OU head backs call to encourage workers back into learningNov 13, 2012
Martin Bean (pictured) was speaking after the OU agreed a new partnership with the Workers Education Association committing to increase adult participation in learning.
The current economic climate has already started to squeeze an entire generation of adults out of education. National figures reveal a 15% decline in adult participation in learning since 2005.
The new partnership aims to encourage employees to gain the new skills and training they need to further their employment prospects.
WEA students will use the Milton Keynes-based OU’s wide range of OpenLearn resources and the WEA has developed a range of community health education resources which can be converted into an online learning resource for both OU and WEA students.
Mr Bean said: “If we are going to get Britain’s economy back on track, we have to make sure that workers of all ages have the skills they need to compete – it is not enough just to focus on 18-year-old school leavers.”
The OU and WEA will promote links through their websites and plan to develop future campaigns together on widening participation and on the importance of education for the UK.
WEA chief executive Ruth Spellman said: “In recent years we have seen an increase in social inequality and a decline in social mobility. This can only be addressed if people have access to the education services that enable them to reach their full potential.
"While it is important young people are supported, many adults find it difficult to get work despite having up to another 40 years until retirement.”