He certainly seems to given this reported statement:
Taking evening classes improved adults' physical and mental health, encouraged them back into work and helped build tight communities, the minister said. "[The classes] aren't just about utility in its narrowest sense," he said. "There are a lot of studies that show the beneficial effect adult education has on health and social interactions."He also gets it about the utility of non-vocational learning. But, and there is always a but, he is a Tory and ultimately this is translated into a curious amalgam of a lack of substance in terms of policy and a sense of the absurd.
Hayes said courses such as dance or flower arranging were "arguably more important" in times of financial constraint because they made people happy.So, after New Labour's commitment to make lifelong learning central to the new 'knowledge economy' (and then trashing it), we now see adult education advocated as a new opiate of the masses. Flower arranging as a compensation for losing your job. It isn't convincing, reflects a stereotype of the enormous variety of activities that fell under the lifelong learning banner, whilst the creation of a happy subservience doesn't encompass the vision that made so many of us give our working lives to adult education, before departing with some bitterness and a severance payment.