Do groups who are at greater risk of inequalities or marginalisation benefit from adult learning? Can the positive impact of learning on life satisfaction be replicated nationally?
What are the key findings?
Adult learning has particular benefits to life satisfaction for some groups over others. In this report we take a closer look at how life satisfaction of specific groups changes as a result of their participation in two forms of adult learning i.e. hobbies & leisure training and job-related training, within the same year of partaking in the activity.
Hobbies and leisure training increased life satisfaction across more groups than did job-related training.
The intensity of job-related training made a difference to life satisfaction for young people and those living in highly deprived areas: low intensity training decreased life satisfaction while high intensity training increased it.
The unemployed: low-intensity job training decreased their life satisfaction by 4%, however, high intensity hobbies and leisure training increased it by 8%.
Those with no educational qualifications particularly benefited from hobbies and leisure training, more so than many other groups.
Older adults (50+ years)experienced an increase in their life satisfaction after taking up low intensity hobbies and leisure training
Those living in more deprived areas benefited from all types of hobbies & leisure training and high intensity job related training
CloseWhat are the key findings?
Why should you care?
The results show that there are wellbeing benefits related to training (both job-related and hobbies & leisure) but that they differ across groups and that intensity matters. We would suggest that these findings have the following policy and practice implications.
Access to hobbies & leisure training may well be of particular benefit to the life satisfaction of people who did not get formal qualifications earlier in life or those who have gained qualification through vocational learning modes.
Intensity of job-related training has quite an important effect on young people and those living in deprived areas. Careful attention should be put into the design of these specific activities as the most meaningful changes are likely to happen through high commitment learning provision as it provides a greater opportunity for better quality learning.
A counterintuitive result for the unemployed – who are adversely affected by job training (low intensity), but positively affected by high intensity hobbies and leisure training – leads us to rethink typical strategies and solutions that can be set up to help them throughout the employability process. If the objective is to ultimately help them with transitioning into employment, a more indirect form of training might be more appropriate.