chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up home circle comment double-caret-left double-caret-right like like2 twitter epale-arrow-up text-bubble cloud stop caret-down caret-up caret-left caret-right file-text


Piattaforma elettronica per l'apprendimento degli adulti in Europa



Where next for the adult learning workforce?

Lingua: EN
Document available also in: RO FR IT ES DE

Workers joining hands

"Success comes through continual improvement."
Paul Donaghy, Enabling social change through adult learning: a place, people and partnership approach, Thinkpiece 5 

The Learning & Work Institute has released the Healthy, Wealthy and Wise: implications for workforce development report, as part of its work for the European Agenda for Adult Learning. Although the report focuses on the UK, its findings have relevance across Europe. 

The report starts from the premise that countries cannot have effective adult learning strategies in place without adequately supporting the workforce that delivers them. This principle is at the heart of EPALE which supports over 50,000 practitioners across Europe. 

The report’s editors argue that as adult learning strategies increasingly take into account the findings of UNESCO’S Third Global Report on Adult Learning and Education, more will need to be done to support the workforce. These ideas were initially explored in L&W’s 2018 publication, Healthy Wealthy and Wise: the impact of adult learning across the UK.

The new report takes a broad view of the adult education sector and presents the opinions of key thinkers, including:


Lightbulbs with one illuminated
  • Helen Chicot
  • Dragana Ramsden
  • Colin Forrest
  • Paul Donaghy
  • Kathryn James
  • Alan Sherry
  • Helen Plant
  • Deirdre Hughes
  • Dafydd Rhys

These contributors come from varied backgrounds within the world of adult education. Their opinions form nine thought-provoking 'thinkpieces' that were first shared at forums across the UK and encouraged responses from researchers, practitioners and policy-makers from equally varied backgrounds. The resulting material provides a holistic view of the problems faced by the workforce and the education sector, considers approaches to addressing these issues and encourages a unified response to best support adult education and workforce development.

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise considers the situation in each individual nation, as well as taking a view of the UK as a whole. It highlights the need to maintain better communication between sectors, institutions and departments, and to establish partnerships and collaborative approaches in order to best support learners and prepare a workforce capable of withstanding a volatile and capricious jobs market.


European Commission logo


The report, thinkpieces and blogs formed a major part of the discussion at the EPALE UK and the Learning & Work Institute's joint conference Upskilling Pathways: implications for the adult learning workforce, held in London on 23 October 2019. The conference had input from national and European agencies as well as contributors to the report. Following the conference, more blog posts were added to this thematic page, summarising the different sessions that took place and providing valuable insight into the day's events and the discussions that arose. The full collection of presentations featured at the event can also be accessed below. 


Explore below to access the report, blogs and presentations from the event. 


We welcome and encourage comments on all content found on this page!



Healthy, Wealthy and Wise: implications for workforce development report title page
Healthy, Wealthy and Wise: implications for workforce development 




Map of the UK with a starry night effect
Blog 1 


Public service icons
Blog 2
by Mark Ravenhall 


Video interview with man and woman behind camera
Blog 3
by Vicky Duckworth & Rob Smith 


Diverse group stacking hands
Blog 4
by Alan Sherry 


Yellow leader in a grey crowd
Blog 5


Old lady doing an exercise class at a community centre
Blog 6
Turning on the pause button and listening 
by Dragana Ramsden 


Businesswoman with hero shadow
Blog 7
by Helen Chicot 


A family learning together
Blog 8
by Cath Harcula, EPALE UK Ambassador 


Illuminated red figure among blue figures
Blog 9
by Colin Forrest 


Ynni Ogwen supporters
Blog 10
by Dafydd Rhys 


Cerian Ayres delivering the workshop
Blog 11
by Emma Zielinski, Content Manager for EPALE UK


Naomi Clayton delivers her part of the workshop
Blog 12
by Emma Zielinski, Content Manager for EPALE UK 


Dave Hagendyk delivering the workshop
Blog 13
by Christophe Wells, EPALE UK Ambassador 


Delegates are welcomed to the conference
Blog 14
by Cath Harcula, EPALE UK Ambassador


Citizens' Curriculum workshop
Blog 15
by Alexander Braddell 


World with tech icons
Blog 16


Conference banner
Annual Conference presentations
Access all the plenary, panel and workshop
session presentations 
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Epale SoundCloud Share on LinkedIn