University for Industry: widening participation?
by Heidi R. Peel, Michael Quayle
International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning (IJCEELL), Vol. 11, No. 3, 2001

Abstract: The University for Industry (UfI) is an educational initiative set up by the UK Government to improve the employability and effectiveness of the UK workforce, through the development of education and training provision and the widening of participation. This paper assesses whether or not the proposed UfI will successfully increase motivation and demand to stimulate a move toward a national culture of lifelong learning. The paper specifically considers this question in relation to physically disabled people, one of the proposed target groups of the initiative. As part of the empirical research, a summary is also provided of the successful UfI pilot project in Suffolk which is funded by the UK DFEE. However, this paper concentrates on the views of a range of physically disabled people, including: long-term unemployed, employed and those who have retired early because of their disability. It considers barriers that have and may continue to inhibit the formation of a lifelong learning culture with regard to the target group. The paper concludes that although the respondents, regardless of background and experience, generally acknowledge the benefits of continually improving their personal education and training, many of the contextual issues that prevent the motivation to train will not be addressed by the initiative.

Online publication date: Wed, 16-Jul-2003

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