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Re-Training Options

By: Paul Geraghty - Updated: 13 Sep 2023 | comments*Discuss
Re-training Options

Redundancy is the ideal time to consider retraining. Perhaps the job you’re leaving isn’t all that you hoped for, and, in a way, your regret about leaving it is mixed with a measure of satisfaction that you now won’t have to spend the rest of your life doing it. It may be that you feel your skills need to be freshened up for you to remain competitive in the employment marketplace. Or you may be sick of the whole career track that you find yourself in, and want to find a way to pastures new. If you have already acquired valuable skills in the course of doing your last job, you may just want to get them certificated. Retraining is obviously what you’re looking for. But what are your options?

Standard Educational Qualifications

Even if you’re an older person, you always have the option of pursuing school-level or college or university-level qualifications. The practicalities of doing that are explored more fully in articles elsewhere on this site. Here, it suffices to say that in recent years, many educational institutions have developed a greater awareness of the needs of adult learners who want to upgrade their skills. They have reoriented themselves to meet the needs of that market. So wherever you find yourself, you usually won’t have to worry about feeling as if you’re the odd one out.

Getting Advice on Retraining

Modern economies are dynamic. The government has recognised that the era when most people would acquire some qualifications at school or university and then stay on a single career track for the rest of their life, are over. Now, the emphasis instead is on continuous re- or up-skilling and “lifelong learning”.

It is not very well known but the government actually offers a free careers advice service, available to anyone at anytime, not just when a redundancy is occurring. These LearnDirect and nextstep services, as they are called, can be accessed via the web, by phone or through an in-person appointment.

Large-Scale Redundancies

When the redundancy you’re involved in is a large-scale one and will have a significant effect on the local economy, special help is available. Through the Rapid Response Service of Jobcentre Plus, staff from the local Jobcentre can be deployed to consult with the workforce which is due to be made redundant. Advice on retraining options, and funding to pay for them, is part of what’s on offer. If you’re not sure about what to retrain for, they can provide information about skills which are in demand locally.

The Rapid Response Service has a large amount of discretion. They are designed to be flexible and their focus is on getting you back to work. So if, for example, you had a concrete job offer with the precondition that you complete a course on, say, Desktop Publishing before taking it up, the Rapid Response Service might be able to arrange funding for the course.


In the digital age, many electronic learning options have become available. This can be especially valuable if you cannot afford to take time out form working and so have to combine your aspirations for retraining with the demands of a job. Many universities and colleges now run distance learning programs which you can follow from home. Of course, in nearly all cases you will need a computer and access to the Internet.

The government supports eLearning through a service called LearnDirect. It offers a number of electronic courses in a range of subjects, designed to increase your skills and improve your qualifications.

Retraining Options – Conclusion

In the modern age, most of us will have to retrain at some point in our lives to keep up with the evolving world of work. Often technology is what precipitates the need for change; fortunately, technology also makes that change easier to bring about.

