1.13 The new strategy should give increased emphasis to the home, community and workplace as key places of learning. There should be greater recognition of the major contribution each can make to the development of a culture of lifelong learning for all in and to the enlargement of contemporary citizenship. This should be manifest in the support given to learning initiatives aimed at these different locales of learning, in the form of financial incentives and funding arrangements, in promotional activities and in the deployment of new initiatives such as the New Deal and Individual Learning Accounts. It should inform the establishment of the National Grid for Learning and constitute a key part of the work of the proposed University for Industry, acting as a catalyst for change and broker of new opportunities in each of these areas.
1.14 Family Learning schemes should be enthusiastically supported and extended, with active involvement from local authorities, educational providers, other public authorities and agencies, voluntary organisations and community groups. Arrangements should be made, by providers, awarding bodies and schools, for parents and other family and household members to secure educational achievements for themselves alongside children. This should include sponsoring the preparation and piloting of dedicated materials, and supporting the development, training and deployment of staff to foster family learning.
1.15 In the community, support should be given to projects and initiatives intended to build capacity, strengthen voluntary organisation and contribute to social and economic regeneration. Local authorities, the major Funding Councils and other funding bodies should all ensure that their funding arrangements enable them to direct support to such initiatives.
1.16 In the workplace, there should be a major effort directed at enhancing and updating skills, especially amongst those groups of staff who are frequently not involved in learning programmes. Employers and unions should work together to build on the early success of modern apprenticeships, employee development schemes, Bargaining for Skills and achievement of the Investors in People standard. Providers and TECs should offer support through improved needs and labour market analysis and the provision of focussed programmes of learning. The University for Industry should assist with the identification of skill shortages and learning needs, brokering new learning pathways and partnerships, commissioning new learning materials and fostering the widespread use of the new media of communications and information. Individual Learning Accounts should be targeted particularly at those people with low skills, on low wages or who are seeking to return to the labour market.
1.17 Consultation should take place between Government and the representatives of employers and trade unions on the possibility of developing a Code of Good Practice to promote workplace learning and on whether new ways of auditing and accounting for employers' investment in and support for workplace learning could usefully be identified.
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