From education to employment

Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) Recognised in Government Paper as Key to Skills in Futu

The Sector Skills Council (SSC) for adult learning in the UK, Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK), have welcomed their position of prominence in the next step for skills development.

The new FE education white paper is aiming to drive forward the skills agenda for the country, ensuring that the workforce is a competitive one as the 21st century progresses. One of the key elements to this will be the provision of further training for those already within the workforce, with the Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown MP stating that young people today will need to retrain for approximately seven different careers during their working lives.


In this arena, the LLUK are a key part of the jigsaw. They are one of the 25 SSCs established by employers to bring forward the development of skills levels among the workforce through improved training and development. The LLUK are responsible for a large area of society, with more than one million employees across the UK working in community learning and development, further education, higher education, libraries, archives and information services and work-based learning.

The LLUK seeks to be active in promoting lifelong learning as a career option, which simplifies the recruitment and retention issues for potential employers. In the white paper one of the initiatives, the need for better measures for data accumulation and analysis is mentioned; which makes the role of the LLUK in producing labour market intelligence so that lifelong learning employers can identify skills gaps and shortages among their own workforce even more important.

The LLUK are already moving to establish a valuable framework for progress in quality within FE, in conjunction with the Quality Improvement Agency (QIA) which is to be launched next month. They are also formulating a national workforce development plan in FE for the learning and skills sector. This is in keeping with the white paper’s call for the LLUK to launch a series of initiatives to develop and expand the skills of existing staff, welcoming an influx of high calibre talent to help accelerate improvements in teaching and learning.

Executive Welcome

The Chief Executive of the LLUK, David Hunter, responded to the publication of the paper, saying: “LLUK is central to the delivery of the reforms set out in the white paper. This is the first time that an employer-led organisation has been placed at the forefront of strengthening the quality of the lifelong learning workforce and I am confident that the sector can rise to the challenge that has been set.”

He also welcomed the recognition that this paper heralds, saying: “LLUK will be the driving force in empowering employers so they meet the training needs of the workforce and raise the quality of learning. There can be no doubt that colleges and other learning providers will come under increasing pressure to demonstrate quality and that, where standards are low, to take action to improve them.

“I am pleased to see that the Government has placed workforce development at the heart of the Skills White Paper,” he concluded, “and that it is committed to a culture of professionalism in post-16 learning.”

Jethro Marsh

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