The Information Office, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.
20 February l998
NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR LIFELONG LEARNING
The opportunities for employees in the south-coast region to up-date their skills has been given a major boost through a new project due to start at the University of Sussex this April. The Department for Education and Employment has just announced an award of £171,000 to the University's Centre for Continuing Education to help enhance the high level skills and knowledge of the workforce in the local region.
The grant is part of a government programme, High Level Lifelong Learning, which is designed to support development projects aimed at equipping people with the skills and knowledge which are critical to the effective performance of the UK economy.
One of the government's key objectives within education is to promote lifelong learning, whereby people in the workplace, and those who are unemployed, have access to education and training at a high level. Provision of appropriate training can be particularly difficult, however, in regions such as Sussex where the majority of companies are too small to provide fully for their employees' training needs - 75 per cent of companies in Sussex employ l0 people or fewer.
The new project at the University will begin by identifying the learning needs of employees across the region. Then, in partnership with local employers, it will design and provide courses which will meet those needs. The courses will be provided directly by the University's Centre for Continuing Education and in collaboration with the University of Southampton ; it is also planned to tap into the expertise of large organisations which have their own development programmes. A further aspect of the project is the awarding of postgraduate qualifications, also to be developed in partnership with employers, which will enable students to gain high level credit for the work they undertake.
To ensure maximum impact and value for money, the project will develop a model of good practice which will then be disseminated throughout the UK. According to Sussex lecturer, Mary Stuart, the project co-ordinator, "This project will greatly increase the University's profile within the local region. Our work should make a real difference . It is a wonderful opportunity to form partnerships with employers which will continue over a number of years and which will enable employers to participate in education at a high level."
This file produced by USIS - 20th February 1998