Free and flexible online courses launched to support adults and help them ‘take control’ this New Year…

Adult learners in Lancashire are being encouraged to ‘take control’ and make a positive start to 2021 by boosting their health and wellbeing, retraining, improving their digital skills and/or supporting their families.

The new courses, which start in January, are largely free, flexible and available online, and are delivered by Nelson and Colne College Group – made up of Lancashire Adult Learning, Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College.

Free courses offered by Lancashire Adult Learning range from Maths and English programmes to digital skills for everyday life, employability courses to support learners back into work, health and wellbeing programmes to de-stress, and courses to support children with their education.

There are also free Lancashire Adult Learning courses for leisure, including humanities, arts and crafts, and, as an exclusive offer during this time, for online languages courses too.

Other provision included in the Spring offer focuses on skills for industry, supporting career development or finding employment within specific sectors. These courses are largely free, or have fee remissions or loans available.

Those looking to develop their professional skills have opportunities in Construction, Health and Social Care, Education and Childcare, and Hair and Beauty. There are also a range of qualifications available through the Nelson and Colne College Group University Centre.

Assistant Principal for Adult Learning, Andrew Parkin, said: “We really have thought long and hard about our latest course offer, and we have carefully put together a package that we feel best supports the needs of adult learners right now across Lancashire.

“Reflective of the times we are in, we have made even more of our courses free of charge – including our renowned languages offer – and our courses are as accessible as they have ever been, with live online classrooms or flexible online learning to fit around the commitments of learners.

“Whatever your motivation for learning, the new year is a fresh start for everyone, and I’m thrilled that we have a comprehensive range of courses to support adult learners in the Red Rose County.”

Ayesha Shahid, 41, from Burnley, lost her business as a result of the pandemic, and took advantage of Lancashire Adult Learning’s Health and Social Care ‘Hub from Home’ programme over the summer months to rapidly retrain.

Ayesha, who has gained employment in the care sector off the back of completing her qualifications, said: “I’m very happy with my decision and I had brilliant support from the teaching team at LAL. It’s a personal challenge for me, and I love a challenge.

“I really think working in care that I can add value and make a significant difference to lives. I’m also looking at doing a degree in social work which I am looking forward to. I’m totally committed to my new career in care.”

Debbra Walley, 36, from Chorley, gained a job in the care sector after completing employability sessions with LAL.

She said: “I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Lancashire Adult Learning employability team for supporting me into paid employment and towards a more positive future for my family.

“Working in childcare has always been my objective, I just needed the right tools and support to get me there. To now have a job in that line of work is fantastic. It has also opened up more job prospects for me. I’ve always wanted to better myself and I have an ambition to become a Teaching Assistant.”

Nathan Andrews, 31, from Leyland, took control of his career by completing his Barbering qualifications at an evening course with Nelson and Colne College. Previously a window fitter, he decided he wanted a new challenge and is now employed at a leading Barbering shop with a strong reputation for quality.

Nathan said: “It has given me the career I want to do, and I find I have more free time outside of work now, so I have a better work life balance too. Working in the industry, I’m learning all the time and picking up new skills. I take pride in my work and I have an ambition to be the best around.”

Further information about all of the new range of courses for adults can be found on Lancashire Adult Learning’s website at

Enrolment can also be completed on the website, or by calling 0333 003 1717.

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