Joyce Black

Assistant Director for Development & Research of the Learning and Work Institute (LWI) (United Kingdom)

Nominated by LWI

I am Assistant Director of Research and Development at the National Learning and Work Institute (L&W) in the UK. A member of the Institute’s senior management team, I lead on ‘Life and Society’ across the Institute’s Strategic Plan. This includes the work related to adult basic skills, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), digital learning, citizenship, health and financial capabilities. I also have oversight of the Institute’s Family and Community Learning and Equalities work. I am L&W’s relationship manager for the Department for Education (DfE), overseeing the Institute's annual programme of research and development activities in agreement with DfE policy leads. I lead on the Institute’s designated role at the UK National Coordinator for the European Agenda for Adult Learning (EAAL) – a role we have been asked to perform in collaboration with UK government and EU Commission since 2012. I am also the designated UK representative on the ET2020 Working Group for Adult Learning.


How do you want to contribute to the work of EAEA, based on your experience in your organisation?

I would like to contribute to the work of the EAEA in the following ways:

  • Link the Institute's established research and development work to the work of the Association particularly our work around basic skills and the citizens’ curriculum, family and community learning and our work around evidencing the social return on investment in adult learning and impact;
  • Regularly attend Board meetings and contribute ideas – in my previous 4 years in office, I have never missed a Board meeting as I believe these are an essential element of conducting the business of the Association – opportunities to share ideas the thinking with colleagues and taking advantage of the additional stakeholder meetings that often form part of the wider Board agenda items;
  • Critical thinking and support for colleagues – both during the meetings and throughout the year, supporting the implementation of the Association’s work plan, reviewing and commenting on policy documents and position papers from the Association;
  • Provide support from our well-developed networks and contacts within the UK;
  • Bring good links with the EBSN and other pan European in International organisations;
  • Link the work of the Association with the work of L&W as the UK National Coordinator for the EAAL;
  • Provide links with national associations for the Lifelong Learning Programme in the UK.

I would bring my proven and extensive experience of operating in senior positions and in non-executive capacities on governing bodies; and finally contribute my commitment and passion for the work.

What are your motivations as a board member?

I was first elected to the Executive Board of the Association in Leicester in June 2013 and re-elected to the current Executive Board in Porto in June 2015 – in both periods of office, I was appointed Vice-President following each respective election – a role I have enjoyed and feel privileged to have been asked to undertake. I have taken a full and active role in all subsequent Board meetings and activities of the Executive and would welcome the opportunity to continue in that capacity.

I want to continue to contribute to the strategic planning and development of the Association at Board level, supporting the work of the Secretary General, the Board and the members; helping to make the links with current European policy at a national, local and individual level; identifying the synergies between social and economic policies and adult learning and highlighting the positive impact adult learning can and does have in a range of policy arenas including citizenship, democracy, social inclusion, health, employment and skills.

Which other information about you would you like to share with the EAEA members?

Before joining the Institute (when it was NIACE) in 2002, I worked for over 20 years in a further education college as the Manager for Learning Support.

As well as being an active member of the European Basic Skills Network (EBSN), I am also an elected member of the Executive Committee working with other committee members on strategic direction of the Network and representing the Network at other European forums. I moderate the EBSN Twitter account- follow us at @EBSNhq

Outside of work, I am Chair of the Corporation Board of a Sixth Form College in Leicester.

I am a passionate believer in lifelong learning, I am also a qualified Aromatherapist – which is great for chilling and relaxing!