Integrating employment and skills: the role of community-based learning

Alexander McTier, Alan McGregor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Community-based learning delivers a diverse range of learning opportunities in community venues across the UK to all sections of society. Its outreach is extensive yet the sector is often overlooked by employability policy-makers and practitioners. Following the Leitch Review of Skills and the UK government's policy announcement to integrate more closely employment and skills services, this article aims to overcome this lack of recognition by first generating a pragmatic definition of community-based learning before highlighting the potentially significant role that it can play in supporting people to enter, sustain and progress in employment. Set within the UK policy context, the article draws on the findings of two Glasgow research studies into community-based learning to give a balanced assessment of the sector's contribution to the employability agenda. In highlighting both the benefits and the limitations of community-based learning to achieve employment outcomes, the article concludes with recommendations and potential areas for future research into how employment and community-based learning services could be more closely integrated to achieve stronger employment outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-90
Number of pages18
JournalPolicy Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2011


  • progression
  • learning
  • community-based learning
  • employability


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