Learning for Life

About the Learning for Life Scheme

The aim of many Employee Development Schemes (EDS) that were established in the 1990’s was to encourage participation in learning that was not work-related in the belief that this would subsequently lead to greater participation in work-related training. The personal development of the individual, in terms of enhanced confidence and self-esteem was, and still is, a central factor in these schemes.

Employee development is now more than ever a key issue within Human Resources as organisational change has stimulated the need more than ever for employees at all levels to be more flexible. Required skills are not necessarily directly job-related. Often the skills needed are softer ones such as confidence, communication and team-working.

The Learning for Life (L4L) scheme at the University of Leeds was set up as a six month pilot scheme in 1999 following some very successful non-work related training that had been offered, initially, to ancillary staff. This training included ‘Computing Skills’ and a ’Return to Learn’ programme. These courses had been organised in the workplace by one of the trade unions and the then Staff and Departmental Development Unit (now Organisation Development and Professional Learning; ODPL). Learning for Life was established as a permanent scheme at the university following its’ very popular pilot and is now available to all university staff who are on grades 2-4.

Learning Centres are one type of EDS where employees are encouraged to make use of resources and courses on offer. Following the establishment of the LOGIK Centre here at the University of Leeds in 2005, the Learning for Life scheme, which had been based in the more formal offices of the then Staff and Departmental Development Unit, was relocated to the centre in order to become more accessible to staff.

Learning for Life Funding Criteria for 2021 – 2022

Individual members of staff on grades 2-4 can draw down up to £135 each year from the fund, subject to availability. The types of courses that will be supported by the scheme are those that come under personal and professional development or well-being and active courses. However, before you identify your individual course, please check with us first to see what we are offering, or have access to for free. For example, the Skills Network Level 2 courses, Linkedin Learning and FutureLearn.

Please consider the following criteria when you are looking for courses:

Individually booked classes and courses that you enrol on must be within the period of your contract of employment with the university. Also, these must be offered by an educational provider or a charitable organisation as courses that are run by private companies or individuals are not eligible for funding unless they are accredited and provide you with a recognised qualification.

How to claim your Learning for Life funding allowance:

Please ensure that you are entitled to Learning for Life funding, and that the course and provider you have chosen are eligible prior to enrolment. You will need to pay your course fees initially and then claim these back from your allowance. If your course or contract do not meet the criteria for funding, you will not be able to claim a reimbursement.

You do not need permission from your manager if you are organising courses in your own time, just apply direct to us. However, if you are attending one of our courses during work time your manager should be informed. All individual claims must be received by the end of June each year (subject to funding availability) as the new funding year starts in August. Claims can be submitted from 1st August each year.

If you have any queries or require further details about any aspect of the scheme then please do not hesitate to contact loglearn@leeds.ac.uk