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Third of Adults ‘Not Learning’


More than a third of adults have not taken part in any form of learning since school, new research shows.

However, the number of skilled manual workers that are participating in learning has risen from 33% to 41% over the last decade.

The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (Niace) report surveyed 4,924 adults across the UK. It said the results made for “grim reading”.

According to the report, four fifths of adults said they were not currently learning.

Yet Niace claims the results are positive, as the number of people expected to take up learning in the future rose to almost half (47%).

The Education body defines learning as studying, practising or reading to develop skills, knowledge, capability or understanding.

Alan Tuckett, Director of Niace, said there is a “significant change” taking place in adult education.

“These changes can be interpreted as the green shoots of an emerging learning society – and government may wish to see these findings as evidence that its commitment to creating a lifelong learning culture is at last having an impact.”

Education minister Bill Rammell said the results showed an emerging “learning culture”.

“Our new policies in reforms in further education, Train to Gain and new entitlements to free tuition, are vital in driving up adult participation in learning and securing our future success.”


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