Learning doesn’t have to just end with school, college or university. Engaging in learning as an adult can help you to develop new skills, aid your personal development, and help you to grow or change your career.
Adult skills and a commitment to lifelong learning are now being viewed as vital to meeting the skills and workforce needs of the future. With the future of the workplace looking to adapt with automation, AI, big data and the growth of entirely new industries, retraining and skills development will be critical to ensure skills needs are met.
Lifelong learning can improve your employability and can help you stand out when it comes to job searching, changing career, or making progress in your existing profession. A commitment to learning and professional development is also a quality that is highly sought-after by employers.
We’ve seen growth in demand for online courses and an appetite to gain new skills and learn something entirely different. Personal enjoyment, a feeling of achievement and the feeling of inclusion are all great benefits for adults wanting to engage in learning.
Staying up-to-date with industry trends and developments shows your employer that you are knowledgeable about your work and can adapt to changes. You can attend seminars and conferences, subscribe to email newsletters by industry associations, and expand your network, so you don’t miss out on the latest in your industry.
If you’re looking to upskill or change career, learning can be an ideal starting point. The Government’s Skills Bootcamps are free courses to help individuals build sector-specific skills, in sectors ranging from building and construction, to teaching, digital, and engineering; and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. (There are more details about Skills Bootcamps further down.)
Learning something new will build a sense of achievement and help you feel more confident about your work. If you find that you’re losing interest in what you do, learning something new can re-ignite your motivation to pursue your career goals.
You never know where your interests will lead you to if you focus on them. The benefits of lifelong learning at work go beyond career advancement. It can help you discover your passions, boost creativity, reduce boredom, makes life more interesting, and can even open future opportunities.
The world of work is ever-changing, and lifelong learning can be the key to enhancing your skills and employability. Whether you take an online course, go to some industry seminars, go back to university or even start to learn the piano – find a way to fit learning into your life.
Skills Bootcamps offer free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks for adults aged 19 or over and who are either in work or recently unemployed. Some Skills Bootcamps have additional eligibility criteria. They give people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer.
2. Assess your skills
Take the National Careers Service Skills Assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.
If you are aged 19+, the government is offering free level 3 qualifications to help you achieve your career goals, regardless of your current life stage.
By obtaining an advanced technical certificate or diploma, or A levels, you could improve your job prospects, earn a higher wage and gain skills that employers value. And the best part? You won’t have to pay a penny. The government will cover the cost of the course fees.
These qualifications are available in a wide range of fields, including accounting and finance, agriculture, business management, digital, engineering, health and social care, and many more.
To be eligible, you must be 19 or older and not already hold a level 3 qualification, or if you do, you must earn below the National Living Wage annually or be unemployed. You can find out the low wage threshold in your area by contacting your local training provider.
Find out more at Free courses for jobs – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The National Careers Service offers free advice about careers and skills to anyone aged 13 or over and living in England. To speak to a professional careers adviser, call 0800 100 900 or use webchat (8am – 8pm Monday – Friday; 10am – 5pm Saturday)