A recent survey by Learning and Work Institute, UK, it was found that the number of adults with improved skill training has dropped by 4 million in the last decade. The survey concluded that government cuts are only going to further increase inequality and have detrimental effect on the economy. Damage to economy, the institute warns will drive up the drop in number of adults taking some part in learning.
After a survey of 5,000 adults across the research organization found that hardly one-third adults have taken part in learning during the last three years, making the number of participants lowest till date since it started conducting annual assessments in 1996.
Ever since the Conservative-led coalition government imposed austerity public spending on adult education excluding apprenticeships has been cut to nearly half. The current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, promised to provide £3bn national skills fund to aid learning and training opportunities of adults across country to level up British economy and improve workers’ well-being. The Learning and Work Institute suggested, to increase productivity and economic efficiency an increase in workers’ pay and living standards is crucial.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, productivity growth has been stunted with only rising by 0.3% per year compared to an average 2% before the crash. The survey showed that the gap in participation has widened across the country with 40% of adults in south-east England having access to education in the last three years, and just 24% in the north-east.
It was also found that adults from lower-income households are half more likely to take part in learning than their counterparts from higher-income groups. Another finding suggested that those who left school at 16 are half as likely to enter adult learning as those who stayed in education until at least 21.
Stephen Evans, the chief executive of the Learning and Work Institute, commented, if British economy is to succeed post-Brexit, and if the country is to boost productivity and ensure everyone can achieve their potential, a reversal of the decade long decline in adult learning is necessary.