Our track record

Supporting innovation in learning

We are uniquely experienced in supporting learner centred approaches. Learners First have developed learning resources that are both innovative and effective, carried out rigorous research and evaluation projects and managed significant national projects supporting and enabling staff involved in teaching and training.

Out clients have been from both the public and private sectors. Highlights in our work have been:

For Government departments responsible for post-16 learning

We carried out several R&D projects for the departments for both Employment and Education, and for curriculum and qualification agencies such as NCVQ and QIA. But our major achievement has been the national Key Skills Support Programme. We joined forces Shelborn Ltd to form Learning for Work, the project manager of the KSSP in the the work-based route from 1999-2008.


We supported and developed teachers and trainers in the delivery of key skills in the workplace through CPD activities, guidance materials and teaching resources. This major, and highly successful, government-funded project made a significant contribution to raising the completion rates of key skills among apprentices.

In the NHS

We ran several projects for the NHS Training Division and its successor bodies on topics such as interprofessional education, care pathways and workforce planning but our major contribution came through the Health Pickup Programme for which we developed a wide range of credit-rated study packs on issues such as Quality Management, Understanding Research, Budgeting, Contracting and Care Transfer.


Qualification development

We designed and delivered a programme for supervisors for the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate and also played important roles in the original development of the national Functional Skills qualifications.


Developing open learning courses

Learners First were one of the main contractors developing workbooks for the Open College on management themes such as Total Quality Management, Teamwork and Returning to Nursing.

The Open College

Work in agriculture

A series of R&D projects for ATB Landbase (now Lantra) put us in prime position to project manage the Land Based Colleges National Consortium. From 1995-2014 we collaborated with staff in Land Based Colleges throughout the country to develop and maintain more than 600 learning resources geared to national qualifications that were available from a website.

LBCNC logo scanned

Work for commercial clients

We have also worked directly for a number of companies helping them to enhance the education and training offered to their staff. These clients have included the Rover Group, TSB Bank, Coca Cola Enterprises and the Royal Mail.

Comercial clients

Aim Higher Greater Manchester

Aim Higher was an initiative of the Labour Government to encourage more young people to aspire towards Higher Education. In Greater Manchester the programme evolved a Work Based Learning Strategy, raising awareness of the fact that anyone completing a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship meets the entry requirements for HE.


Learners First carried out the external evaluation of the strategy. Using a combination of desk research, interviews with providers and questionnaires followed up with phone interviews for apprentices we found that the strategy had been a spectacular success. Nationally, only 2-4% of apprentices progress to HE. In Greater Manchester 28% said that they had firm plans to do so and another 60% that they would consider doing so in the future. We also produced a dissemination report Opening Doors, Broadening Horizons which shared the main lessons learned through the strategy.

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