From education to employment

Sign Up Now Initiative Launched in Call for New Adult Learners

The National Institute for Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) have launched a new programme encouraging adult learners to sign up for education and training courses to transform their lives in the new year.

The campaign, called Sign Up Now, runs from the 9th to the 15th of January, and encourages people to think about the impact that training, learning and education could have on their lives. Details about a whole range of different courses covering the entire gamut of learning, “from archaeology to zoology” as NIACE put it, will be available at local colleges and adult education centres. This will also be available by calling the free learning advice line, through the company learndirect, on 0800 100 900. It is run in cooperation with the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), the European Social Fund (ESF), Ufi/learndirect and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

Comedic Support is No Laughing Matter

One of the Adult Learners” Week Award Winners in 2005, Elizabeth Martin from the Isle of Wight, said: “To learn a new skill, no matter how small, gives an individual a wow factor that you never seem to attain elsewhere. Anyone given the choice of paddling in a stagnant pond or a meandering stream would choose the stream if given enough support and encouragement.”

Another of the winners from 2005’s celebration of adult learning, Stephanie Pedley from South Shields, was equally fulsome in her praise for the impact that adult learning has had on her, saying: “Going back to education has broadened my horizons to say the very least. I have reached a stage in my life that I would never have dreamed of.”

Lenny Henry, one of Britain’s best loved comedians and himself studying English Literature at the Open University, has given his backing to the Sign Up Now Campaign. He said: “Its amazing what learning can do. It helps you to realise your potential and encourages you to achieve. Your personal, social and financial situations benefit as well.

“It can improve your health and it could transform your life,” he continued. “You dont realise until you try and the New Year is a great time to sign up to a course and find out your true potential.”

NIACE Call for Enthusiasm

Rachel Thomson, the Senior Campaigns Officer at NIACE, called for the new year to mark a brand new start for all those who want to transform their lives. She said: “The start of the new year is the perfect time to take stock of your life, to challenge yourself to reach ambitions and achieve something you”ll feel really proud of. Learning is a great way to improve your career, your health and your self – confidence. What’s more it’s never too late – learning can transform your life at any age and any stage.”

She continued: “Whatever the reason why you want to learn – for your career, your social life or simply because of sheer enthusiasm – learning can open many doors for you. That call could get 2006 off to the best possible start.”

Jethro Marsh

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