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Update your skills

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     Hillcroft College
Want to get back into education or employment? Are you wondering where to start? Hillcroft College offers courses for women over 19 who want boost skills or confidence to find work or return after a break Tel 0208 399 2688
     Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CATS)
The Scheme seeks to break down the many barriers that prevent people from taking advantage of higher education, enables them to accumulate academic credit towards awards (undergraduate or postgraduate degrees). These credits can be achieved through learning at work, unpaid or voluntary work, professional courses, as well as formal study at college. Further information on the higher education opportunities available and the credit enquirers may already have accumulated is available from your local university or College of Higher Education.
     Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP)
SWAP is a partnership of colleges and universities throughout Scotland. Its role is to promote access to higher education for mature students.
     Work Based Learning for Adults
Work Based Learning for Adults is a government scheme that works to help unemployed adults back into employment or self-employment, by giving them skills and training, and job-related experience. The scheme is run at a local level by Learning and Skills Councils (in England and Wales). Members of the scheme follow a training plan, which can involve job-specific training, work towards a National Vocational Qualification or Scottish Vocational Qualification, and work experience. A person aged 25 or over who has been unemployed for six months or longer can join the scheme, as may a person aged 18 to 24 who has a disability and has been claiming benefits other than Jobseeker's Allowance.
     The Basic Skills Agency.
This is the national development agency for literacy, numeracy and related basic skills in England and Wales. If you want to join a programme to improve you reading, writing, spelling or basic math’s click here
     NIACE's (National Institute of Adult Continuing Education)
Formal aim is: "to promote the study and general advancement of adult continuing education". Less formally, we interpret this to mean advancing the interests of adult learners and potential learners. Our strategic plan commits NIACE to: "support an increase in the total numbers of adults engaged in formal and informal learning in England and Wales; and at the same time to take positive action to improve opportunities and widen access to learning opportunities for those communities under-represented in current provision."
     National Association for Educational Guidance for Adults (NAEGA)
For the past 18 years we have been vital in bringing together organisations and individuals which provide work and lifelong learning guidance for adults. Adult guidance is at the heart of lifelong learning and essential in enabling adults to make informed choices about education, training and work.
     Learn Direct
Learn Direct aims to give everybody a chance to learn and to increase their skills. It is a service which offers courses through the Internet, so students can learn when and where they want. This kind of learning is ideal, especially for students with caring responsibilities. The courses are all computer-based, with or without extra workbooks, CD-ROMs etc. and are explained step by step, so even inexperienced students can use this kind of study. Students can enroll through the website of Learn Direct, where a list of all the courses is given, or at the Learn Direct centres. They also offer a Learn Direct Futures service, where information about jobs and specific qualifications are given. For more information please call the Learn Direct helpline on 0800 100900 or take a look at their website
     I'm over 50... where can I find out about learning opportunities near me?
Information on learning opportunities is available from a variety of sources. You can call learndirect free on 0800 100 900 or visit their website. You can also contact local organisations such as colleges, universities, adult education centres, libraries, Universities of the Third Age, Age Concern etc.
     European Computer Driving License (ECDL)
European Computer Driving License (ECDL) is a new Europe-wide qualification which enables people to demonstrate their competence in computer skills.
     Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities
Its aim, through training, preparation and guidance, is to help people with disabilities to secure and maintain worthwhile employment matched to their talents and aspirations, by persuading employers to recognise positive ability and potential, not disability. Services are offered free of charge from a network of 12 regional centres and 4 special needs clubs around the country
     Distance Learning
Distance learning courses are offered by a variety of providers, use the link below for the British Association for Open Learning.
     Campaign for Learning
Creating an appetite for learning. Are working for an inclusive society in which learning is understood, valued and accessible to everyone as of right. They aim to stimulate learning that will sustain people for life.
     BBC webwise
BBC's webwise is a scheme that has been running for a few years now and aims to help anyone through free sessions at their local centre. The course generally takes an hour and will show the basics in how to; surf the net, write e-mail and also take you though all of the jargon. For more details on your local centre, either ring freephone on; 0800 100 900, or look on their website.