Barriers Facing Adults in Education

Increasing the number of adults with access to educational services has been highlighted as a key Government objective in recent years. According to national statistics, a national skills shortage is extensively affecting the UK job market. Furthermore, as a result economic recession and Brexit’s initiation of economic uncertainty, unemployment and low paid work has sky rocketed. Government statistics identify a clear correlation between adults taking part in informal education, or education which does not result in a degree, and dramatically improved job prospects. So, with only 24% of adults seeking information about learning in 2016, why are adults failing to engage with educational services?

An evident divide is seen between those who are unemployed or in low-paid employment and those in average to high paid employment.  Adults in low-income households are statically less likely to engage with informal education projects, with much of their learning coming from family and friends, books and magazines.

One of the most prevalent barriers individuals faced when engaging with educational services was the cost associated with many of the opportunities available to adults. There has been an increase in the number of informal learning opportunities available to adults in recent years, particularly in the online environment. However, online learning programs can often be costly meaning they are not readily available to everyone.

Another reason why adults may not be accessing educational services is because they are unavailable locally or at the right time. While educational institutions, such as colleges, have introduced skills classes for adults. However, they often offer minimal flexibility and are designed to fit around their existing curriculum.

The Bakhsh Foundation aim to disperse the barriers that affect willing individuals’ ability to access learning opportunities. Offering a range of skills classes including sewing, cooking and English language, Bakhsh Foundation aim to improve the opportunities for those disadvantaged by unemployment, low paid income or for whatever reason. For this reason, skills classes run by Bakhsh Foundation offer a secure learning environment with highly trained volunteers, completely free of charge. The Bakhsh Foundation also offer a flexible learning schedule, working with participants to establish a curriculum that works for them.

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