“This briefing paper on the social value of adult learning for community empowerment has been produced by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) on behalf of the Local Government Group for cabinet members, elected members and directors of economic development. It provides a short overview on how adult learning provides outcomes that support and add value to a variety of local priorities as well as being of intrinsic value in its own right.
It contains examples gathered through case studies and through using a Social Return on Investment approach. This approach recognises the value of each step and, in particular, focuses on the value to the beneficiaries of the intervention, as well as to the partners and funders.
NIACE believes that adult learning is essential, not only to create and maintain a more skilled and knowledgeable workforce, but also for personal development, and for a just, inclusive and democratic society. We work to secure high-quality education and training systems that are responsive to the diversity and complexity of adults’ needs and aspirations as learners. Our work has a particular focus on those who have not benefited through formal education systems and those who are under-represented in existing provision. These concerns are reflected in our work to strengthen the role of adult learning within local communities and to maximise the contribution it makes to addressing disadvantage and empowering communities of both place and interest.”