The benefits of learning are broad and far-reaching. In this blog we will focus on the employment benefits that adult learning delivers, but in the next couple of weeks look out for our blogs on the personal and social benefits too.
Finding secure employment
Research shows that at an individual level, there are multiple gains from learning, particularly learning new skills, that help those out of work to get a job (whether on a planned career break or unemployed(*1)) or to help people to future-proof their career to ensure they find stable employment.
If you are unemployed (or underemployed), learning something new can improve your CV and showcase up to date knowledge and skills. This also demonstrates to potential employers that you are committed to your learning, which makes you a more attractive candidate.
This is particularly true in today’s labour market where the need to keep your skills up to date is the key to protecting your role.
It’s also important to develop a lifelong learning attitude to help you work better for longer. The Department of Work and Pensions’ (2015) analysis of the Labour Force Survey shows that the employment rate for people aged 65 and over has doubled over the past 30 years, from 4.9% to 10.2%. For women aged 60-64, the rate grew from 17.7% to 40.7% over this period.
Check out our interview with adult learner Jenny who future proofed her traditional marketing career by upskilling in digital marketing.
Finding job satisfaction
Research shows that at an individual level, there are gains from learning and skills acquisition for raising aspirations; and job satisfaction(*2) so not only can adult learning help you to build new knowledge and skills it can help you shift your mindset and support you to love what you do.
A study shows that 58% of both men and women who completed an adult learning course indicated that they were receiving more satisfaction from their job(*3).
For many mothers, the ability to work flexibily plays a huge part in job satisfaction. Evidence shows women are forced into lower-paid, lower-skilled roles to find flexible work. Our own research shows that only 14% of mothers living with children aged 18 and under felt that they hadn’t had to compromise their skills/experience at all to find a flexible job around childcare(*4). Adult learning can help women to find flexible and rewarding careers.
Check out our interview with adult learner Suzy who has finally found career happiness that works around her three children.
Check out our interview with lifelong learner Ruth who has used adult learning to find her dream job.
Increasing your earning potential
Evidence shows that investing in your learning can pay off in the long run as you are likely to earn more over the course of your career lifetime. 35% of men and 29% of women who completed an adult learning course indicated that they had got a better job, while 18% of men and 12% of women indicated that they had received a promotion.
Check out our interview with Jodie who transformed her earning potential through adult learning.
Likewise, if you are having trouble discovering what kind of career you want and you don't know where to begin, participating in adult learning can help you explore different pathways and set new career goals.
If you study something vocational you can retrain for a completely new career, whether that’s to become a Social Media Expert with Digital Mums, to study to become a Software Developer with Makers Academy or whether that’s a PGCE to become a Teacher.
Look out for stories from our graduates that were on extended career breaks, feeling like they had no hope of employment, who are now thriving with a brand new career.
*1 Government Office for Science https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/635837/Skills_and_lifelong_learning_-_the_benefits_of_adult_learning_-_schuller_-_final.pdf
*2 Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 2013 and 2016; https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69179/bis-13-597-impact-of-further-education-learning.pdf
*3 Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 2013 and 2016; https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69179/bis-13-597-impact-of-further-education-learning.pdf
*4 Work That Works report, Digital Mums, September 2016