Bite Size Courses

Women Returners' Network Chelmsford College
Moulsham Street
Essex CM2 0JQ
Phone: 01245 263796
Fax: 01245 491712

This ninth version is the first that has been set-up online. It has been updated by Andrea Lohner, WRN's Research Assistant.

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Information and Guidance Services

Careers Services
Careers Services, traditionally provided by Local Education Authorities, can now be provided under contract by a variety of organisations. Their primary responsibility is to meet the needs of young people for careers information and guidance. They are not obliged to make provision for the needs of adult returners to education / training / employment, although some do. In some cases, those Careers Services, which do offer guidance and counselling may charge for their services.


Opportunity Shops
Run by many Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs), Opportunity or Guidance Shops offer 'one stop' information and guidance concerning local training and employment initiatives.


Career Assessment and Guidance Counselling
121 High Street, Lindfield, West Sussex RH16 2HR
tel: 01403 892910, fax: 01403 892919, email,
Contact: Lynn Tulip

Specialises in helping women returning to work and offers talks, one day workshops and courses for women Returners at bases in Sussex and London. Also co-ordinates a list of independent professional Career Guidance Counsellors in different parts of the country. In-depth consultations for individuals cost from 50 to 100. Some offer concessionary rates for the unemployed. All listed counsellors are members of the British Association for Counselling, the Institute of Careers or similar recognised organisations.


ECCTIS 2000 Ltd
Oriel House, Oriel Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 1XP
tel. 01242 252627, fax: 01242 258600

This is a national computerised service providing information about courses in further and higher education and their entry requirements. It holds information on over 100,000 courses, from postgraduate and first degree courses to further education opportunities throughout the UK. Courses of more than 6 weeks full-time (or equivalent part-time) duration leading to recognised qualifications (except GCSE and SCE) are covered. Course information includes subject, duration, method of study, education institution, normal entry requirements, course structure and content and the Internet, and credit transfer opportunities. The database is available on CD-ROM by annual subscription.

Individuals seeking information should contact a local careers or guidance officer for information about their nearest ECCTIS database access point.


Infinite Reach
Beasels, Kiln Way, Grayshott, Surrey GU26 6JF,
tel/fax 01428 712761,
email, website,
Contact Helen Robshaw, Managing Partner,

Infinite Reach Infinite Reach provides a range of career management services for women. These include career planning and counselling for women who are thinking about returning to work after having a family and coaching for professional women who want to achieve their full potential while meeting the demands of family life. The services, available in London or Surrey, are bespoke and individuals decide the length and frequency of each meeting. All work is on a one-to-one basis with qualified counsellors who have specialist expertise and use accredited psychometric tests.


Kelly Services
UK Headquarters, Rodwell House, 100 Middlesex Street, London E1 7HD,
tel 0207 2474494/0800 252059, fax 0207 3751519,
email, website,
Contact: Claire Francis, head of communications.

Runs specially targeted programmes throughout its network of over 120 branches aimed to help women who have had a break return to the workplace. Every participating branch has a Working Mother Adviser who is able to assist mothers return to employment. Branches are able to provide testing and free computer technology as well as basic keyboard skills. A range of factsheets covering topics such as CVs, job interviews and stress at work are available by calling the free phone number.


Learning from Experience Trust (LET)
Goldsmiths college, Deptford Town Hall, New Cross Road, London SE 14 6AF
tel 020 7919 7739, fax 020 7919 7762, email,

The Learning form Experience Trust is built on the central idea that people learn throughout their lives, and not solely when they are engaged in formal education. Its mission is:

To develop tools and approaches that help individuals and groups learn more from their life experience and make good use of what they know

To ensure that learning from experience is recognised and valued by Society, including by government, educational institutions, employers, community and voluntary organisations, as well as by the public.

For the last 15 years LET has carried out research, training and development, and published materials on practical approaches to enhance learning from experience. It is deliberately small and focused, but draws on extensive networks of people in the UK and world-wide, linked through work on experimental learning, community-based and work-based learning.


Low Pay Unit
27-29 Amwell Street, London EC1R 1UU, tel 0207 713 7616

The Low Pay Unit is an independent charity set up in 1974 to investigate and highlight the problems of low pay, poverty and inequality, to advise low paid individuals and train advisers on wages and employment law. It is now the main organisation representing the interest of the `working poor`, ensuring that the issues remain high on the political agenda and can respond to individual enquiries.


NIACE (National Institute of Adult Continuing Education)
21 De Montfort Street, Leicester LE1 7GE 0116 255 1451

NIACE is the national organisation for adult learning, promoting the study and general advancement of adult continuing education. It seeks to enable consultation and co-operation between all those concerned in the provision of education and training for adults. It also provides an information and advice service for organisations and individuals, undertakes research, organises conferences and produces a range of publications. NIACE also co-operates the annual Adult Learners` Week, a nation-wide event promoting adult education and training opportunities. Publications include an annual `Adult Continuing Education Yearbook` which lists organisations concerned with adult education across the UK and overseas.

For details of NIACE in Wales, contact:
Wales Committee NIACE/NIACE Cymru, Welsh Joint Education Committee, Education Department,
245 Western Avenue, Cardiff CF5 2YX, tel 01222 265000


National Association for Educational Guidance for Adults (NAEGA)
PO Box 869, CB3 7EH, tel 01727 761891,
Contact: Penny Thei, Secretary

NAEGA is the national professional body, which lobbies exclusively for adult careers and educational guidance provision throughout the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. It plays an active role in national discussions aimed at promoting and providing lifelong learning opportunities. NAEGA has regional branches, a quarterly newsletter and an annual conference for members and others interested in the aims of the association. Contact the Secretary for details of regional contacts.


4th Floor, 40 Linenhall Street, Belfast, BT2 6BA, tel 02890 244274, website

Offers independent advice and information for adults who are interested in returning to work or continuing learning at any level from basic to Post Graduate.


New Ways to Work
22 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5AP, tel 0207 9300093, fax 0207 9303366,

New Ways to Work is the leading organisation in the UK advising on more flexible ways of working. It runs a national information and advice service dealing with enquiries about flexible working from individuals, employers, trade unions and others. It publishes booklets, leaflets and a quarterly newsletter and also runs seminars and training sessions for employers and personnel officers.


Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities
123 Minories, London, EC3N 1NT, tel 020 74812727,
email, website

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.


Small Business Bureau
Curzon House, Church Road, Windlesham, Surrey GU20 6BH, tel 01276 452010

The Small Business Bureau is lobbyist for small businesses.


The Basic Skills Agency
1-19 New Oxford Street, Commonwealth House, London, WC1A 1NU,
tel 020 7405 4017, fax 020 74406626,
email, website
Contact: Sobhna Parekh

This is the national development agency for literacy, numeracy and related basic skills in England and Wales. If you want to join a programme anywhere in England and Wales to improve your reading, writing, spelling or basic maths, ring the Basic Skills Agency Helpline 0800 700987


The Industrial Society
Peter Runge House, 3 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5DG,
tel 0870 400 1000, fax 0870 400 1099,
email, website

The Industrial Society has long been a key campaigner for women's development. This fact is reflected in our exciting range of women only courses, established because many women find it easier to learn in a single gender environment. Our innovative and renown courses enable women to take stock of the challenge they face and to plan effectively the actions they will implement on their return to work, which makes good business sense.


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