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Section 1b. Why flexible models of delivery

Key priority

Developing and delivering flexible, responsive Skills for Life learning is one of the three key priorities for the government, as stated in Skills for Life: Changing lives (DIUS, March 2009).

It is important for providers to offer flexible learning opportunities to meet the different needs of a wide range of learners. These are some of the reasons why learners might need a more flexible approach:

  • childcare or other care commitments stop someone attending classes;
  • they live a long distance from where the training is delivered;
  • demands of work stop someone attending a course, particularly shift work;
  • some people don’t like being in a formal classroom environment;
  • some people are too embarrassed or nervous to join a formal group;
  • the need to study at their own pace and at different times each week;
  • disabilities or illness are a barrier to accessing learning.

Flexible delivery is often essential to meet the needs of employers for accessible workplace training.

Flexible delivery may be the only cost effective model for providers to meet learner and employer needs.

Being a full time working mum, blended and e-learning fitted in with my needs … Without this blended learning course I probably wouldn’t have done it.

(NHS employee on Cheshire County Council course)

Flexible learning has opened up new business and growth opportunities.
The organisation’s Whole Organisation Approach to Skills for Life looks more achievable with flexible learning.

(Comments from the Skills for Life Improvement Programme's Flexible Models of Delivery project.)