The Next Step
Don't Stop Now!
If you are unsure about learning something new, think about how it could benefit your life. Are you thinking about getting a better job? Or perhaps returning to work after children? Or brushing up on language skills to help you get by on holiday? Then think about how you prefer to learn. Do you like to read all about something before you try it out? A book from your local library might get you started. Do you prefer to ask advice from an expert? Perhaps one of your friends has a skill that they can share with you. Or do you prefer to jump straight in and have a go? This approach works especially well with practical subjects such as gardening, although you have to be prepared to do a lot of learning from mistakes!
Here are some other sources of information and ideas to start learning that you may find useful:
- Learndirect can signpost you to learning and training in your local area. They can also give you confidential careers advice and guidance over the phone or by email. Visit www.learndirect-advice.co.uk or call 0800 100 900.
- If you would like to brush up on your reading, writing or maths the Get On helpline on 0800 66 0800 can give you more information and find courses for you in your local area.
- If you are over 20 your local nextstep offers information on learning and work, and will put you in contact with an advisor who can give you free face-to-face advice and guidance if you have not yet achieved 5 GSCEs or an NVQ Level 2. Visit www.nextstep.co.uk to find your local nextstep.
- If you are going back to college to study to get your first full Level 2 qualification (the equivalent of 5 GSCEs) or first full level 3 qualification, you may be eligible for an Adult Learning Grant which pays up to £30 per week. Call 0800 100 900 for more information.
The Aim Higher website has a range of careers advice and guidance if you are thinking of entering higher education. Visit www.aimhigher.ac.uk
Look out for taster courses at local colleges, museums, specialist shops, parks or local societies are a low commitment way of sampling the learning experience. You will learn something useful in a short period of time and they often don't cost much. Your local paper or library should have listings. Lots of television programmes now have related booklets or web-sites that are listed at the end of the programme.
- The Worktrain website www.worktrain.gov.uk offers advice and guidance on helping you to change careers; volunteer opportunities to obtain useful skills, and information on career profiles.
- Connexions offer confidential advice and guidance for 13-19 year olds. Visit their website at www.connexions.gov.uk
- Many main libraries have an excellent range of career resources the public can access, and some libraries offer information and advice services.
- Many town centres now have their own 'One Stop Shops' offering advice and guidance.
- Your local college and Community Education Service will have information on local learning opportunities.
- If your workplace is unionised, ask for your Union Learning Reps. They will be able to talk through some options with you.