Adult Education

Adult learning can result in a formal qualification which can help with getting a job, or simply be an enjoyable hobby.

However, as NHS choices suggest the indirect benefits are as important:
“Research shows that learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by:

  • boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem
  • helping you to build a sense of purpose
  • helping you to connect with others”
    “5 steps to mental wellbeing.” The NHS website. Retrieved 16th January 2023.

Local education support - skills for life

Local Adult learning with a helpline

From Buckinghamshire Council
A broad programme of over 1,500 part-time courses and workshops, delivered online and from 140 locations across Buckinghamshire Buckinghamshire Adult Learning – Part-time courses

As the council community engagement helpline suggest:
“Please do not worry about coming back to learning as an adult. We understand that adults learn differently to children and our classes are small and very supportive. Even if you did not enjoy school, we are sure that you will enjoy learning now!”
“Contact us to find out what we offer in your area or come to one of our weekly Digital Drop-ins”. Community Engagement – Buckinghamshire Adult Learning

Further learning opportunities

There are further opportunities which can support work or develop skills for life. Many courses are completely free.  As well as learning, some courses can be sociable. There are also sociable learning opportunities for people who have retired or who are in part time work. See below for further information:

Work and new skills

From Gov UK
This search engine allows you to search for online and classroom courses near you, to help you get a job, improve your skills or just help with choices. Many of the courses are free. Results | Find a course | National Careers Service

Skills hub

From Bucks Skills Hub
“Whatever stage of career you are at, the Buckinghamshire Skills Hub is here to help you develop the skills and qualifications you need to be successful in the workplace.”

life Skills

The Gov UK website 

Some courses are online and you may find some local courses depending on what you are looking for. Many of the courses are free, but not all.

educational Activities for everyone

From Buckinghamshire Council – The Buckinghamshire online directory
The online directory can be filtered for “education and learning” providing opportunities in various locations in Buckinghamshire from different organisations. You do not need to stick just to your location.  Find activities, groups and services near you | Buckinghamshire Council

Retired or in part time work

From U3A
For people in Buckinghamshire who are retired or in part time work there is the Buckingham & district U3A Buckingham & District U3A | University of the Third Age which encourages lifelong learning, and also gives the opportunity to meet others.

Learn how to use a computer and the internet

It is very common for people not to know how to confidently use the internet. There is local support to help you gain confidence and the necessary skills to use the internet to help with all aspects of your life not just health.

Digital essential Skills

There is overlap between the websites below. The Gov UK website will allow you to immediately find support near where you live or alternatively if you go through Buckinghamshire council you can contact their support team.

From Buckinghamshire Council
Their Learning for All programme includes “Improving essential digital skills”. You can contact the support team: Learning for All

From Gov UK
The skills toolkit is the best place to start.

  • The Skills Toolkit:  “Free courses to help you learn new skills or change jobs.” Click on “computer essentials.” The Skills Toolkit | National Careers Service
  • Essential Skills “You can take an Essential Skills course if you’re aged 19 or over, live in England and for:  you have low digital skills or little to no experience of using computers or other digital devices” Essential Skills | Skills for Careers Note: to find a relevant course type in “essential digital skills” rather than your postcode into the search function. You may not find a free course locally but you can also look for free online courses.  

From Age UK
IT Training (for older people) Computer training courses – IT training services | Age UK

From the Good Things Foundation
Our vision is a world where everyone benefits from digital. We want people to be digitally able, equal and safe, so they can be happier, healthier and better off.
Find local digital inclusion support Good Things Foundation – Improving lives through digital

Learning digital skills at your local library

See local library services below which can also support you in learning how to use a computer and access the internet.

Local library services

Local libraries provide free access to Wi-Fi and learning on how to use a computer and access the internet. Libraries also provide some free access to a computer every day, in addition to free access to books (including eBooks and eAudiobooks). Information on this can be found under

National education support

From WEA
Our mission is to bring adult education within reach of everyone who needs it. Includes skills for life and skills for work. Membership and courses are free for some people. You are most likely to find online courses.
WEA help & support WEA help & learner support pages | WEA

From Age UK
Education is a great way to learn something new, meet people, acquire work skills or just to have an active retirement.
Education and training Education and training for older people | Age UK

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