Demand and markets in lifelong learning

The thumbnail for the discussion

The coronavirus pandemic will heighten the need for learning opportunities amongst adults.  Community action initiatives mean that many more individuals than usual are leveraging their skills and talents close to home in response to immediate needs, although this learning will not be recognised in the form of a credential or certificate. A recent study by the Economist suggests that those most likely to use and benefit from lifelong learning experiences are those with pre-existing advantages; it is difficult to imagine workers recently out of jobs using this time to retrain. If there has ever been a time to develop creative approaches to lifelong learning, it is probably now given the pain that new learning opportunities will address as we emerge from the crisis. But is there even a demand for learning in this moment? To what extent are universities, further education colleges or private training provides leading this charge? Or are initiatives emerging from the grassroots in response to local needs? To what extent should learning opportunities be provided based on the skills, gifts and talents that individuals already possess? What are the emerging possible visions of lifelong learning in the UK in the wake of the pandemic?

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