From education to employment

How adults like to learn outside work

Adults prefer different types of learning in free time

Adults prefer different types of learning in their free time compared to when they learn at work a new report has shown.
The report ‘How adults like to learn’ published by NIACE in conjunction with Adult Learners’ Week reveals that reading books, manuals and magazines, and using the internet were all of greater influence outside work.
Whereas the majority of the respondents found repetition of a particular task a helpful way of learning at the work place 20% fewer participants found this method useful outside of work.
The various modes of learning also vary between different socio-economic groups. Social class C2 found courses to be of utmost relevance as opposed to group DE where only a small minority found formal routes to learning useful.
Age also has an influence. Learning through courses and through trial and error are of particular importance to people in their thirties, however the efficiency of all types of learning declines as adults grow older.
Alan Tuckett, Director of NIACE, said, “This study confirms the importance of informal modes of learning for adults outside work, where learners have more eclectic enthusiasms and diverse strategies for success. The findings highlight the importance and timeliness of the Government’s focus on informal learning policies, but also make clear that – for a majority of adults – learning through attendance at courses remains important”.
He concluded, “This is a significant conclusion with respect to the informal learning consultation, suggesting that a blend of publicly-offered classes and less formal provision is the right mix for community-based learning”.

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