My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Meet the adult learners transforming their careers through part-time courses

Lauran Goodland, part-time Women in Construction course

From Ceramics to Vehicle Maintenance for Women — Coleg Gwent has this week announced a host of new part-time courses to support adults hoping to take on a new challenge or career path in 2024.

Beginning in January and available across all campuses, the college hopes to attract new learners by sharing the inspirational stories behind adult learners who are taking their personal and career development into their own hands through part-time education.

The learners are all of part of the post-pandemic phenomenon of adults returning to education and up-skilling — with a recent survey conducted by the Learning and Works Institute showing that almost one in two adults have taken part in learning in the last three years, the highest rate since the survey began.

Lauren Goodland (from Newport) made the decision to return to Coleg Gwent and enroll on the part-time Women in Construction course after buying her first house. Her aim was to learn the skills needed to renovate the property independently, rather than hiring professionals.

Lauren said: “When I bought my house, I realised that it was going to need a lot of renovation and after doing some research it became clear that the most cost-effective option was to actually study and learn the skills myself.

“It has occasionally been hard to motivate myself to go to class after a full day in work but it’s always worth the effort — I love that I’m gaining so much confidence and developing new skills.”

Looking to expand their career opportunities and industry awareness, GP Simon Gray (aged 59) has also recently enrolled in a part-time Counselling course at Coleg Gwent’s Newport campus — building on an interest in psychological medicine.

When asked about his experience, Simon said: “The course being in the evening has made it really manageable around my work schedule, and staff at the college have been incredibly helpful — especially with things like referencing which I haven’t done for a very long time!

“Studying the course has been a really stimulating experience and will give me longevity in my career — it will be a great pathway to a future job in psychological medicine.”

Aiming to pursue her dream career as an accountant, Viktoria Horvathne Csuhai, has also enrolled on the AAT Bookkeeping part-time course at the college.

Viktoria said: “Growing up in Hungary, my maths teacher said that accountancy wasn’t for me but when I moved to the UK, I decided to take learning into my own hands.

“At first, I found it tricky to manage everything but my strong support network and the fantastic tutors at Coleg Gwent have helped me to thrive and establish a great balance. I believe this is the first step in a new direction for me.”

Nikki Gamlin, Deputy Principal at Coleg Gwent said: “Supporting adult learners is one of our priorities here at Coleg Gwent.  We understand that there are challenges which can make returning to study feel overwhelming for adults, but our flexible courses and support services can help everyone pursue their passion.

“We hope that these stories will encourage other adults who are considering part-time education, to pursue their goals. We have a course for everyone, whether you are looking to level up in your career or hoping to pick a hobby in the new year.”

Many of Coleg Gwent’s courses are free, meaning that adults can learn, get qualified and progress in their careers without needing to worry about the financial implications. If there are associated costs with a chosen course, funding support is available.