New adult learning courses now available in communities across Leeds

An exciting programme offering adults the chance to improve their knowledge or learn a new skill in an array 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 across the city through the Leeds Adult Learning initiative, which is commissioned by Leeds City Council. Funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, the aim of the £2.1m programme is to provide adults with the confidence and learning to access job opportunities or new skills to support a particular personal or group interest. Whether you are interested in learning how to use your smart phone or tablet, grow your own vegetables and eat healthily, improve your English and maths or to build your self-confidence whilst having fun and meeting new people, there really is something for everyone. Courses are free for adults in receipt of benefits or those in work but earning less than £15,700 per year and is delivered at over 200 venues across Leeds by a range of different organisations. These include recognised learning providers such as Leeds City College, The Northern College and Swarthmore Education Centre, and smaller community based organisations such as Nari Ekta, Learning Partnerships, The Conservation Volunteers (Hollybush), East Street Arts and many others.

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 their courses.Last year 7,200 adults took part in more than 1,350 adult learning courses at community venues across the city opening up new opportunities for adults from a variety of backgrounds.One of the people to take part in the Leeds Adult Learning programme was Priyanka who enrolled on an ESOL course to improve her English. This led to a work placement and helped secure Priyanka with a job as administrator and classroom learning support assistant with Learning Partnerships. Also taking woodwork and bush-craft courses with the Conservation Volunteers was Ian. The course helped Ian overcome anxiety and depression issues and also grow in confidence to the point where he is now undertaking a qualification on Environmental Conservation and leading other volunteers.