Essex set to become a county of learners

Politics / Mon 20th Jun 2016 am30 11:06am

ESSEX is set to become a county of learners as the new ACL course guide is delivered to homes across the county.

Recent research on behalf of ACL Essex found that 69% of Essex residents are interested in adult education, which rose to 84% when more detail was provided about the courses on offer. The course guide shows the variety of opportunities available – from courses that lead to a qualification to those that teach a new skill or develop a hobby.

Essex County Councillor Ray Gooding, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning said: “We get fantastic feedback from learners about the standard, quality and variety of our ACL courses but we also know that there are still some people who don’t know what we offer or how to access our courses. By distributing our course guide to all Essex residents we can hopefully reach a new audience who are keen to get qualified or creative and now see how easy it can be.”

ACL Essex courses range from GCSE English and Maths to introduction to web design or coding; from cookery skills to pottery classes; Spanish, Italian or Mandarin to BSL and lip reading or photography to yoga. A range of apprenticeships are available across the county and work based qualifications in fields such as Accountancy, Law, Health and Social Care, and Management support Essex businesses by providing professional qualifications for employees.

Cllr Gooding continued: “It is so important that people feel that ACL is accessible and affordable. ACL continues to offer a discretionary learning support fund and a community learning bursary and we support learners to apply for the government Advanced Learner Loan. Cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your goals, making more of your spare time and learning something new.”

Last year over 20,000 Essex residents participated in learning with ACL and when asked how completing their ACL course had helped them – aside from improving skills and qualifications – the top three responses were:

Developed more confidence
Developed new friends and interests
The learning had improved their health and wellbeing
Learners are encouraged to share their experience of Adult Community Learning on social media via the hashtag #nostoppingme

The course guide lists courses beginning in September and enrolment is now open. You can enrol by phone on 0345 603 7635 or via www.essex.gov.uk/adult-learning

Not all courses are listed so for a full programme of learning opportunities visit the ACL website.

There are hundreds of courses to choose from so make 2016 the year you learn something new with ACL.

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