Learning doesn’t end when you leave school or college: people go on learning throughout their lives, for work and leisure. Whether you are looking for a job or planning a career change, new skills and qualifications can help you get more out of life and work. You can:
- think about what you need to learn
- find out more about qualifications at all levels
- look for a course in your area
- find out about learning at work, at home and elsewhere
- sign up to store all the information you find and keep track of your learning
People never stop learning. Whether you are doing a course, in work, or volunteering, you are increasing your skills and your confidence. The more skills you have, the better your chances of finding the right job and getting more out of life. Register with Next Step and you will be able to keep track of all the study you do.
Getting a qualification
A qualification is proof that you have knowledge or a skill in a certain area. Qualifications aren’t the only way to show your skills: work experience or volunteering are other ways of showing what you can do. But qualifications are a good way to let an employer see what skills and knowledge you have. Don’t worry if you haven’t studied for a while. Many people return to learning after a break, and really enjoy the experience. You can study in a variety of different ways now, including at home.
Beginning with the basics
You may have left school without qualifications and have worries about your maths and English. You might think your IT skills need some updating. Getting more confident about the basics is a great way to start improving your skills. There are many courses to choose from, in colleges, learning centres and libraries. Another good way to begin is through a leisure course, in a subject you enjoy, such as photography, cookery or crafts.
There are many opportunities for gaining a qualification at different levels. Some are work-based, others concentrate on a particular subject. Levels range from basic qualifications to university degrees and diplomas. You need to think about where you would like to go in your career and what qualifications you need to get there.
Returning to learning
Adults having a discussion If you are thinking about a career change, or wanting to update your skills, going back into learning is the right move. Many adults find their way back to education for all sorts of reasons, and find it a very useful and enjoyable experience. You will find there is a lot of support available, and you might be able to get funding.
At your own pace
If you are worried about the fact that you haven’t studied for a while, relax. Many courses allow you to work at your own pace, and adult returners get a lot of help. If you need to brush up your maths and English, there are many courses available at a time and place to suit you.
If you are thinking about going to university as an adult, you might be able to do an Access course. This might be the best way for you to achieve your dream.
- lots of people have problems with reading, writing and numbers – so don’t think you are the only one
- it’s not like going back to school – many adults get help with reading, writing and numbers
- the tutors will help you – they will make sure you are on the right course
How could improving my reading, writing and numbers help me?
It could help you to:
- get a better job
- go on to further study
- help your children with their school work
- improve your self-confidence
- deal with money better
Where can I do a course?
You can find reading, writing and numbers courses in further education colleges, adult education and community centres, libraries and learn direct centres. You can speak to an adviser face-to-face at a Next Step centre or Citizens Advice Bureau.
Will I have to pay?
You may be able to get your course paid for. Some people are able to get the Adult Entitlement to Learning to help them study reading, writing and numbers courses.
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