Vocational learning
What is it?     What you need     Getting started     Find out more


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What is it?

  • There are vocational courses you can do in your free time that will give you new skills and knowledge to help you into a new job or to improve your existing work ability.  

  • Most of these courses relate to specific types of work;  there are also many opportunities to improve your general skills for work and life or to learn foreign languages.    

  • Some courses require you to have certain existing skills and experience but there is also instruction available for complete beginners.  

  • You can learn in your own time, take a quick day or weekend course, or commit yourself to a longer programme of study. 

Find out more


See the organisations listed under Learning especially the new Learning Network.


See the magazines listed under Learning.

Getting started

  • Find a local organisation that covers the type of skill that interests you (see organisations above).

  • Take a class or course at your local adult education centre.  Check magazines or the Internet for distance learning possibilities and vocational study weekends or holidays.

  • Consult books or magazines on different types of arts and crafts.

  • Check in your local library/paper or education centre for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • Vocational courses can be taken at most ages, and there are generally opportunities for people with no relevant skills as well as for the more experienced..

  • You can study work related skills at home on your own, or with a teacher and a group of people.  

  • There are many systems of distance learning (mail order, radio, TV and Internet based), as well as short and longer local classes. 

Equipment or clothing
  • You will probably need some books  and tapes, though it is possible to learn just from your class tutor or from radio, TV and Internet programmes.  

  • For some types of work, like building skills or technology courses, special equipment and materials will be required.  This should be provided at the course that you attend.

A place or facilities
  • For much vocational study, special facilities are not needed, but  some study needs a workshop or other specialised space.   

  • Local groups and classes usually meet in schools and adult education centres.

Have a go - get started now


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