City Lit Blog

City Lit welcomes new report about Adult Education by The Social Market Foundation.

Story added 12th Nov 2020


The Social Market Foundation released a new report today which explores the role that adult education does and could play in improving labour market outcomes of low-income households.

According to the report a 50% decline in adult education funding over the last decade has left many low-wage works poorly prepared for economic change and will hamper the UK economy’s recovery from the Covid-crisis. Workers losing jobs in the pandemic desperately need a major overhaul of adult skills and training to help them find new work according to the report.

Read the full report here >

We welcome today’s report which rightly calls for an increase in funding, with three year commitment to support long-term planning; and a large scale outreach campaign to demonstrate the benefits of adult education. The economic recovery after Covid is a huge challenge and adult education clearly has a vital role to play. It will expose the needs of many people who are not ready for re-training or re-skilling and building confidence is essential alongside qualifications and technical skills. This is particularly important for people who have a low level of formal skill, those experiencing health effects caused by the pandemic or those who have been in the same sector for decades and unprepared for a career change.

The link between lifelong learning, gainful employment, and positive mental health is long established.  By supporting those who need to re-skill to access employment; who have high levels of anxiety, depression and other forms of mental health challenges; and by offering a safe and stimulating environment, must be seen as vital to the economic and societal recovery.

Throughout the pandemic, City Lit has continued to be open for learning.  At the start of lockdown, we took the strategic decision to put as much of our course provision as possible online. We are now close to 1,700 classes being delivered online for this term – and with the pandemic set to continue, we are planning a further 1,800 courses to be delivered online for future terms. Many of our courses are specifically targeted to either help people gain employment, to help people develop skills that will further their career and to support London businesses by providing courses that address known skills gaps.