Getting back to work

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Studying or training to get back into work

There are many opportunities to study or train that could help you get back into work.

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There are various learning options if you want to get back into employment, but when thinking about the best study or training route for you, there are various things to consider.

Examples of learning options

Depending on your existing qualifications and ambitions for the future, you could start by: 

Choose a qualification wanted by employers

  • Look at job profiles to see what skills and qualifications are needed in specific jobs and start thinking about which ones you have and which ones you need.
  • Some Sector Skills Councils' websites have information on the qualifications required for their sector; they may also give you an idea of the latest job trends where you live.

Explore your study choices

  • There are all sorts of courses available including part-time options and distance learning – view the What, where and how to study section to find out more.
  • Lots of adults do apprenticeships, so you can learn and earn at the same time.
  • Ask your local council about community learning opportunities. These can help you brush up on your skills or try something new.
  • You can search for learning opportunities through local providers' own sites. For higher education courses, view the UCAS website.
  • The Unistats site allows you to compare different higher education courses, including satisfaction data, the number of graduates who found jobs and what they earn.
  • Check course entry requirements but bear in mind that you may be able to gain entry onto a course using your experience.
  • Look at other opportunities for work-related study.
  • You can get free online advice from the National Career Service.

Check out the finances

  • Find out the tuition fees of courses that interest you. Some courses (e.g. those in basic skills) are free or offered at a reduced fee.
  • Make sure you’re clear about the time commitment so that you know whether or not it’s feasible to do paid work alongside your studies.
  • You may be able to apply for student loans for your higher education or an Advanced Learner Loan for a course at Levels 3-6. See the Money matters section for information. 
  • Check that attending a course will not affect your benefits and also find out whether you are entitled to other types of financial support or reduced fees.

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