Wolverhampton Adult Education Service Vouchers: The Gift of Learning! The Gift of Opportunity! Vouchers for non-vocational courses
Why Wolverhampton needs it? “The aggregation of marginal gains”: big ideas are fine, but several small improvements can have a huge impact on the City. I would like to see greater opportunities open to far more people to experience the value of lifelong learning. Wolverhampton must offer and retain a range of leisure learning opportunities for all which will contribute to creating a better place to live. Non vocational adult education (leisure courses) is essential for our City because it contributes and improves social cohesion and also brings wider benefits such as improving physical and mental health by lowering stress and anxiety, impacting on depression. Leisure classes help to generate confidence, citizenship participation, greater tolerance and thus improve community cohesion. Soft skills are crucial for companies and in demand by recruiters; these soft skills are developed and fostered in the non–vocational courses. These courses are often the first step on the pathway to vocational courses, especially for people who have had previous bad experiences and left school without qualifications. Non-vocational courses attract people from a large area into the city enlivening centre and providing them with the opportunity to spend in the shops of the City. Those factors are essential in a period where we are all witnessing as a journalist mentioned recently in a newspaper the most savage and sustained attack on our standard of living for decades. Inequality is accelerating and unfortunately our City is suffering deeply.
Who my idea will help? Unfortunately, the loss of the financial support from governmental funds together with budget cuts and the continuing recession are creating a challenging future for leisure courses in Wolverhampton and ...the rest of the Country. Everybody will benefice from the scheme: ●The people of Wolverhampton who are interested in joining non–vocational courses but cannot afford to pay full fees because most of the funding is directed to vocational courses. ●The scheme will help to keep employment for WAES as it will generate a larger enrolment for non-vocational course which are at risk. ●Keeping and generating a wider range of courses and attract a greater number of learners from inside and outside Wolverhampton. ●Businesses and professional people are attracted to places where wider leisure opportunities are on offer. What support will I need to try the idea out for real? The support of Wolverhampton City Council and Wolverhampton Adult Education Service. Initially for cost efficiency (paper and printing), it would be in the interest of WAES to design and produce the vouchers with a great care to avoid unauthorised duplication. Later, if there is a successful response, the designing and printing could be undertaken by a professional company. The design of the voucher could be develop by the Creative Studies Department of Wolverhampton Adult Education Service and its learners as a creative project or a local artist which could use the voucher to promote a work piece. The conditions and legal requirement of the vouchers could be look at by the legal team of Wolverhampton City Council.