From education to employment

New “How To” Guide Launched to Reach the Hard to Reach

Adults in under ““ represented groups are being reached out to with the introduction of a new guide from the Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA).

The new guide, called Breaking Down The Barriers, seeks to bring more adults back into education who otherwise would not be recruited. The guide is aimed at tutors, managers and other professionals who are working in the various different areas of the sector including colleges, adult education and voluntary organisations, local authorities and learning centres.

The Guide and The Partners

The guide has been prepared in co ““ operation with the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) and contains practical information on past experiences within the sector of reaching “hard to reach” communities. The CD ““ROM and booklet contain 25 case studies detailing some of the methods used by different organisations in motivating and inspiring individuals from ethnic minorities, the disadvantaged and ex ““ offenders amongst others.

There are five principle themes in the guide, which can just as easily be applied to young people in similar circumstances. These themes are 1): working in partnership with other organisations, such as community networks, which makes it easier to reach target groups; 2): ample support in both practical and personal issues that arise amongst the adults; 3): a flexible and tailored curriculum that breaks down psychological barriers; 4): having “learner ““ referenced” goals that are achievable; and 5): motivating and retaining people through ensuring progress.

Andrew Thompson, the Chief Executive of the LSDA, welcomed the guide’s arrival by saying: “This guide will be a great help to anyone trying to break down the barriers to widening participation in lifelong learning. It’s user-friendly, and a great example of how to identify and transfer good practice with real hope of impact. The examples all show what can be achieved with models that other organisations can adopt.” This sentiment was echoed by Sue Meyer, Policy Director at NIACE, who said: “This guide is full of practical advice about how to make things work derived from actual practice. Anyone trying to attract and retain new learners ““ especially those who come from “hard to reach” groups ““ will want to use it.”

The guide is available from Information Services, LSDA, Regent Arcade House, 19 ““ 25 Argyll Street, London W1F 7LS, or on 020 7297 9123.

Jethro Marsh

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