Digest 7

Digest of recent communications and publication received by NAEGA

Through membership of sister organisations and materials sent to us by members, NAEGA receives regular information from far and wide. This Digest is an attempt to make some of this information more widely available for members.

1. The National Skills Strategy and Delivery Plan

The Department for Education and Skills has produced an interim report that summarises progress in developing the National Skills Strategy and Delivery Plan, due to be published in June. The report can be accessed at www.dfes.gov.uk/skillsstrategy/pdf/progress.pdf

The interim report identifies the principal skills gaps that need to be tackled.

A key aim of the strategy will be to link together public programmes and policies that promote development of skills for young people and adults, not only with each other but also with private investment in skills. The ultimate goal is to create a system of education and training that meets the needs of employers for business success and the needs of individuals for employability and progression in the labour market.

The report states that "High quality information, advice and guidance (IAG) will be key to helping adults gain the motivation and confidence to develop their skills." Within available resources, the objectives might be:

a. To offer a more integrated service, reaching out to low-skilled adults based on local plans for raising participation

b. To raise the quality of the service by wider use of the established matrix Standard

c. Consistent branding so that people can recognise what they are getting

"To achieve the greatest potential impact, this integrated service could cover the work of Union Learning Representatives, local information, advice and guidance providers, the Ufi learndirect helpline and Jobcentre Plus. It should also build on the progress being made in reaching out to adults with poor literacy and numeracy skills."

(From Guidance Council Bulletin No. 32)

2. LSC Widening Adult Participation Strategy

The National Learning and Skills Council paper, 'Successful Participation for All - Widening Adult Participation Strategy' www.lsc.gov.uk/news_docs/Adult-Participation-Strategy_Main.pdf, suggests a new, planned approach to widening adult participation in learning and training. The consultation document seeks advice and comments from stakeholders on the effective development of the strategy and the actions proposed.

3. Challenging Age - Information, Advice and Guidance for Older Age Groups

A new research report on Information, Advice and Guidance for Older Age Groups has been commissioned from the Third Age Employment Network and published by the DfES. This report will be reviewed by Carole Barnes in NAEGA News and Views Autumn 2003 issue.

Copies of the full report can be obtained from the Third Age Employment Network (tel: 020 7843 1590) or the Executive Summary can be downloaded from the TAEN website www.taen.org.uk

4. Adults Learning

May 2003 14(9) carries a paper by Professor Lyn Tett on the power distribution in adult literacy. In Reading and writing the world, she asserts that nowadays 'learning is seen as an individual choice so adults who fail to learn 'the basics' are viewed as deficit individuals.This means that they are castigated for not choosing to learn and viewed as not even vaguely motivated to do something about their own plight'.

This issue of the magazine also contains the results of NIACE's 2003 adult participation survey which shows a sharp fall in participation rates.

5. Lothians Equal Access Programme for Schools (LEAPS)

LEAPS is a partnership of Universities, Local Authorities and Careers Scotland which aims to promote social inclusion through helping to assist movement into HE from those least likely to consider it. The objectives are to:

  • provide advice information and encouragement to the young and their parents to consider HE as an attractive and attainable option
  • provide information and advice about courses and routes to HE
  • raise awareness of widening participation and to challenge traditional assumptions about admissions within in HE and schools
  • enhance the prospects of young people fulfilling academic potential by promoting positive attitudes to learning
  • monitor and evaluate student progression into, through and beyond HE

You can find out more about this work at www.leapsonline.org

6. Student Services: Effective Approaches to retaining Students in HE

The full research report (2002) on this project by Liz Thomas, Jocey Quinn, Kim Slack & Lorraine Casey is published by the Institute of Access Studies at Staffordshire University is an interesting read. It comes with ten criteria for good practice and case studies from ten participating institutions. www.staffs.ac.uk/access-studies

Digest 7 prepared by Jonathan Brown.
May 2003