Colleges, Government departments, the media and private enterprise are to throw their weight behind Adult Learners Week in order to drive continuing education to the top of the national agenda.
This coming week, from Monday to Sunday, will see a host of events aimed at raising people's awareness of the range of education and training opportunities available. It will also be a celebration of achievements.
The centrepiece of the week is a conference to be held at the IBM Centre in London, featuring speakers including education and employment minister James Paice, TUC general secretary John Monks and Sir Christopher Ball, chairman of the new Campaign for Learning.
Alan Tuckett, director of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, which is coordinating the week, said: "A lot of adults just can't imagine themselves ever taking up learning again but we want the week to show that learning can be a positive and pleasurable experience and hopefully convince them to get up and give it a go."
The initiative is part of European Year of Lifelong Learning and will lend momentum to the Government's education and training targets of getting 60 per cent of the workforce educated to NVQ level 3, or its equivalent, by 2000 and to create a "critical mass" of companies recognised under the Investors in People scheme.