From education to employment

Adult Learners Week just around the corner

UK’s largest learning festival showcases what’s on offer for adults wanting to return to learning.

Adult Learners’ Week is less than three weeks away. The UK’s largest learning festival, organised by NIACE, runs from 17th  – 23rd May 2008 and encourages people to return to learning to transform their lives for the better. 
This is illustrated perfectly by the Adult Learners’ Week Award winners who are recognised for their remarkable achievements through learning. Their inspirational stories clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of learning as an adult. Some of this year’s awards will be presented to –
    • a woman who has gone from GCSE Maths to a first class honours degree in only six years – and has now started a PhD,
    • a former school cleaner who is now a school-teacher,
    • an ex-policeman who had to retire due to two strokes but has now become a qualified gym instructor,
    • a deaf man who has completed his FA coaching qualifications and now coaches the Royal Society for the Deaf Football Team,
    • a 95 year old man who’s learning how to use computers, and
    • a beauty therapist who’s changed careers and is now a car mechanic.
During last year’s Adult Learners’ Week over 8,000 learning events took place, not just in colleges and adult education centres but also shops, museums and businesses.
This year the theme for Adult Learning Week is Globalisation and the changing world at work. Amongst the national events incorporated into the week are Learning at Work Day on the Thursday followed by Silver Surfers Day.
The Army are also planning to hold a special event at their base at Basra Air Station in Iraq.  Further details of the events on offer are available from the online calendar of events at:
And this year sees the inauguralDance Off 2008 with over 100 events due to take place across the country to celebrate Cultural Diversity Weekend encompassing a host of dance styles from salsa to belly dancing.
Rachel Thomson, Senior Campaigns Officer at NIACE, said, “Adult Learners’ Week is the perfect time for you to see the kind of positive impact that learning can have on your life.  The remarkable stories of the inspirational learners we celebrate with our awards illustrate just how learning can completely transform your life for the better.”
She ended, “Whatever you want out of life, learning can steer you in the direction you want it to go in.  There will be thousands of events taking place across the country and to find out more about what’s on offer where you are during this year’s Adult Learners’ Week, visit our website or call learndirect free on 0800 100 900.”      

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