Returning to Learning

Making the decision to return to work is an important one and it’s equally important to ensure you are as prepared as you can be.  Consider whether you and your CV would benefit from a refresher training course or maybe from learning something completely new.

Today’s workforce is evolving all the time and it’s important to show that you are keeping on top of these changes.  The main example of this is technology.  If you have been out of the workplace for a few years you may not be aware of some of the more recent changes in technology whether it is new email systems, word processing or even the new networked photocopiers or computerised tills that are being used nowadays.  Do not panic; there is a full range of courses available to you which will cover all aspects of the modern day working environment.

Returning to study may seem a daunting prospect, but it’s important to remember that adult courses are designed specifically to cater for those in similar situations to you.  To feel apprehensive is normal, but there are even courses available to help with this apprehension such as confidence building, study skills and advice and guidance on your next move.

Courses are available at all levels and aimed at people from all walks of life.  Ranging from access and foundation courses to higher level diplomas, NVQs or degrees; there is something out there to suit everyone.

An access level course will provide you with the skills you need to access a higher level course.  They can be fairly general courses such as Access to Humanities or Business Studies, or more specific such as Access to Teaching or Nursing.  Some Access courses are linked to a degree course, so if you pass the Access course you’ll automatically be accepted onto the degree course.  On the more general side there are courses such as first aid, note taking and minutes, telephone skills, customer service and retail skills.

Since these courses are aimed at adults, they are often run at times which will are convenient to the average adults work-life schedule.  Courses are usually available part time in the evening, full time or maybe even on a distance learning schedule which you can do from home.

Training courses usually come at a cost but this doesn’t have to be expensive.  Some temping agencies will allow you go in and use their self-taught computer programs to refresh basic admin skills such as typing and how to use different types of admin software.  Some County Councils offer free English and Math’s courses to help improve your skills.

Depending on your circumstances there may be some financial help available to you.  Eligibility for funding is usually based on the course you are taking and your income.

A few of the grants available include:

Childcare grant – Available to those living and studying in England, and who use childcare that is provided by a registered and approved childcarer.

Adult Dependants’ grant – Available to those who are a student in full-time higher education and who have an adult who depends on them financially.

The Adult learning Grant – For those who are 19 or over and studying in England.  The eligibility criteria for this £30 a week grant will look at the course you are studying and your annual income.

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