04 Sep 2020

New adult learning courses now available in communities across Leeds

jobs and skills

An exciting programme offering adults the chance to learn a new skill or improve their knowledge of different subjects and topics has officially launched this month.

Running throughout the academic year, a variety of courses for adults aged 19 and over will be available through Leeds Adult Learning, commissioned by Leeds City Council. Funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, the aim of the £2.2m programme is to provide adults with the confidence and skills to access job opportunities or new skills to support a personal/family interest.

Whether you are interested in learning how to use your smart phone or tablet, grow your own vegetables and eat more healthily, improve your English and maths or to build your self-confidence whilst learning something new and meeting new people, there really is something for everyone.

Covid-19 has been a huge challenge in so many ways and many people have lost their job, their confidence or maybe just wondering how they can make a fresh start. Adult Learning could be just the thing.

Social distancing rules means that we cannot offer all our courses on site at the moment but we are working hard to do this safely as soon as possible. In the meantime we already have well over 100 courses on line, ranging from arts and crafts to digital skills, training for work, CV’s and on-line job interview preparation. Many others are based on distance learning using study packs and other courses can be held outside. All the information you need about where a course is running, if its on line or distance learning can be found on our easy to use course finder website.

The Leeds Adult Learning course finder website (www.leedsadultlearning.co.uk) is an easy way to discover a course that is just right for you and also includes an integrated journey planner with bus routes and maps to help you find the best and easiest way to travel to courses.

Courses are free for adults in receipt of benefits or those in work but earning less than £17,004 per year and is delivered by a range of different organisations. These include recognised learning providers such as Leeds City College, Swarthmore Education Centre, and smaller community based organisations such as Nari Ekta, Learning Partnerships, The Conservation Volunteers (Hollybush) and many others.

Last year around 7,000 adults took part in more than 1,000 adult learning courses opening up new opportunities for adults to learn and develop their confidence.

One of the people to take part in the Leeds Adult Learning programme was Sophia who enrolled on an Upcycling course to help her save money on buying new clothes, by reviving her wardrobe. Sophia then joined another more advanced course and developed her skills in sewing further. Her interest and confidence in her abilities led her to complete a Diploma in Dress Making and Fashion Design which she passed with distinction. ‘I was looking for something to improve my well-being and connect more with others. Luckily, I found an adult learning course at my local community centre the Cardigan Centre, the course was called Upcycling: Wardrobe Revival. Adult learning certainly helped me to discover a hidden hobby which is now becoming a passion which I plan to turn into a profession’

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for learning, skills and employment said:

“Adult learning courses are a great way for people of all backgrounds and experiences to acquire new skills, meet new people and enjoy learning. Many learners also progress into work or undertake further study to gain qualifications.

“Providing adults with the chance to improve and learn new skills remains a top priority for the council and now more than ever we are looking forward to supporting our communities through these difficult times in a safe and positive way. These range from computing and craft skills to helping families improve their maths and English skills as well as supporting learners whose mental health may have been affected during lockdown, all of which play a part in ensuring that all our residents have the skills needed for both life and work.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for adults to not only discover or rediscover the buzz from learning, but to also gain qualifications that can help lead to future employment or training opportunities.”

For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team