WEA response to the Industrial Strategy Green Paper


In response to the Government's Industrial Strategy, Ruth Spellman, Chief Executive of the Workers' Educational Association (WEA), said:

"The Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper promises “ambitious new approaches to encouraging lifelong learning” and will also “consider the role of community learning centres”.  The WEA believes that the industrial strategy should empower everyone of working age whether they are one of the thousands of adults who lack basic literacy, numeracy and digital skills or those who are already highly skilled but who will work for longer and in more specialised roles and who will require frequent skills 'top ups'.

"The Strategy aims to “future-proof” tomorrow’s workforce through investment in technical education and improved career guidance all of which is vital to our economic success. But the strategy is far less detailed on how best to support the majority of the current adult workforce. The UK’s education and skills provision must be sufficiently flexible to engage adults of all levels by creating the opportunities which will enable them to move up the skills ladder and to move seamlessly between education, training and employment as their needs require at any point in life.

"We have recently submitted our views to the Chancellor on our priorities for the Spring Budget. We called for an investment in people to match the investment in physical infrastructure previously announced in the Autumn Statement. Without supporting the ambitions and needs of our current and future workforce we will not achieve a vibrant economy.

"We look forward to engaging with Government and others to explore how the best practice in national, regional and local community learning provision can inform a new approach, particularly with the aim of tackling disadvantage and creating opportunities for those who are currently excluded. It is vital that future provision builds on the best of what we already have."