New research reveals new tricks are no problem for a third of over 50s during Adult Learners Week

Monday 15 June 2015

• 71% wanted to improve their skills • A third also enrolled to help keep them socially active • Those living in Scotland, Wales and London most likely to reskill

New research reveals new tricks are no problem for a third of over 50s during Adult Learners Week

New research released today by Saga to coincide with adult learners week reveals that older learners still have a thirst for knowledge and self-improvement, but are also aware that group learning can lead to lifelong friendships.

7 in ten (71%) of those that have taken a course over the past five years have done so to improve their skills, and with many over 50s now working well into their late 60s many are looking to gain news skills, or polish up existing ones to help them in the workplace. A further 5% who haven’t yet managed to enrol in a course plan to do so.

Interestingly women over 50 are significantly more likely to want to gain new skills than their male counterparts with 40% of women doing so compared to 24% of men.

Whilst many are going into adult education to gain new skills (71%)* or to help them with their hobby(48%)* a third are also doing so to make new friends and acquaintances – with many life-long friendships formed whilst on the course.

“Going into education when you’re older can often be a daunting prospect, but for those that take the plunge it can be enormously rewarding. Not only can you learn something new or broaden your understanding of a hobby or interest, many people also find that they make life-long friendships in the process.

“For too long lifelong learning has been a trite phrase. With longer working lives there has never been a better time for employers and politicians to ensure it’s truly embedded in the way that training and education opportunities are created and maintained for people of all ages.”

Regional table of those that have taken an adult education course in the past 5 years, or plan to take a course:







North East


East Midlands


South East


South West


North West


Yorkshire and the Humber


West Midlands


East Anglia




For further information please contact Lisa Harris on 01303 774716 or

Editors notes:

Populus interviewed 10,991 Saga respondents, all aged 50+, online between 19 and 25 March 2015. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

About Saga

Saga is a leading provider of products and services primarily tailored for customers over the age of 50 in the UK. The Saga brand has been carefully developed over the past 60 years to become one of the most recognised and trusted brands among UK consumers aged over 50. Products and services include cruises and holidays, home and motor insurance, savings and share dealing and the UK’s award winning Saga Magazine. In addition to more than 2.7 million active customers it has built a proprietary database of more than 10.6 million contactable names. 


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