From education to employment

Over a third of adults face significant cost and time barriers to continuing education

The biggest barrier to British adults continuing their education is cost, with more than a third (35%) saying they’re unable to afford to study, while almost a fifth (19%) say they don’t have time.
A YouGov survey of  2,109 GB adults commissioned by distance learning provider Oxford Open Learning Trust found that, although  69% of respondents said they could be motivated to learn for any type of new qualification – from GCSEs to PHDs and industry certificates – only just over a quarter of Brits (27%) are likely to actually do so.
The other barriers that Brits said most commonly stop them studying are that they don’t have the time to devote to it (19%) and feeling that another qualification would be unnecessary because they feel they are educated enough (18%).
As well as respondents also saying that they lack the motivation to study (17%), the same number also said they lack the energy. Many Brits also commented that they deem themselves too old.
The research also revealed that many British adults would be happy to continue learning if they felt they could. Receiving a boost to their pay packet is only the third most common incentive, agreed by three in ten (30%) of  Brits , whereas  42% would be more likely to take a course simply out of their own general interest in the subject.
The five most common issues that stop adults continuing with education in the future are:
1.    Lack of affordability (35%)
2.    Time constraints (19%)
3.    Not needing any further qualifications (18%)
4.    Lack of motivation (17%)
5.    Lack of energy (17%)
Adults’ five most common motivations to study in the future are:
1.    Generally interested in course / subject (42%)
2.    Improve knowledge (industry or general) (33%)
3.    Financial (30%)
4.    If they want a career change (24%)
5.    Make me more valuable to employers (21%)
Greg Smith, head of operations at Oxford Open Learning Trust, said: “The fact that so many would like to study further but don’t feel they can points to a lot of misconceptions that people have about adult education.
“For those who think they’re too old, adult learning isn’t only about furthering a career – it’s also extremely beneficial in terms of mental health. There’s evidence to show that, not only does keeping the brain active combat depression and anxiety, but also helps prevent dementia in later life and boosts confidence.
“Studying for a new qualification with a distance learning course is also vastly different to a classroom, and can be spread over a longer period to fit in with your current work or lifestyle.
“The initial cost is often far outweighed by the benefits of gaining a new qualification, through an increase in pay, a promotion or a career change.”
About Oxford Open Learning Trust: With 20 years of experience providing high quality home study options, they pride themselves on being one of the UK’s leading GCSE, IGCSE and A level distance learning course specialists. They are dedicated to helping you achieve your learning goals at a time and place that suits you. Home study or distance learning, it all equates to the same thing – high quality, comprehensive and flexible study materials that can be accessed anytime, anywhere.

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