Adult Learners' Week 2012. Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 14:21
NIACE Dysgu Cymru staged its annual Inspire! Learning Award Ceremony at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on Thursday 10th May, where nine awards were given to the most outstanding learners from Wales alongside five awards to tutors in front of over 180 guests, and with the Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert in attendance. After the 14 category awards, the Deputy Minister presented the overall Tutor of the Year Award to David Bassett of Bridgend College and the Learner of the Year Award to the Grand Avenue Times Group from Ely in Cardiff.
The Inspire! Learning Award Ceremony kicked-off Adult Learners’ Week in Wales, where thousands of adults were expected to flock to libraries, colleges and community centres in May in search of new skills to boost their job prospects and quality of life. During the week (12-20 May) over 700 special events were held across the country, giving people the chance to sample learning something new and possibly opening up a fresh chapter in their lives. Literally hundreds of courses will be showcased at local events, ranging from effective job search and IT skills to sign language, holistic therapies, glass painting and dry stone walling.
In previous years, this week-long festival has been the trigger for large numbers of people to make dramatic improvements to their lives; gaining skills that have helped them back into work or to progress in their jobs. Research from NIACE Dysgu Cymru showed that almost 40% of who people who attended events last year’s festival took ‘positive action’ either by signing up for a course or making follow-up requests for advice or funding.
During the week there were many themed days specially designed to encourage people to learn in different contexts. These included Family Learning Day (Saturday 12th May), Get Active Day (Wednesday 16th May) Learning at Work Day (Thursday 17th May), and Digital Day (Friday 18th May).
Said Richard Spear, director of NIACE Dysgu Cymru: “Learning brings so many different advantages, not only better job prospects but health improvements, social rewards and improved quality of life. We believe there is a particular incentive for economically inactive people, those will low skills or those in social or residential care to grasp these opportunities to make life better through learning new things.”
Deputy Minister for Skills Jeff Cuthbert urged people of all ages to take advantage of the opportunity being presented by Adult Learners’ Week. “For many people Adult Learners’ Week is an excellent chance to explore ways in which their lives can be transformed through new skills. We’re particularly keen to see young people, who have yet to experience work, or older people, who have been made redundant, picking up this opportunity. It’s also aimed at people aged over 50, who have many working years ahead of them but need new skills in order to make the most of those years. Whatever the circumstances, there are very good reasons to make the move back into learning.”
Details of all the events that took place during Adult Learners’ Week are available on www.yourfuturechoiceaction.org.uk