Current members National Learning and Work Institute

National Learning and Work Institute


twitter: @LearnWorkUK

Contact information

Mrs Joyce Black, Assistant Director Research and Development

Mr Alex Stevenson, Head of English, Maths and ESOL


Learning and Work Institute is an independent policy, research and development organisation dedicated to lifelong learning, full employment and inclusion. We bring together over 90 years of combined history and heritage from the ‘National Institute of Adult Continuing Education’ (NIACE) and the ‘Centre for Economic & Social Inclusion’.

We want everyone to have an opportunity to realise their ambitions and potential in learning, work and throughout life.

Learning and Work Institute is a membership organisation with a diverse set of individual and corporate members including colleges, local authorities, third sector organisations, universities, businesses and iconic organisations in civil society such as the BBC, the Open University and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes. Our Patron is HRH the Princess Royal.

In the UK around 1 in 6 adults still struggle with reading and writing, around 1 in 4 adults still find maths difficult. Currently 90{45dd1fd917f9c5256ddd62f2bb60264c9fd035a788f5039a41e25e9de2257d18} of jobs need at least basic computer skills, but international research shows that around half of adults in England and Northern Ireland lack the basic skills to effectively use computers.

Life Skills – English, maths, financial, ESOL, digital and other related skills – underpin lifelong learning, enable adults to participate and contribute fully in society, and support economic growth. We are committed to widening access to these skills, particularly amongst those under-represented groups in society, as well as improving the range and quality of provision available to all adults. Our policy is that these skills are interrelated, and are made more accessible by being contextualised and developed as an integrated curriculum offer or framework.

National / international impact

The Institute runs a number of high profile campaigns, to raise the demand for learning and skills and to celebrate outstanding learning achievements. Festival of Learning (Adult Learners’ Week) is the UK’s largest and longest running festival of learning with the aim of promoting adult learning in all its diversity.

The Institute is an active member of the European Association for the Education of Adults, and maintains relationships the Euro-WEA and the Council of Europe. The Institute is a member of the International Council of Adult Education and works with other relevant bodies.

Since 2012 the Institute has been the designated UK National Coordinator for the European Agenda for Adult Learning and member of the ET2020 Working Group for Adult Learning.