New thinking needed to inspire adults to get back into learning

The Festival of Learning Awards 2016 showcased and celebrated people, families, communities and employers achievements through learning. 

The Learning and Work Institute held the ceremony in Birmingham yesterday, which is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) focusing on improving employment opportunities, promoting social inclusion and investing in skills by providing help people need to fulfil their potential.

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Stephen Evans, CEO of Learning and Work Institute, who led the Festival of Learning Awards said: “The Festival of Learning has been inspiring. Our award winners have shown the power of learning and work and how they can change help people change their lives for the better. We’re thrilled for all of the winners who deserve recognition for their hard work – they are a true example to others.

“This year’s Festival of Learning takes place in the context of the Brexit vote and uncertainty over the future. We have a new government, led by a new Prime Minister who has set out an ambition to lead the country so that it ‘works for everyone’. Improving access to learning and skills is the closest we have to a silver bullet for achieving this.

“At Learning and Work Institute we believe that learning throughout life must be at the heart of the Prime Minister’s plan to achieve her ambition. As well as that, we need new thinking to inspire adults to get back into learning. “

Over 50 regional and national Festival of Learning winners were selected for a range of awards across four categories; Individual, Tutor, Employer and Project/Provision.

Catherine Blair, Head of the European Social Fund Division, Department for Work and Pensions added: “We are delighted to support the Festival of Learning. ESF England congratulates all this year’s winners and encourages many more people to follow their inspiring examples by engaging in learning, and developing their potential or that of others.

“The European Social Fund is about people – that is why it is very rewarding to hear first-hand about the achievements that ESF investment enables, and the successes that the winners have had.”

One national winner, the Leicester City Football Club Community Trust has been recognised for its ambitious employability programme that targets Leicester’s hardest to reach young people and offers them a future within employment or through work related training or education. 

Emily Bird from LCFC Community Trust said: “Leicester City Football Club is delighted to be recognised with this prestigious award. The local community has supported us through thick and thin therefore we take tremendous pride in repaying their faith by offering them the chance to achieve their ambitions, like we have done ours. 

“We’d especially like to thank all the staff for their hard work and dedication to delivering such an incredible service. We hope each person, no matter his or her background, can secure future opportunities by enlisting on the scheme.” 

This year’s Festival of Learning ceremony will honour those who put so much work in to inspire others. The national winners will collect their prestigious awards at the IET, Birmingham. 

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