- Study in full or part-time education
- Get special support to sustain you in training or education
- Use long distance learning packages
- Follow work-related or interest related adult education
- Take up self-study through reading, the Internet etc
Training and education is available across a variety of subjects, in a number of formats and can be formal or informal. There are several issues you might want to consider:
Study in mainstream facilities – colleges of further education (full-time, part-time or modular)
Getting help to support you through a course
Using distance learning packages – Open University, etc.
Self-study – use of libraries, internet, etc.
Work based learning that allows you to earn while you learn
Accessing Community Education – based in non-academic environments
You can access factsheets on the following topics by clicking on the one that interests you:
Choosing a course
Financial help for students
If you would prefer to learn completely independently and at your own pace, you could choose to study alone. This way you study exactly what you are most interested in, although you won’t have the immediate support of a tutor or other students to share ideas with.
Books – you can get these to cover any topic you are interested in and don’t forget your local library may be able to help you. If they don’t stock a book you want they may be able to order it for you.
Audio tapes & CDs – these are popular for learning languages, although you can also learn about management skills or complete a personal development course using these.
Computer & Internet – you can learn computer skills with a tuition manual, an on-screen tutorial or via the internet. You can also access a wide range of information on any topic that takes your interest on the internet.
TV and Radio – some stations run educational programmes and have supporting material on their internet site. This can be on any topic from gardening to languages.
Work Based Learning
This could involve taking on new tasks or responsibilities as well as or instead of training that your employer is willing to pay for. Your employer may run internal courses, or be willing to send a number of people from the same team on a course.
Alternatively, you may want to find the course that you think suits you then make the case to your employer for payment of fees and allowing you the time to attend.
If you want to study something that has little or no relevance to your current work, you may need to negotiate with your employer to find a way for you to attend without compromising your ability to continue to work.
The Learning Through Work scheme is a way of studying a short course or university level qualification in your own time so you can continue to work (your employer may be willing to help with the cost of the course). It is run by learndirect and there are several universities offering these courses with online teaching and support. For more information call 0800 100 900 or visit this link: http://www.learndirect-business.co.uk/qualifications/ltw/
If you are on the New Deal you may be involved in learning as you work or doing a full-time vocational course. If you are 25 or over, New Deal starts after 18 months of claiming Jobseekers Allowance; if you are aged between 18 and 24 it will start after 6 months of claiming.
Work Based Learning for Adults is a voluntary programme and is not only directed at people claiming Jobseekers Allowance. It involves developing a training plan which could include training to do a specific job, work experience or working towards a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ).
Contact your local JobCentre Plus for more information on either New Deal or Work Based Learning for Adults.