Policy Statement 
(from the National Assembly for Wales Election 2016)

•    Wales needs a vibrant economy and sustainable communities
•    Now is the time to recognise the power of lifelong learning as a means of achieving these ends 

Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult Learning Wales is the only all-Wales Adult Learning provider and is ideally placed to shape and deliver a coherent strategy for community and workplace learning for adults.

It is crucial to nurture the skill of learning over a lifetime to secure informed, flexible, intelligent and healthy workforces and communities. The economic, social and civic advantages of developing a truly lifelong learning society in Wales will be profound. It will give us the cutting edge that we need for our communities to be resilient, for our economy to adapt to changing circumstances, and for our democracy to thrive.

Adult learning is currently offered through programmes stemming from several Government Departments: Local Government, People and Communities, Health and Social Care, as well as the Department for Education and Skills. With limited public resources and an agreed need to focus on integrating service provision, it makes sense to make the best use of expert resources. A coordinated approach will:

prevent duplication of activities
reduce expenditure for administration
support the delivery of complementary and effective learning opportunities
  • ensure a more cost-efficient, modular system which allows for the transfer of skills attainment across programmes

Policy Recommendations

Welsh government should:

1. Implement a new funding strategy for adult learning

Adult Learning makes a significant contribution to a range of cross-departmental policy objectives. When underpinned by a broad curriculum offer, adult learning:

  • tackles ignorance and prejudice
  • supports a bilingual Wales
  • develops understanding and tolerance
  • encourages health and well-being
  • inspires active citizenship
  • promotes social justice and poverty reduction
  • supports economic regeneration

2. Endorse a single, all-Wales body for the coordinated delivery of Adult Learning across the whole of Wales:

  • to provide strategic direction for Adult Learning at a national level   
  • to prioritise a needs-based delivery model - informed through negotiation with learners to meet their needs and those of their communities, employers and trade unions
  • to support the delivery of Adult Learning based on key partnerships to maximise delivery at local and regional level
  • to promote best practice by providing quality assurance for teaching and learning across Wales

3. Rebalance the distribution of resources more equitably across the different life stages:

  • to avoid the frontloading of the education system in order to provide opportunities for learning when and where they are needed
  • to respond to the ageing population and changing patterns of paid and unpaid work
  • to equip adults with the learning and skills they need to thrive in a challenging economic environment

Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult Learning Wales and its potential

As the all-Wales provider of Adult Learning and a body recognised by Estyn for its high quality, Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult Learning can lead a co-ordinated approach and facilitate the integration of learning across differing policy portfolios. 

We have a long history of developing local and regional partnerships, working effectively with others including Local Education Authorities, Further Education Colleges and Universities. At a national level, we collaborate with Wales TUC Cymru, The Community Housing Cymru Group, Community Rehabilitation Company Wales and Youth Services across the nation. We deliver: 

-    Adult Learning programmes which enable adults to develop transferable skills, enhance employability and improve career prospects, and contribute to economic development
-    English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provision for adults to participate in their communities, to encourage community cohesion and improve access to labour market opportunities through improved English language skills
-    Welsh medium Adult Learning, including ‘bilingual customer care’ and ‘language and cultural awareness’
-    opportunities which provide a second chance for parents to learn – developing role models for their children, helping to raise educational standards and addressing under-achievement, especially in areas of deprivation
-    support for adults to progress to Further and Higher Education – widening participation in our universities and supporting the development of higher level skills for economic regeneration.