Changes in the world of work will increase demand for lifelong learning, according to the author of a report published this week.
Valerie Bayliss, director of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and and Commerce, said that as work becomes casual and part-time, more people will want to update their skills on part-time courses.
The report, Redefining Work Project, found that four out of ten jobs are now part-time and that 70 per cent of new jobs created in the United Kingdom in the past five years have not been full-time permanent employment.
Ms Bayliss said further and higher education institutions can expect a big rise in applications for places if the government introduces Individual Learning Accounts and backs proposals to extend loans to part-time students. Both of the moves have been recommended by the Fryer advisory group for the forthcoming lifelong learning white paper.
Ms Bayliss's final report, due next year, is expected to back basic and higher level general education as much as vocational education. "There is almost a bottomless pit of people who need better training as skill requirements increase," she said.