Adult and Further Education

Back to school for you too?

With the kids safely back to school you may find that you are keen to get back into learning yourself, either to gain a new skill, hone a favourite hobby or as a more serious avenue back into the world of work.  Alternatively you may have an older child or family member who is not sure about their options now that they have left school.

The National Careers Service provides information, advice and guidance across to help you make decisions on learning, training and work opportunities and offers confidential and impartial advice by qualified careers advisers. The site has a useful search engine which allows you to find courses in your local area.  Visit or call 0800 100 900.

If you live in England and are aged 16 or over you can apply for an apprenticeship, which will take between 1 and 4 years to complete. Apprenticeships cover 1,200 job roles in a range of industries, from engineering to financial advice, veterinary nursing to accountancy. Visit to search for opportunities.

Information about local adult education courses is available from your local library or you can search for local courses at  Courses range from English and Maths GCSE to computer and iPad skills, modern languages and flower arranging.  Some courses that lead to a professional qualification qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the cost of the course. For more information call 0345 603 7635.

You can find information about your options as a mature student at  These include both full-time and part-time courses as well as access courses and distance learning through the Open University.  You will also find details of the financial support available.  If you are training in healthcare, social work or to be a teacher you may get help with the cost of your training; if you are a parent you may also be able to get help with childcare costs while you study.

If you want to learn new skills to help get back into the workplace, then taking up a volunteering role can be a great way to build your confidence and update your knowledge.  You can search for local opportunities at or  or approach local charities directly – they will certainly welcome your support!

Uttlesford Citizens Advice can offer help and advice in connection with benefit enquiries, debt and money worries, relationship problems, housing issues, employment and legal concerns.