Putting learners first
Chapter 1 Section 1
1.1 The Fryer report called for a transformation of culture to achieve the Learning Age. The Government endorses that call and this consultation paper is the beginning of that process. Transforming our learning culture will depend on a partnership between individual responsibility and the wider community. As individuals and enterprises increasingly take charge of their own learning and of meeting their need for skills, they will require support to enable them to achieve their goals, including better access.
1.2 In future, learners need not be tied to particular locations. They will be able to study at home, at work, or in a local library or shopping centre, as well as in colleges and universities. People will be able to study at a distance using broadcast media and on-line access. Our aim should be to help people to learn wherever they choose and support them in assessing how they are doing and where they want to go next.
1.3 Demand is potentially vast. When asked, companies and individuals say they want to improve their skills. And many do. People learn for a variety of reasons; it could be to change career, to increase earning power, to update skills, or simply for the joy of learning itself. Last year about eight million adults studied in colleges, universities, on training courses delivered by Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) or at evening classes. This is a good start, but we must do better. Many more people could be involved in learning but are not because they face barriers. We are seeking views on how these can be overcome.
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