If you thought the only place to learn was school or college, then you couldn’t be more wrong. Today there are countless places to learn or train, not just at home but in other community venues from your nearest library to local community centres!
Here is a brief explanation of the kinds of institutions where you can access learning and training.
- Colleges - also known as Colleges of Technology and Technical Colleges, these provide a wide range of full-time, part-time and open learning courses, from GCSEs up to degree level. Many also run vocational and Return to Learn courses.
- Universities - provide courses leading to degrees, Higher National Diplomas or Certificates, and other courses beyond A-level. Courses can be full-time, part-time or via distance learning.
- Adult Education Centres - offer a wide variety of part-time day and evening classes, often in local school buildings. Courses range from leisure and self-development to others leading to qualifications, as well as basic literacy and numeracy.
- Adult Residential Colleges - weekend or out-of-term courses can be studied at colleges with residential facilities.
- Private sector - providers offer an enormous range of courses, from business skills to alternative therapies, some studied in class and others via distance learning.
- Access Centres - these are sited in a wide range of community venues to enable people to study near to home. They can be found in libraries, sports halls, information centres on housing estates, or even the village pub, running a range of courses and offering access to courses run by other institutions.
- Employers - these provide training opportunities for staff, either on their own premises, paying for them to attend external courses, or via distance learning.
- Voluntary organisations - many voluntary organisations offer training to their volunteers, such as counselling.
- Virtual learning - people can now study on the Internet, through initiatives such as learndirect. Call its helpline on 0800 100 900, or visit the website at www.learndirect.co.uk