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Investing in adult education: health and well-being benefits


The APPG for Adult Education commissioned the Warwick Institute for Employment Research in 2016 to conduct research into the needs of adult learners. This work was supported by the Institutes for Adult Learning (IALs). The nine Specialist Designated Institutions (SDIs), including City Lit, Morley College, Hillcroft College, Northern College, Ruskin College, Working Men’s College, Mary Ward Centre, Fircroft College and the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA),– each has its own identity, mission and distinctive approach, which adds to the rich diversity of adult education.

Our primary focus was on adult education, and on adults returning to learn. Learning can occur in education or training institutions (offline or online), the workplace (on or off the job), the family, or cultural and especially, community settings. Findings from this in-depth study highlighted local and newly Combined Authorities will be accountable for the allocation of funds with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in setting the agenda and identifying priorities within local communities. It is, therefore, critical that the contribution of adult education, including its contribution to improving health and well-being (which are pre-requisites for progression into and within employment), must not be lost or forgotten within current and any new devolution arrangements.

It is clear that most providers of adult education have invested in reaching out to people who are disadvantaged one way or the other. Many of whom would not otherwise know about adult education and what it could do for people in their circumstances. Adult education providers have developed the expertise, teaching skills and resources to deliver non-qualification provision and/or bite-sized units that successfully engage these adults in learning again, offering a stepping stone to success. Therefore, any policy or practical interventions need to reflect this and provide flexibility. Post-devolution, local Skills Commissioners will be required to make investment decisions - which is why their role is so central to the sustainability of adult education now and in the future.

IER'’s formal ‘Call for Evidence’ in 2017 has a distinctive focus on adult education, health and well-being. The main purpose is to gather the views of key stakeholders, partners and providers on the contribution of adult education to health and wellbeing outcomes. We have deliberately not attempted to define the parameters of the Call For Evidence too tightly as we want respondents to explore many different aspects of health and wellbeing. We hope to hear from those interested in any aspect of physical or mental health, including health and wellbeing in the context of age, disability, ethnicity, gender and location. For further information contact: Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, deirdre dot hughes at warwick dot ac dot uk.

Conference on Long-Term Care

Bernard Casey will be making a presentation at the forthcoming 2nd International Conference on Evidence-based Policy in Long-Term Care. The conference will be held at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London, UK from 5th to 8th September 2012. Bernard's paper will be on "The development of employment and skills in the social care sector: a comparison of Germany and Japan". The paper draws from work Bernard did for Skills for Care and Development (SfC&D). The conference programme with an abstract of the paper can be downloaded from the conference website.

Thu 09 Aug 2012, 09:59 | Tags: ageing, informal care, occupation, aging, skills, health

Clare Lyonette Wins BSA Sage Prize for Excellence

IER's Dr Clare Lyonette has been named as the winner of the 2012 British Sociological Association's Sage Prize for Innovation/Excellence for her paper in the journal 'Work, Employment and Society'. The prize is awarded annually to one paper published in each of the BSA's journals, judged to represent innovation or excellence in the field.

The paper, ‘We both need to work’: maternal employment, childcare and health care in Britain and the USA, was co-authored by Gayle Kaufman and Rosemary Crompton, and was published in Work, Employment and Society 25: 34-50.

Mon 23 Apr 2012, 15:18 | Tags: informal care, employment, families, health, work

Dr Clare Lyonette and Dr Michael Orton shortlisted for SAGE prize

Two articles from IER staff, Dr Michael Orton and Dr. Clare Lyonette, have been shortlisted for this year’s SAGE Prize for Innovation and Excellence, the winner of which will be announced at the BSA conference in April 2012. The prize is awarded annually to one paper in each of the BSA’s four prestigious journals: Cultural Sociology; Sociological Research Online; Sociology; and Work, Employment and Society.

The prize is awarded to the paper published in the previous year’s volume judged to represent innovation or excellence in the field. The IER nominations both appeared in Work, Employment and Society in the previous year and will be considered alongside three other short-listed articles. To find out more about the articles by Clare and Michael, see:

Clare Lyonette, Gayle Kaufman and Rosemary Crompton ‘We both need to work’: maternal employment, childcare and health care in Britain and the USA, Work, Employment and Society 25: 34-50.

Michael Orton Flourishing Lives: the capabilities approach as a framework for new thinking about employment, work and welfare in the 21st century, Work, Employment and Society 25: 352-60.

Fri 09 Mar 2012, 14:41 | Tags: welfare, work-life balance, employment, families, health, work

Bernard Casey Presents at LSE Cyprus Conference

IER's Bernard Casey gave a presentation at the conference "The Cyprus Economy at a Time of European Uncertainty: Managing Reform and Sustainability", organised by the Hellenic Observatory of the London School of Economics and held at LSE on 10-2-12. His talk on "The Fiscal Implications of Demographic Change" gave an overview of the challenges of addressing pension and care provision for Cyprus's ageing population. Other presenters at the event included the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of the Republic of Cyprus, Prof. Chris Pissarides, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Economics, the head of sovereign debt rating for Europe, Middle East and Africa from Standard & Poor's, experts from the World Bank and the European Commission and academics from the University of Cyprus.

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