Harrogate College joins Leeds City Region partners to prioritise adult learning

Harrogate College, a member of Luminate Education Group, has teamed up with partners across the Leeds City Region to host a series of free short courses for adults, as part of the national Festival of Learning.  

The group is working alongside local organisations and education providers to get adults in the region back into education, following the challenges of the pandemic. 

Now in its 29th year, the Festival of Learning (formerly Adult Learners’ Week) was launched to celebrate adult students and encourage others to participate in lifelong learning. 

Danny Wild, Principal at Harrogate College, said: “It’s fantastic to be part of a partnership that is putting adults at the forefront of the education agenda. It’s been a tough year with the pandemic and by bolstering our offer, especially lifestyle courses, we hope to boost adult wellbeing and confidence. 

“The Festival of Learning celebrates adult learning at all levels and stages of life; whether that’s developing a new skill, brushing up and updating knowledge or taking it to an advanced level.”

Yultan Mellor, Principal and Chief Executive at Northern College, added: “The festival is a superb opportunity for us to shine a spotlight on the different expressions of adult learning across the region, including community, college, home and residential settings. Our collaborative activities aim to showcase the benefits of adult education, including flexibility, financial support, personalised experiences and positive wellbeing outcomes.”

As part of the Festival of Learning, adults will be encouraged to develop skills, enhance their employability and improve wellbeing through a range of taster sessions, residential days, virtual seminars and open days.

Set to launch in July, the Festival of Learning activities will kickstart with a Returning to Education: Support for Adult Learners webinar at University Centre Leeds on 20 July. Additional upcoming events include a Five Ways to Wellbeing Course at Northern College on 22 July.

Ann-Marie Spry, Vice Principal of Adults at Luminate Education Group, commented: “Adult education is central to the rebuilding of our economy in a post-Covid environment. Therefore, we are working with key stakeholders in the area to demonstrate how lifelong learning can better equip learners to adapt to unexpected change and enhance their skills, in order to suit the ever-changing job market.

“This partnership brings together experts across the region to identify how we can work together to achieve shared objectives to raise the profile of this vital agenda. Drawing expertise and insight from our partners helps us to understand the current climate, allowing us to overcome barriers to learning and champion adult education.”

In the next academic year, the partnership will be encouraging learners to take part in ‘Have a Go’ activities, providing adults with the opportunity to try different courses and discover their passion. Rebuilding relationships with the community will also be a key focus for partnership activities, including taster sessions in local community centres.

The education group, including Leeds City College, Keighley College, Harrogate College, White Rose Academies Trust and University Centre Leeds, is working with partners including West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds City Council, Bradford Council, West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges, University of Leeds, The Prince’s Trust and Northern College, to deliver shared adult learning objectives.

Find out more about the Festival of Learning partnership by discovering our upcoming events here and following the hashtag #FoLpartners on social media.