Festival of Learning winners highlight the power of learning and inspire others to transform lives

The winners of the Festival of Learning (@festival_learn) for 2021 have been announced by the Learning and Work Institute (@LearnWorkUK)

The 12 winners, revealed at an online awards ceremony, include inspiring stories from adult learners, as well as outstanding adult learning services, tutors and employers.

The Festival of Learning has been the largest celebration of lifelong learning in England for almost 30 years. It is supported by the Department of Education, NOCN, The Education and Training Foundation, Skills and Education Group, City Lit and The WEA. The winner of the patron’s award is chosen by the boss of the Learning and Work Institute, HRH the Princess Royal. All of this year’s recipients show the power of learning to transform and enrich people’s lives.

The winners are:

Matthew Turner, an inspiring young man from Bradford who, having been held back by his autism, was selected by HRH The Princess Royal to receive the Sponsor award. He progressed in learning from level 1 to level 3, helping to create a better future for himself,

CARAS ESOL, an innovative and holistic project led by a South London charity working with asylum-seeking and refugee youth and adults to advance their learning, received the award President’s Award.

Rosie Wainwright moved back Exceptional individual price. Rosie had a tumultuous start in life, but showed great tenacity to keep going despite the odds. The return to learning transformed Rosie’s life and her academic and professional outlook.

Sels Santé Ltée, has been recognized with the Employer’s Award, supported by NOCN. The various career paths they offer their workers and their partnership with Birmingham Metropolitan College to provide training have fostered growth and productivity; assisted retention within the company; and helped their staff overcome personal and professional barriers.

Jose aguiar, from London, won the Tutor price, supported by the Foundation for Education and Training. By helping learners within the criminal justice system unlock their potential, Jose’s innovative and creative approach played a huge role in the mental health and well-being of inmates throughout the lockdown.

Naomi-Louize, a young mother of Bolt, moved back Apprenticeship Award for Work, supported by NOCN. After seeing her son struggle to get his hair cut, Naomi decided to take matters into her own hands. She has now completed Level 3 in Barber and is self-employed with young children who have learning difficulties or special needs.

Nikki-Ann Wyatt, de Salford, lost her distinguished career as a pastry chef following a serious motorcycle accident. She won the New Directions Award, supported by Skills and Education Group, after resuming her studies at Trafford College Group and discovering her passion for engineering. Nikki is now embarking on a new trip to college, studying for a degree in civil engineering.

Paul Ackroyd, a Yorkshire bus driver, received the Learning for Health Award, supported by the AEM. Following a diagnosis of a life-changing illness, Paul began a variety of Level 2 courses to better understand his illness.

Hassan Jasim, from North Yorkshire, won the English language learning award. Motivated by a desire to support his family and create a better future for them after leaving Iraq, Hasan enrolled at the local adult and community education center to learn English. He is now undertaking further studies in order to find work as a tiler, his former profession.

Positive progressions, a project delivered by Craven College, received the Price of the learning service. It is an employability project that engages with pre-troubled families furthest from the labor market and aims to increase opportunities for learners, helping them to access training so that they can find a job and support their families.

Kirsty Young, of East Riding, won the Return to apprenticeship award, supported by City Lit. From a young age, Kirsty was the victim of domestic violence and was isolated from the outside world. Kirsty was encouraged by her mother to join East Riding College and was able to start a new life for herself and her three children.

Daya Mohindra, whose learning journey began at the approach of his 80th birthday, received the Online Learning Award. When Daya joined a health and wellness class organized for people with disabilities, she had no idea that she would be taking several online art classes using her time in confinement to become a more confident artist.

Stephen Evans, CEO of the Learning and Work Institute, said:

“Learning something new has been a lifeline for many during the pandemic, and adult education will be critical to our recovery as well. Lifelong learning can help people find new jobs or retrain for new careers. But it can also help you make new friends, be active in your community, and improve your health and well-being. That is why we must make the next ten years the decade of lifelong learning, giving everyone the chance to experience the difference that learning at any age can make.

“Our award winners show how powerful learning can be and the difference great tutors and training providers can make. I hope their stories will help inspire others to embark on learning and advocate for a renewed commitment and investment in lifelong learning.

Gillian Keegan, Minister of Learning and Skills, said:

“I would like to congratulate all of the winners and finalists for this year’s Festival of Apprenticeship. These awards highlight the power of education to change people’s lives. I hope the inspirational stories of exceptional adult learners motivate others to start their own learning journeys.

“We have placed skills at the heart of our plans to recover from the pandemic. Our Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Employment Plan will ensure everyone has the opportunity to learn and develop the skills they need to be successful at any age. As part of this, our free courses for employment offer nearly 400 free courses for adults without a full level 3 qualification in various sectors, including engineering, health and digital, to help even more people get good grades. jobs ”.


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