Each year we set a theme for Learning at Work Week and provide activity ideas and promotional resources you can use.
This year's theme, Create the future, explores how lifelong learning at work can help us all personally and collectively create our futures – from achieving life and work goals, to shaping our lives, communities and the world, to driving innovation and achieving organisational ambitions.
Your organisation is invited to run Learning at Work Week events and activities on the theme and its three strands. We've shared some ideas to get you started below.
Remember you can shape and interpret the theme in the best way for your organisation and workplace so it aligns with your goals and needs. You can also use one of the strands, or use your own theme if that works better for you.
Check out our planning resources and inspiration guide for ideas on the different ways you can deliver your activities to engage colleagues and reach your Learning at Work Week objectives – from taster sessions, to workshops, masterclasses, talks, exhibitions and more. If you're new to Learning at Work Week, start here!
Create the future
How can we create spaces that help and inspire us to explore and imagine our futures, where we can try out and learn new things that can help make these a reality?
- Inclusive timetabling so that people who are time limited or work different hours have opportunities to participate.
- Creating special physical and digital 'pop-up' spaces that feed curiosity, imagination and discovery and encourage us to think different, with inspiring stories and ideas, and offer ways to learn and promote everyday innovation.
- Social spaces bringing colleagues together to listen, share ideas and stories and promote discussion on what the future might hold on a range of topics linked to the business and the wider world - from seeing the bigger picture and trends, to finding out about new technology and innovations, and how others are imagining and shaping the future.
- Private spaces away from work where colleagues can meet with appropriate people to discuss in confidence their aims and ambitions, barriers and anxieties, and take forward their lifelong learning needs.
- Building a creative space for the week, where colleagues can work with artists and creators to explore their response to the future and what it means through photography, writing and art.
What do we need to be future fit? How can we use lifelong learning to help us and our communities be healthier, financially resilient, and more sustainable? What do we need to think about to ensure we have a good foundation for a future in which we will be living and working longer?
- Driving internal mobility – use the week or the lead up to the week to work with people at different levels and in different parts of the organisation to gain deeper understanding on what is needed to help people get on at work - especially those colleagues who might have barriers to learning, lower confidence levels or lower skills levels - which can then inform new approaches for skills development and internal mobility, as well as support diversity and inclusion at work.
- Exploring sustainability – create activities that focus on different aspects and understanding of sustainability, from sustainable living, to sustainable environments, to sustainable working and organisational practices. Invite colleagues to talk about sustainable practices in the business and promote green skills, jobs and careers.
- Supporting healthy futures – provide activities that reflect the different ways people define and value health and wellbeing, highlight organisational initiatives, resources and support; and signpost to external organisations, tools and information.
- Promoting financial review and planning - share resources and activities that help people think about their financial future and set in place action plans.
- Promoting career and learning pathways – highlight opportunities to learn and develop at work, and the pathways to jobs and careers at all levels and areas of the organisations. Promote programmes such as apprenticeships and ask colleagues to talk about and share their own career paths.
What are the tools, techniques, knowledge and skills that can help us and our organisation achieve our short-term and longer-term goals and aspirations and help us create the futures we'd like? How can we acquire the learning building blocks and constantly refresh our skills, so we can adapt and flourish?
- Digital tools, apps and skills - run activities that introduce new digital tools, apps and skills that help colleagues to achieve goals across work and life
- Self-experiments - invite colleagues to identify a small issue or thing they would like to change or do differently and then design timebound mini- experiments to trial out different approaches to see if they can solve the issue and achieve the thing they are looking to change – they can be used on everything from getting a better night's sleep to getting a clearer desk. They can be used at team and wider levels in an organisation too. Ask colleagues to share their results with peers.
- Understanding strengths and transferable skills - offering assessments for people to recognise the skills they have acquired through life as well as work which can be the basis of further learning and job development
- Getting to where you want to go - offer goal setting and coaching skills workshops and give colleagues the chance to have a go during the week; signpost to Mid-Life 'MOTs' for colleagues looking to review and take stock of their finances, skills and health.
- Skills refreshers - provide opportunities for people to brush up on the essential skills e.g. numeracy, literacy and digital skills and transferable skills such as critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving that are the building blocks for life and work
- Taste of the future - give colleagues the chance to have a go at something new to spark new interests or passions, or learn a new skill for work and wider life - it can by anything from hands-on baking, to bicycle maintenance to negotiation skills. Short informal taster sessions mean you can fit a range of activities into your week so there is something for everyone. Think about asking asking colleagues to share and showcase their own skills, interests and talents!