2019 Festival of Learning award nominations now open

9 November 2018


From today, 13 November 2018, Learning and Work Institute is in search of individuals, tutors, employers and projects that have shown a special commitment to lifelong learning and have remarkable stories that will inspire change in other people’s lives.

Learning can not only increase skills and employment prospects, but also bring benefits such as improved health and wellbeing, increased civic engagement and greater confidence to pursue goals and achieve full potential across all areas of life. However, data from Learning and Work Institute’s adult participation survey in 2017 shows that participation in learning is at its lowest for 20 years. The survey also identified reasons that adults don’t engage in learning, which ranged from feeling too old or a lack of confidence to caring responsibilities or having a disability.

Festival of Learning award winners show that these barriers can be overcome, and anyone can achieve success through learning. Since its beginnings in 1992, Festival of Learning has given out more than 2000 awards to recognise these achievements and inspire others to try learning for themselves.

Nominations for the 2019 Festival of Learning Awards open today, Tuesday 13 November, and will close on Tuesday 12 February 2019.

The awards are presented across four categories:

  • individuals who have transformed their own lives and the lives of their families, friends, their communities, and the places they work
  • tutors whose valuable contribution to adult learning and the impact they have had on their learners deserves recognition
  • innovative and transformational learning projects or provision that could be replicated or adapted by other learning providers
  • employers that have used learning to develop and utilise the skills of their workforce to improve productivity, increase staff retention and enhance their business performance.

Stephen Evans, chief executive at Learning and Work Institute, said:

“Adult learning makes a real difference to people, the economy and society, and it’s important that we recognise that contribution. That’s what the Festival of Learning is all about; showcasing the benefits and positive impacts of adult learning through the inspirational stories of adult learners and the people and organisations that make that learning happen. If you have been inspired over the last year by an adult learner, tutor, learning project or an employer’s workplace learning provision then we want you to share their story with us by nominating them for a Festival of Learning award.

“Our annual survey shows participation in learning by adults is falling. Therefore, it’s perhaps never been more important to celebrate the best in adult learning and encourage more adults to give learning a try.”

Anne Milton MP, minister of state for apprenticeships and skills, said:

“The Department for Education is pleased to be a longstanding supporter of Festival of Learning and to, each year, recognise the contribution adult learning has to our economy. We want to encourage more people to learn throughout their lives and remind everyone that education does not stop after full-time education. I am glad that we are able to mark and celebrate the achievements of those learners, learning providers, tutors and employers that are making a special commitment to lifelong learning. I look forward to seeing this year’s nominations.”