7. Removing Barriers to Learning
7.1 A number of barriers were identified by stakeholders and adult learners;
- The costs associated with learning, including transport costs.
- Difficulties in travelling to learning opportunities. Representatives from Na h-Eileanan Siar highlighted that due to their geographical location, provision on outlying islands can be difficult due to relying on ferries to engage with potential learners.
- A lack of awareness of what learning opportunities are available.
- A lack of provision in their area
- Challenges with accessing and paying for childcare
- A lack of confidence and nervousness
7.2 These barriers were not unique to island communities with engagement showing that adult learners across Scotland face the same significant barriers in their learning.
7.3 The Adult Learning Strategy will focus on removing barriers to learning for all adult learners, irrespective of where they live and learn. It is, therefore, likely to have a positive impact on island communities.
7.4 A strategic action plan will underpin the delivery and implementation of the strategy. Its actions have been developed and refined throughout the strategy's development. Policy interventions that focus on the removal of specific barriers are not yet detailed to allow for further work to be conducted into how systemic change can be brought about to how adult learners can access and progress through learning.
7.5 A high-level strategic action is "to collaborate with adult learners and equality groups to explore, define and remove barriers to learning". This will entail working with adult learners in island communities to explore how barriers can be removed. Recommendations will be incorporated into the action plan which will be dynamic with actions being refreshed during the lifespan of the strategy.
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