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I am currently on long term sick with my current job and I can not go back as it's too physical I have worked in retail for 35 years and I have just been accepted on adog training course. I was just wandering if I can get help with my course fees?
Ding dong - 13-Sep-23 @ 11:03 AM
I have been accepted on to a dog training course and was wandering if I will get help with my monthly fees? I am currently on long term sick from my current employer and I am only getting ssp
Ding dong - 13-Sep-23 @ 11:00 AM
I have been made redunant this week. I have been looking electrician courses or hgv Can you help me
Tom - 27-Jan-21 @ 9:00 AM
I have been made redundant from the aerospace industry and want to retrain as an election can I have some guidance please
Usher - 11-Nov-20 @ 8:58 PM
Hi I’ve just been made redundant last week because of the effects of Covid,I’ve been looking at hgv course or an electricians course is there any help available.
Mick - 22-Oct-20 @ 7:16 AM
Made redundant and bad leg injury unable to go back to hard labour work due to injury. Worked in oil rigs 30 years , interested in doing a gas engineer course 6 months to qualify at cost of £8000 which includes maddenly VAT. Problem is it would use all my savings and I would have no money left for bills , mortgage electricity gas food etc . Not fair no help after paying in all those years to be dumped on the heap at 55 .
Jimmy - 17-Sep-20 @ 9:49 PM
Read the following question but no way of seeing the answer if there even is an answer. Please let me know ..... Hi I am looking to retrain and move into the wind energy sector from the oil and gas sector and was wondering if there is anything in place to help with this transition?
Jimmy - 17-Sep-20 @ 9:41 PM
Wouldlike to do a coursefor familysupport worker
Nic - 22-Aug-20 @ 2:21 PM
Hi I have taken early Retirement and I am now looking for part time work.Being an right leg below knee amputee I am limited to what work I can do as I cannot stand forvlog periodsof time.I used to work in an office prior to my retirement.I am not sure what type of training is available but hope you can get in touch s me and make so.e suggestions.Thank you
Amanda Plum - 18-Aug-20 @ 2:18 PM
Hi I am looking to retrain and move into the wind energy sector from the oil and gas sector and was wondering if there is anything in place to help with this transition?
Paul - 17-Aug-20 @ 11:30 PM
I am interested in adult learningas IAM long term unemployed..mainly in the rail sector signalling and telecom's. I have some money saved for training courses and I am looking how I can get financial help to further my career and jobchance
pb - 7-Aug-20 @ 12:35 AM
Looking to retrain after being made redundant. I would like to do a university course how can I obtain financial support.
Alex - 18-Jun-20 @ 4:04 PM
I'm on sick leave having been diagnosed as type 1 diabetes, have been told may not get my licences back, was hgv Driver. Local job scene is excellent for fork truck drivers but can't afford the course. Is there any govt funding to allow me to retrainand get into this line of employment?
Grafter - 29-Dec-19 @ 12:24 PM
Hi iv been made redundant I would like to retrain for a HCA auxillary nurse in the hospital .are there any courses on this for me please with government funding
Hel - 16-Nov-19 @ 7:19 PM
Next year will be undergoing long term treatment formedical condition would like to do work involving data bases or data processing not sure how to proceed I have a degree education
Olemog - 9-Dec-18 @ 8:55 PM
@Em - I don't think there is, I think you have to look and try to find yourself something that you can do within your limits.
Judeb - 18-Sep-18 @ 12:40 PM
I am having to undergoing yet another operation and can no longer do the job I am employed to do. I would like to do. I need to find a job which is less physical. Is there any help or who do I ask for help with this. I would love to do something where i can use my people skills.
Em - 17-Sep-18 @ 8:26 AM
I was made redundant in Jan 2016, the job centre did not support me in any way and was only interested in me attending job search on a weekly basis otherwise they threatened me with withdrawal of the little benefits I was receiving. Funding for retraining was never offered and I eventually found work as a sparky in a food factory which I hate with a vengeance. So i’m Funding my own retraining in health and safety. Thanks for nothing job centre plus????
Trotts - 10-Nov-17 @ 3:10 PM
Hi I want to retrain . How do I go about seeking advice from a careers advisor?
twig - 3-Oct-17 @ 9:40 PM
A young lady is wanting to train with myself doing beauty to get relevant qualifications I. Starting her own business . Her coach has advised I register with the local authority and also to mentor . I can find anywhere of anyone who know how to snd relevant forms to request can you help ?
SkinKerr - 16-Nov-16 @ 3:28 PM
Is there any funding available for level4 & 5 teaching quals
Peter Butcher - 9-Mar-16 @ 4:55 PM
@Sue - As well as the information laid out on our site, Government Grants for Retraining link here , there are a few schemes where if you haven't got the spare cash you can train now and pay later, or spread the cost of training. I don't know how old you are, but you'll also find a lot of older people are applying for apprenticeships in order to retrain see additional link here . I hope this helps.
RedundancyExpert - 31-Oct-14 @ 11:59 AM
Iam presently working for local government on grounds maintenance and due to more future cut backs I wish to retrain as an hgv driver so as to enable me to be more diverse. can I possibly get a government grant to achieve this. I am a single woman. Any advice would be greatly received.
sue - 30-Oct-14 @ 7:32 PM
Been teaching most of my life and now want to retrain to smthing else. What are my options. NCS and DWP are hopeless.
Lost - 18-Sep-14 @ 4:23 PM
I've been with the same employer for 25yrs and recently been made redundant, im looking to retail in bookkeeping, will I get help with the cost of the course?
midgetgem - 1-Sep-14 @ 11:41 AM
I have recently returned from abroad and.l have applied for several jobs without success,I have now managed to get on a training scheme without pay,my parents are supporting me at present but cannot sustain this for long,is there any way I can get monies to help me,regards Roger Fletcher
doger - 18-Mar-13 @ 10:59 AM
I'm looking for funding for a 48 year old employed male to retrain as a Caravan Service Engineer.Any advice would be very much appreciated.
Happy - 15-Oct-12 @ 1:28 PM
I want to retrain as a councillor after surviving cancer what do I do?
Boggy - 12-Oct-12 @ 2:02 PM
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