From education to employment

Adult Learners: What are the next steps?

woman holding a book

Celebrate Adult Learners this September and beyond with Twinkl as we explore the importance of supporting adults in achieving their educational goals. From furthering their careers to developing new skills to help them enter the workforce. We are showing how education is for everyone and it is never too late to better your future.

Adult learning across the UK

A recent study conducted by the Department for Education in 2022 showed that there are currently over one million adult learners across the UK, with 278,00 studying Level 2 courses which exclude Basic Skills learning and 434,100 of which were studying Basic Skill courses.

The study also showed the impact of Covid-19 and how due to remote learning, it meant that more adults were signing up for online courses to develop their skills. Over the last year, there has been an 8.4% increase in adults joining Level 4 or above Higher Education courses and those aged 19+ joining government funded education and training programmes has increased by 9.8%.

Community Learning participation has also increased over the last year by 10.7%. This study has shown how adults across the UK are enhancing and developing their skills and education with the support of programmes outlined by the Department for Education.

What support is available for adult learners? 

The Department for Education supports adult learners across the UK, developing their skills and enhancing their learning to ensure they reach their full potential. The education hub, allows for anyone wishing to develop their learning to be able to have quick access to bootcamps for career training, returnerships for those reentering the workforce and the lifelong learning bill which supports learners of all ages.

Between 2024 and 2025, it is estimated that the DfE’s Skills Bootcamps will be backed by a further £34 million of government funding to support adults with career professions and better pay. The Skills Bootcamps are free and flexible courses that help those aged 19 and above to gain the necessary skills to secure or progress in their profession, specifically in sectors where there is a workforce shortage. The courses last up to 16 weeks and for those who take part are guaranteed to be offered a job interview after completing their training. In addition, the DfE’s ‘returnership’ initiative brings together the Skills Bootcamp, along with Apprenticeships and Sector-Based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPSs) to encourage adults over the age of 50 to get back into work and have the ability to embark on new career ventures. This initiative aims to raise awareness of the possibilities and opportunities for older workers by providing clear routes to return to the workforce, whilst also encouraging employers to hire older workers.

The Lifelong Learning (Higher Education Fee Limits) Bill has been introduced in parliament, which will allow for the Government’s Lifelong Loan Entitlement (LLE) to be rolled out from 2025. This new entitlement is part of the Government’s reforms to post-18 education and training, which aim to support more people to access high-quality courses that meet the skills needs of employers.

From 2025, the LLE will offer people a loan worth £37,000 in today’s tuition fees, which can be used flexibly over their working lives to pay for short courses, modules or full courses, whether at college or at university. It will also mean that at this time, universities and colleges will be required to ensure their courses are proportionate, meaning all students have access to fair pricing and will encourage more people to study flexibly in a way which works for them.

Beyond the resources

For those wanting to further explore their options, Twinkl offers a range of resources for post-18 and beyond that support adult learners both in their current careers and for those who are looking to enhance their skills or change their professions.  From learning activities to support teaching and understanding English as a second language, to Continued Professional Development (CPD), Twinkl offers support to adults across the globe who are wishing to continue their studies.

At Twinkl, we offer bite-size CPD and training modules are available on Twinkl’s website in a range of mediums, so that educators can digest information, increase their knowledge and build their confidence at a time, and place that works for them. 

To support career development and to keep up to date with all areas of education, Twinkl runs TeachMeet Live webinars. The sessions cover various topics surrounding education and can be accessed through EventBrite.

Matt Roe, Digital CPD and Training Manager explained:

“Twinkl is committed to improving education outcomes in England by providing high-quality teaching resources and CPD opportunities. We understand the crucial role that CPD plays in professional development, which is why we offer a comprehensive range of high-quality, multi-format CPD courses covering various topics, designed to fit around busy schedules.”

CPD can take many forms, such as attending conferences and workshops, engaging in online learning or participating in mentoring programmes. All of these activities contribute to a more positive and productive classroom environment, as they help teachers to stay current with the latest teaching methods and technologies, leading to a direct impact on their students’ learning experiences.

For more information about the CPD resources available at Twinkl, please visit our website

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