter to help raise the quality of all Apprenticeships.”