Learning At Work Week
This week is #LearningAtWorkWeek, where adult learning completed through the workplace is celebrated. Learning At Work Week aims to shine a light on the importance of adult learning, and lifelong skills development.
Learning At Work Week is important, and beneficial, for workers and their employers, no matter the size of the organisation or the sector they work in. Workers who engage in learning and skills development related to their employment are more productive in their work (Kis., 2016), more likely to remain loyal to an organisation which has invested in their education and skills training (Workers’ Educational Association, 2023), and, in the case of union-led learning, serves as an effective recruitment tool to the trade union, especially when other methods of recruitment have failed (Findlay, 2011).
Companies and organisations which are supportive of the initiatives explored during Learning At Work Week can find that their employees are more likely to engage in personal learning and development out-with the workplace, leading to a more skilled and educated workforce. Workplace learning has the advantage of being flexible for learners in a way that traditional, classroom-based learning often can’t be – e.g., workplace learning can be delivered remotely or in person, or through a hybrid approach, and can be tailored to be delivered at different times of the day for non-traditional shift workers, such as those working split or nightshifts. Workplace, and union-led learning, is important for adults of any educational background, but especially so for those with low levels of literacy and numeracy. Struggling with basic everyday skills costs the UK economy approximately £25billion annually, showing a clear, economic need to tackle low literacy and numeracy levels through learner-centred, workplace-based learning (Pro Bono Economics, 2021).
In summation, workplace learning is advantageous for learners and employers alike, and can lead to increased productivity, retention of staff, and higher levels of staff morale and satisfaction.
Counting on the recovery: the role for numeracy skills in ‘levelling up’ the UK. 2021. Pro Bono Economics.
Findlay, P. (2011). Union Learning Funds and Trade Union Revitalisation: A New Tool in the Toolkit? British Journal of Industrial Relations
Kis, V. (2016). Work, train, win: work-based learning design and management for productivity gains. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
National Numeracy (2022). A Decade of Impact: 2012 – 2022. Date last accessed 18/05/2023 https://www.nationalnumeracy.org.uk/news/new-survey-uk-numeracy
Workers’ Educational Association. (2023). Date last accessed: 18/05/2023 https://www.wea.org.uk/news-views/blog/learning-work-week