We'll find the right fit for you
There are many different study options so you can choose to learn in a way that suits your lifestyle. You may study full or part-time at college, at work, in one of our community venues or in our Community Education Centre; our friendly and supportive tutors and courses that are tailored to your needs, returning to study does not need to be stressful.
It's never too late to get into Higher Education; we offer a range of Access to HE courses that give you a route into degree-level study.
We offer a wide range of apprenticeship options too, find out more and view our current vacancies.
If you’re worried about the costs, we will support you as much as we can. The financial help we can offer will depend on your personal circumstances but we can offer you advice on the range of financial support so please ask.
Not sure where to begin? Our Careers & Guidance Team can give you free and impartial advice about all the options available to you.
A huge range of course options
As an adult you can apply to study any of our technical training courses at any level to gain recognised qualifications. This means you have a huge range of study options from engineering and construction to the arts, media and performance.
You can study these courses on a part-time or full-time basis. Full-time generally means a time commitment of the-days-a-week and part-time generally means one-day a week (this can vary depending on the course).
Often you will be in a class with our younger learners, although some courses naturally attract more mature learners.
Our experience is that a blend of ages creates a richer learning experience in terms of the variety of perspectives and experience.
Covering the costs
As an adult you are expected to pay for your training. But there are a number of options (subject to eligibility Criteria) that can cover some or all of the costs.
Literacy and numeracy
If you want to you can add to your technical training course by improving your Maths and English.
You can attend maths and English lessons, get specialist help at our Maths and English Hub and sit GCSEs in these subjects too.
We offer a wide range of Skills for Work courses that provide extra support and learning to prepare you for your chosen career.
There are a wide range of options from Skills for Independence courses, employability trade courses and Supported Internships.Find out more about supported education
What is an apprenticeship?
It’s a real job, with hands-on experience, a salary and the chance to train while you work. You’re treated just like all the other employees, with a contract of employment and holiday leave.
When you're an apprentice:
- you get paid and train at the same time, with at least 20% of your time spent in off the job training, often at a college, university or with a training provider
- you train to be fully competent in your chosen occupation
- you’re on a career path - with lots of future potential for you
- Your apprenticeship can take between one and six years to complete, depending on which apprenticeship you choose, what level it’s at, and your previous experience.
- Different apprenticeships are available all over England, at companies large and small, in a wide range of industries and organisations. From local organisations to large national brands.
- You get valuable hands-on experience working whilst you learn, which helps you progress in your working life.
- Completing your apprenticeship means you've earned and learned. Given your training is funded by contributions from the government and your employer, and you receive a regular salary, apprenticeships are a great option for getting on the job ladder or supercharging your career.
What are the benefits for me?
Once you’ve successfully finished, you have plenty of choices. You could apply for another apprenticeship or find a career that uses your new skills.
Some of the top reasons for becoming an apprentice:
- earn while you learn and get paid a competitive salary
- your training is free
- choose from hundreds of different apprentice jobs in thousands of organisations
- get high quality training paid for by your employer and the government
- a great way to get back into the workplace after a career break, or to re-train in a new areas
- get a boost to your future earnings potential
- develop the skills you need for a range of exciting jobs or careers, no matter your age or background
How much can I earn?
Your salary will depend upon the industry, location and type of apprenticeship you choose.
The minimum wage for an apprentice is £3.90 per hour if you’re aged 16 to 18 - but many employers pay far more than this.
What will it cost me?
When you become an apprentice, you’ll need to cover the cost of your day-to-day expenses, such as lunch and travel.
If you’re a care leaver aged 16-24, you’ll receive a £1,000 bursary payment to support you in the first year of your apprenticeship.View apprenticeship vacancies
We work with more than 1,000 local employers across a wide range of industries to help them find the right apprentice for the job, could that be you?
An apprenticeship combines studying with on-the-job training; it provides the opportunity to develop practical skills, earn a wage and work towards nationally recognised qualifications.
As an apprentice you will work for a local firm and then either attend college to complete some technical training, or an assessor will visit you in the workplace to carry out the training with you there.View apprenticeship vacancies
The first step is to find the right apprenticeship for you.
