From education to employment

London Event Aims to Combat High UK Drop – Out Rates

A conference to be held in London this month will explore methods of re-engaging young adults in literacy, language and numeracy learning.

The “Success Factors in Informal Learning” conference – organised by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Learning (NIACE) ““ aims to galvanise efforts to reverse the disproportionately high drop out rate from education in the UK.

There are at least 1.1 million 16-24 year olds in Britain who are currently not engaged in education or training. Young adults in this group are far more likely to experience difficulties relating to literacy, language and numeracy, and as a consequence often find themselves marginalised from formal opportunities.

Informal Learning

The conference will hear personal testimony from young people about their experiences, and will give particular focus to the significant contribution informal and community based learning can make.

Other topics the conference will look at include: working with young people in custody; making reading exciting for young adults; exploring creative activities for developing emotional intelligence; gaining confidence through recognising achievement; and effective strategies for embedding literacy, language and numeracy in innovative and relevant learning programmes.

“Not for them”

Bethia McNeil, NIACE Project Officer for the Young Adults Learning Partnership, said that the conference would give practitioners and policy makers the opportunity to understand the needs and problems of young people.

“Young adults are not necessarily resistant to learning itself, but may strongly resist provision that they perceive as being related to formal, school-like learning situations, and unrelated to their own lives, experiences and interests,” she explained.

“Many of these young adults feel that “learning is not for them”, and feel that education has nothing to offer their lives. This conference will provide an opportunity to share experiences and successes, and enable practitioners to build networks and develop their practice more confidently and creatively.”

The conference will take place at the Institute of Education at the University of London, on Wednesday 14th December 2005.

Joe Paget

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