Learning and Work Institute (L&W)

Ordinary Member

De Montfort Street 21

LE1 7GE Leicester, United Kingdom

Tel.: (0044) 116 2044 200

enquiries (at) learningandwork.org.uk



Mission statement

The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) is an independent charity which promotes adult learning across England and Wales. By consulting with its members and through its research, development, publications, events, outreach and advocacy activity, NIACE works to improve the quality and breadth of opportunities available for all adults so they can benefit from learning throughout their lives. http://www.niace.org.uk/

Main activities

NIACE works closely with adult learners, learning providers, employers, its members and many other partners and stakeholders to achieve its aims in three crucial areas.

Life Skills - improving the accessibility, range and quality of the ‘life skills’ that underpin lifelong learning and enable adults to fully participate in society. NIACE is working towards:

  • — Better national policy in literacy, numeracy, ESOL, digital, civic, health and financial capabilities.
  • — Improved curricula, resources, standards and effective practice to support provision.
  • — Greater understanding amongst politicians, the public and the media about ‘life skills’ issues.

Learning in and for the Workplace - improving the range and quality of learning in and for work, so that adults are best equipped to gain, sustain and progress in employment. NIACE is working towards:

  • — Improved access to, and take up of, learning as a means of overcoming labour market exclusion.
  • — Better equality of opportunity to participate in learning within the workplace.
  • — Improved quality of learning in and for work.

Learning in Communities - making learning in communities more diverse, sustainable, responsive and accountable to different ‘communities’, and better connected with other policy areas. NIACE is working towards:

  • — Adequate resources secured for learning in communities.
  • — Improved capacity of individuals and groups of learners in different ‘communities’ to get the learning they require to achieve their aspirations and meet their needs.
  • — Better curricula, practice and models of development and delivery of learning in communities, including the fostering of stronger partnerships.

International projects

Digital Literacy 2.0 (DLit2.0)

NIACE and seven other European organisations are developing and delivering training programmes to support socially disadvantaged learners to acquire vital digital skills, as part of a European project funded by the European Commission and coordinated by Stiftung Digitale Chancen.

UK contribution to EU Agenda for Adult Learning

NIACE hosted a conference - Learning for a Better World - as part of the European Agenda for Adult Learning which was adopted by Council Resolution in November 2011. NIACE the UK National Co-coordinator for the Agenda – and the only NGO co-coordinating activity across all member states - is running a number of innovation projects and peer learning activities throughout 2013 and 2014.

Outreach, Empowerment and Diversity

Running from December 2011 - November 2014, the project brings together a network of 17 organisations from 14 countries to tackle the need for outreach to marginalised groups - especially migrants and ethnic minorities - in order to develop more diversity in adult education. It will also seek to highlight and include learners´ voices and to empower learners to become active European citizens.

NIACE also Chairs the Unesco Literacy Working Group and is a member of the executive committee for the European Basic Skills Network.


NIACE briefing on PIAAC (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competences)

NIACE briefing and blog post outlining the implications of the PIAAC data and arguing that it may be used to inform social, economic and educational policy.

Lifelong learning - the story of change

Ahead of the UK's 2013 Party Conference season, NIACE produced a briefing document arguing that adult learning supports a stronger economy, promotes social mobility and is vital for the UK's prosperity and wellbeing.

2013 NIACE Adult Participation in Learning Survey

The headline findings from the 2013 NIACE Adult Participation in Learning Survey. NIACE has been conducting this annual survey since 1996, providing a unique view of the proportion of adults taking part in learning and a detailed breakdown of who participates and who does not.

Women's Right to Literacy

A publication as a result of an initiative led by NIACE and the Literacy Working Group, which is underpinned by the belief that literacy is a global human right which contributes to personal, community, familial and economic development, as well as social and political engagement.

Browse all of NIACE's publications online