An apprenticeship is a job and companies advertise apprenticeship vacancies in the same way they do with job vacancies.
You need to find one you're interested, apply, have an interview and then if you're successful, you can get started.
We advertise the apprenticeship vacancies of the companies we work with.View apprenticeship vacancies
Up-skill or find a new hobby
Our short courses, which include our night school classes are a great way to explore an interest, get better at your hobbies, improve your basic skills for work, or get a taster of a possible new career.
We have an extensive range of courses that are affordable and allow you to improve your skills while working full time.
Some run in the evening, but there are daytime options on some courses too.Find out more about short courses
Fully funded Level 2 online courses
We have an extensive range of fully funded Level 2 online courses.
So you can gain recognised qualifications from the comfort of your own home.
This is a great way to enhance your skills for work, get back into employment, or up-skill for a promotion.
You can complete these qualifications at your own pace and you have access to a tutor for advice and guidance via email.Find out more about online courses
Industry accreditation, masterclasses and skills
We deliver a huge range of short industry courses that enable employees and people who run their own businesses to get the accreditations they need and to up-skill to add value to their businesses.
Our courses cover:
- Education and training
- Business management and accounting
- Health and safety
- Driving and logistics
- Health and care
- Hair and Beauty
- Herbal medicine
A launchpad to a degree
Covering the costs
Most learners aged 19 and over, studying a level 3, 4, 5 or 6 Further Education qualification, may qualify for help toward fees through the Advanced Learner Loan scheme.
The Advanced Learner Loan is not means-tested and does not require a credit check.
It will help you cover the cost of tuition fees, and you won’t start paying it back until you have finished your qualification and are earning over £25,725 per year.
Eligible courses include A levels, Access to HE Diplomas and other Vocational Qualifications.
If you are undertaking an Access to Higher Education course and then go on to complete an HE qualification, the outstanding balance of your Advanced Learner Loan will be written off.
To be eligible for a loan you must be:
- Aged 19 or over on the first day of your course (there is no upper age limit)
- Starting your course on or after 1st August 2019
- Enrolling on a full Level 3 to Level 6 Further Education course
- Studying with a college or training organisation in England approved for public funding.
- A UK national or have ‘settled status’ (this means there’s no restrictions on how long you can stay) or meet the residency criteria. Find out more about the criteria here
You may also qualify if you are:
- A UK national, or someone with settled status, but you live somewhere else in the European Economic Area (EEA)
- An EU national or a family member of one
- Not a UK national but you’ve lived in the UK for at least 20 years (or at least half of your life)
- Have humanitarian protection (as a result of a failed application for asylum)
- A refugee
- A migrant worker
- The child of a Swiss national
- The child of a Turkish worker
- Staying in the UK as a stateless person (or their family member) and your course starts on or after 1 August 2018
- A serving member of the UK armed forces (or their spouse or civil partner or a dependent parent living with them) not resident in the UK and your course started after 1 August 2017.
Other eligibility rules may apply.
Before applying for an Advanced Learner Loan you will require a Learning and Funding Information Letter from the college.
If you have already applied to us and been made an offer you can expect to receive your letter from July onwards. Details of how to apply are explained in the letter.
It's important you consider your own circumstances and look into all options for paying for your course before choosing to take out a loan.
You can get impartial money advice from the Money Advice Service.
For more information about the Advanced Learner Loan click here or telephone a member of the Welfare Team on (01522) 876000.
The loans do not cover Degrees or other forms of designated Higher Education (HE). For more information on funding for HE see our HE Fees and Funding section.
Please note: You will be responsible for paying fees if a loan application is not approved.
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Helping you to succeed
We offer significant support to our adult learners; from help with finances to counseling and help with mental health issues.Find out more about support
A place to study and relax
Our college's amazing facilities offer great study resources, fantastic sporting facilities and plenty of opportunity to grab a coffee and a bite to eat.Find out more about our facilities
Our services to employers
Your might be looking for a course for yourself, but if you're an employer, take a look at how our training can add value to your business.More information for employers