19 May 2006

Stevenson Highlights Importance Of Adult Learners' Week

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has highlighted the importance of Adult Learners’ Week, which takes place from 20th – 26th May.

Commenting on the event, Mr Stevenson said:

Adult Learners’ Week is an annual national campaign to encourage adults to participate in learning, whether informal or formal with the first UK Adult Learners' Week taking place in 1992. It is now a national institution and has similar initiatives in almost 50 countries across the world and has had a very positive impact upon the people who matter most, the learners. It’s an ideal time to celebrate adult learning and a great opportunity to turn lifelong ambitions into reality.

The main impact has been to encourage people across the UK to sign up for a course, as surveys year after year have confirmed. Typically, in 2000, 52% of respondents declared their intention to enrol, and of these 44% had already done so. A disproportionate number of them were unemployed, suggesting that the reminder of the helpline telephone number sent out with postal payments to unemployed people really works.

As many as 100,000 people can take part with many more being reached through the hundreds of press articles, radio and TV features or the half-million pieces of publicity distributed by national and local organisers. Twenty thousand enquiries to learndirect and routinely around 2,000 press articles appearing in national, regional and local press testify to the success of the campaign. Thousands of people of all ages will be getting the chance to learn something new – whether to get a better job, to improve earnings, to make new friends, gain qualifications, or simply to get more out of life.

”The combination of media support, national and local awards ceremonies and the massive national helpline operation makes the event inescapable for and attractive to politicians and policymakers. For those wishing to obtain further information, they should call the learndirect helpline on
0800 100 900.”

Stewart Stevenson
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