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Letter to the editor


Photo of TRICIA HARTLEY"We haven't been idle."

Tricia Hartley

Dear Editor

The Campaign for Learning was interested to read Paul Kearns' recent '21st Century Learning Professional' article, 'Where do we go from here?'. He mentioned that he hadn't "seen a single word from the CIPD, BILD, TAP, the LSC, Sector Skills Councils, Investors in People, the Campaign for Learning or any other supposedly 'professional' body in the learning industry even acknowledging that there might be serious implications in how we in the UK, and the organisations we support, must learn for the future.

The Campaign for Learning is delighted to find itself listed as a key voice for learning, though we’re not sure we’re a ‘professional body in the learning industry’ in the way that this implies. With a mission to foster social inclusion through learning, we're probably more about deprofessionalising learning: we want learning seen as something relevant and useful, in which we can all participate and for which we all share responsibility.

Meanwhile, however, I'm sorry Paul hasn't noticed our presence, but we haven't been idle! Our actions in response to the economic downturn have included:

  • briefing selected ministers, shadow ministers and senior civil servants on the implications of the crisis for workplace learning policy
  • advising the DIUS Select Committee on its response to the Leitch Review ( We will be running a policy briefing on this on 21st January with Phil Willis MP, chair of the Select Committee.)
  • commissioning and publishing a MORI State of the Nation poll on attitudes to learning amongst adults and young people - a 10-year follow up to our frequently-quoted 1998 survey
  • supporting DIUS in its work on informal adult learning and its links to workplace skills development
  • advising companies and unions on using bite-size engagement activities to kick-start workplace training programmes
  • using 'train the trainers' approaches to help companies support their employees' financial literacy
  • supporting small voluntary sector groups on writing development plans and developing funding strategies
  • establishing information pages on our website on financial skills for individuals and organisations
  • organising and speaking at events and writing articles on the economic situation, its implications for government policy and for workplace learning practice - and we'd be delighted to write something for on this too
  • and of course trying to keep our own heads above water, to ensure we're still around ourselves to support people through the crisis!

I'm sure, however, that there is more we could be doing and if Paul has suggestions as to what would be most effective, I'd be delighted to hear from him further.

Tricia Hartley
Chief Executive
Campaign for Learning


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