Westminster Employment Forum

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A presentation about Wikipedia in Education was given by Wikimedia UK Education Organiser Dr Toni Sant at the Westminster Employment Forum Keynote Seminar on 14 September 2014. The subtitle for the event highlights the focus of the discussions that took place: "next steps for community and lifelong learning in England ‐ improving quality, widening participation and generating external investment."

Developing community learning partnerships[edit]

This timely seminar focused on the future direction of community and lifelong learning policy in England. Areas for discussion included further steps that can be taken to help community learning providers secure additional investment and to develop local partnerships - as well as action that can be taken to encourage innovation, improve participation, success and satisfaction rates for learners, and to engage priority and disadvantaged groups in community learning.

This half-day event was chaired by Baroness Brinton, Treasurer, All‐Party Parliamentary Group for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning. Other people on the panel along with Dr Sant included Judith McManus, Head of Operationsq5 Aspire Sussex, Tom Molloy, Service Manager ro4 Luton Adult & Community Learning and Neil Coker, Senior Director, Access, Solihull College, West Midlands. Questions and comments from the floor were moderated by Tricia Hartley, Chief Executive, Campaign for Learning and Nicholas Fox, Individual Learning Company Director.

The following questions were among the themes discussed by the panel:

What further steps can be taken to encourage community learning providers to develop local partnerships? What have been the most effective approaches employed by community learning partnerships to engage members of the community in the development of their strategy, such as workshops and community events? In what ways have providers been successful in generating external investment ‐ such as through fees and corporate sponsors ‐ in addition to direct public subsidy; what can be done to raise awareness of available support, such as the Pound Plus data collection tool developed by RCU? Could more be done to support providers in taking advantage of grants provided both by Government and others such as the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund?

About 80 people attended the event. They were mostly from lifelong learning and community learning groups. Others were from Westminster policy groups.

Shortly after every Westminster Employment Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our contacts in government, and stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

Each publication includes:

  • All speeches from the day, with accompanying slides and speaker biographies
  • Transcripts of question and comment sessions;
  • Supplementary articles from speakers and delegates; and
  • Event information such as the delegate list and final agenda

See also[edit]