Manchester announced as UNESCO City of Lifelong Learning 

Manchester has become a UNESCO City of Lifelong Learning, in recognition of outstanding efforts to make lifelong learning a reality for all, with the University of Manchester as a strategic partner.

Manchester is one of 64 cities, from 35 countries, to join the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC). The UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities is an international network comprising of 356 cities that successfully promote lifelong learning across their communities.

A key feature of UNESCO learning cities is the connections between education and skills, communities, employers and the public sector. Manchester’s lifelong learning application was co-designed with 150+ organisations.

The University of Manchester is proud to be leading on digital skills as part of Manchester City Council’s lifelong learning approach.

The city of lifelong learning approach is a movement of people, services, and place, to connect, validate and nurture learning, to support the city economy and to promote high quality and inclusive learning, for all aspects of our life.

Professor Danielle George, Associate Vice President Blended and Flexible Learning at the University of Manchester, said: “Manchester is a city that creates and reinforces social cohesion, economic and cultural prosperity, and sustainable development. The University of Manchester is so proud to be part of this exciting network and to support our wonderful city facilitate lifelong learning for all and help realise the universal right to education.

What are we developing as part of the city’s lifelong learning approach?
Our Flexible Learning Programme focuses on delivering flexibility in terms of place, pace and pathway. We aim to develop inclusive and accessible education to be a learning partner for life.

Manchester’s Digital Skills Framework
To address the challenges around accessing talent and sector-specific digital skills, Turing Innovation Catalyst Manchester will lead on the development of Manchester’s Digital Skills Framework (MDSF):

  • We will bring together industry, training providers and relevant stakeholders together to co-design a user-focused digital skills framework for the Manchester digital ecosystem.
  • We will provide a structure for businesses/industry and training providers to consistently navigate the digital skills landscape through the production and advocacy of a common set of digital skills descriptors.
  • We will design the framework to be accessible and support all levels of training provision. It will enable employers to map their digital skills needs for their organisation and anchor this against specific, appropriate provision.
  • We will work with partners across the ecosystem to build an understanding of the needs of the city and the strengths and gaps in the current provision to address digital skills to develop MDSF.

Professor Ang Davies, Academic Lead for Flexible Pathways and Lifelong Learning at The University of Manchester, said: “Manchester’s ambitions to become a global city of digital innovation are evident in the city’s digital strategy. Building a strong talent pipeline and addressing digital skills gaps in areas such as data science and AI will be critical. We are delighted to be working with the city on its lifelong learning programme to develop Manchester’s digital skills framework, allowing us to address the gaps and match provider expertise with employer demand.” 

We’d like to hear from you

To develop the framework, we would like to engage with stakeholders within the Greater Manchester region.