Adult Learning in a Pandemic
Learning tends to stop for most of us after we have gone through school, college and then even a degree. It is then a natural progression to jump into a career and work your way up the promotional ladder. A couple of weeks ago it was Lifelong Learning Week, so there has never been a better time to raise awareness of adult education.
As we have already touched upon in our lockdown 2.0 blog series, many adults are looking to reskill themselves during lockdown in order to future-proof their careers. With unprecedented economic and technological changes, developing new skills is important in order to adapt to changing roles within businesses.
Mental Health Benefits of Learning
Whilst the primary benefit of distance learning is to improve your career prospects, research has been carried out which suggests that adult learning can also help with health and wellbeing. It can help to connect like-minded individuals together and address some of the negative aspects of social isolation.
This year the pandemic has affected our lives in so many ways. The first lockdown brought with it the introduction of remote working, as well as many parents having to juggle home-schooling. When it came to adult education, face-to-face teaching also had to be suspended, and learning was delivered online instead.
Motivations and Barriers to Learning
Many adults took the opportunity during the first lockdown to engage in some form of distance learning. This was mainly as a result of having more time on their hands. Distance learning is also very flexible in comparison with regular learning. You are able to complete the course at a time and pace that suits you. No need to travel miles each day.
A survey that was carried out by FE Week around lockdown learning showed that young adults, full-time workers and those who stayed in further education until an older age were those who were more likely to be learning. Interestingly, those who were furloughed were less likely to learn than those who continued to work during lockdown; despite them having more time.
In order to support those who have lower-paid roles, and were more likely to have lost their jobs during the pandemic, the government is stepping in. They have recently announced a ‘lifelong learning guarantee’ to support people to retrain and upskill. It is essential to not only provide this training in order to help those who are facing redundancy but to ensure that employment opportunities are available afterwards.
Online Learning is the Future
Online learning is actually addictive for many adults, and it is easy to catch the learning bug. Once you have completed one qualification you will be hungry for more! Two in three people who take part in online learning are likely to continue learning in the future.
As we start to return to the ‘new normal’, it is important that adults who have taken up online learning during lockdown are continually supported. Here at Brooks and Kirk our team of tutors are always available to support our learners through their qualifications. If you would like any more information about the courses that we offer, please call us on 01205 805 155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve is a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
He provides Educational Consultancy to the 19+ sector as well as being an Assessor, IQA, EPA and Digital Marketing Professional. When not doing any of these he finds time, every now and then, to write blogs and articles.