The lifelong learning agenda maintains a pivotal role in educational discourse. It reflects government policy that as a conceptual framework it is shaping a new model of learning. Moreover, it reinforces the view that the establishment of a learning society is vital to meet the growing diversity of economic and social imperatives. This paper explores some of the challenges facing further education in constructing an effective and vocational paradigm for lifelong learning that addresses the impact of widening participation and accessibility. It highlights the significance of recent post‐16 government initiatives and the relationship between a knowledge economy and the inclusive learning agenda in the context of policy and practice.
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