Vince Cable presents UEL with Adult Learners’ Week award

The University of East London has been awarded for its success in encouraging more than 1,000 adults to take up education.

The Thurrock Learning Shop, which is managed by UEL, picked up an Inspiring Learning Project Award at a ceremony in London as part of Adult Learners’ Week National Awards.

It was set up to encourage more adults in south Essex to discover the opportunities available to them, in response to the area’s traditionally low participation in post-16 learning, especially in higher education.

Since opening in December 2009, it has engaged more than 1,200 adults in learning activities, and has also reached marginalised groups of adults by hosting community events for free.

UEL Pro Vice-Chancellor, Selena Bolingbroke, said: “We’re delighted to receive this award, and it is testament to the sheer hard work that UEL staff and its partners have put in since this community facility opened.

“We know this is an area where people have tended not to pursue education after they finished their time at school.”

The ceremony was organised by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) and attended by business secretary Vince Cable.

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Centre user Maria Kavembe, who moved to the UK from Zimbabwe five years ago, added: ““The Learning Shop has had a very big impact on my life for the better, helping me develop my skills and gain confidence.”

For more information on the Thurrock Learning Shop, contact Debbie Briscoe on