Adult Learning Shops

About the Learning ShopsNational Careers ServiceAdult English, Maths and ITBack to WorkLearning Shops – Contact Us

Learning Shop
Would you like to do something different or try something new? The Learning Shop can help you find the course you’re looking for. We have Learning Shops in Braintree, Clacton, Colchester, Dovercourt and Witham.

A flexible programme is available to learners aged 18 or over. Courses are broken down into bite-sized chunks, so you can learn at your own pace.

The Learning Shop offers:
• Free National Careers Advice sessions
• Digital Skills and intermediate IT courses
• A range of English and maths courses
• Routes to Employability courses

All our accredited courses lead to nationally recognised qualifications. Courses are tailored so you can learn at your own pace, improve your confidence, aid career development or to help you with your employment goals.

We’re here to help you get the advice you need to make the right decisions about your future working life. We’ve got specially designed tools to help you move on in your career, or get you on the job ladder. Let us help you take the next step.

The National Careers Service website will help you:

  • plan and make career decisions
  • understand your skills and set new goals
  • help you to use online tools to assess your skills
  • see your plans through.

Whatever your situation, we’re here to help you overcome problems and reach your goals. We’ll help you build on your strengths, improve your skills, and find a job or career that matches your skills and personality.

National Careers Service

For your free National Careers Service Advice & Guidance session at a centre near you please call:

Clacton, Dovercourt or Colchester areas: 01206 712825 and Witham or Braintree areas: 01206 814292

English & Mathematic Courses – What do we offer?

City & Guilds Award in the Principles in Written and Spoken English/ City & Guilds Certificate in the Principles and Techniques in Maths
These qualifications are a good stepping-stone to the Functional Skills qualifications. Offered in English and maths at Entry Level 3 and Level 1 they provide the skills and knowledge required for work and everyday life.  English topics covered include: reading, writing, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and speaking and listening.  Maths topics include: numbers, fractions, decimals, percentages, common measures, using shape and space and handling data (Please see video below).

City & Guilds Functional Skills Certificate in English and Mathematics
These qualifications provide recognition of achievements in reading, writing and communication and number skills in real life situations. They also have a flexible assessment structure that can be adapted to meet the needs of individual students and provide a progression route through to higher achievement. Functional Skills offer progression opportunities for entry to advanced qualifications.

If you are in work and unable to attend the learning shop on regular twice weekly sessions, we can arrange for tutorial based courses which can be accessed from home on any device (phone, PC or tablet) with remote tutor support.

IT User Courses- What do we offer?
Digital Literacy Award Entry Level 3

Award and Certificate in IT User Skills Level 1

Certificate in IT User Skills Level 2

We offer IT courses in ITQ/ECDL qualifications at Entry Level 3, Level 1 and Level 2. These courses are designed to help learners with few IT skills right through to improving IT skills at intermediate level. They are for anyone looking to improve their current or future employment opportunities.

IT Workshop

Using online e-learning materials learners will be able to study at a time and pace that suits them, with tutor support every step of the way.

Entry Level, Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications, covering topics such as:

  • Word Processing
  • Spreadsheets
  • Presentations
  • Email and Using the Internet

Our courses are jargon free and easy to follow. They are delivered through The British Computer Society, using a directed learning approach, which is a blend of tutor supported, online and other resources.

Courses may be free if you are in receipt of either Job Seekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance benefit.

Back to Work – Improving your Employability skills

Are you unemployed or looking for a change? Are you under the threat of redundancy?   Then the Learning Shop can help.

Our Learning Shops offer a range of adult learning opportunities in English, Maths and IT. These courses are part-time and flexible and lead to accredited qualifications. Courses offered at the Learning Shops in Braintree, Colchester, Clacton, Dovercourt and Witham are all online, with facilitated support and therefore can be accessed from anywhere that has internet access. We aim to offer everyone an ‘all encompassing’ service, not only helping you update your skills, but helping with your career goals through advice and practical support. This can help you progress using the A,B,C approach:

  • A – A Job
  • B – A Better Job
  • C – A Career

The Learning Shops also focus on building on individual employability skills, providing a range ‘back to work’ introduction courses in food safety, construction and care sectors.

Introduction to Construction
The construction industry is the largest growing sector in Essex, offering many varied roles.  The industry standard requires anyone entering a construction site to have a CITB CSCS card.  This course will enable learners to meet this requirement.  By the end of the course learners will gain:-

  • Health and safety awareness in a working environment
  • Recognising and supporting equality and diversity at work
  • Health & safety in construction industry certificate
  • This can lead to The Construction Industry Training Board Labourer (Green) Card * (subject to conditions)*Colchester Institute to fund Exam fee only. Any re-tests and fees will then be charged to the candidate.  Customer or DWP to fund the production of the CITB card
Return to Work
This course is aimed at those who have been away from regular work for some time, assisting them in the process of returning to work.  It will include helping with the many issues that getting back into employment entails.

In addition, it will also help to identify employability opportunities in a range of industries that is most suited to the individual or enable them to progress into further learning.  By the end of the course learners will gain an Award in Employability (Level 1), which includes:-

  • Helping to maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Plan personal finances in order to prepare for work
  • Health and safety awareness in a working environment
Introduction to Food Safety
The hospitality industry is the second largest growing sector in Essex, offering many varied roles.  There are also many food processing and production roles that require similar basic qualifications.  The industry standard requires anyone involved in food handling must have food safety training. This course will meet this requirement.  By the end of the course learners will gain:-

  • Health and safety awareness in a working environment
  • Food safety and storage Certificate (Level 2)
Coming soon – ‘Introduction to Care’.
These online courses run on a ‘roll on/roll off’ basis – 2-3 sessions per week over a 4 week period.  We can further support employability skills through the ‘Learn My Way’ self-access online courses which cover finding a job, job hunting on line, Universal Job Match and interview skills.

In addition to this offer, Colchester Institute offers a wide range of qualifications in Construction, Engineering, Hospitality, Digital Media, Care and many other sectors, many funded through the student loan scheme for those that are 19 or over. Click here for details.

If you would like to find out more about the Learning Shop ‘Back to work’ offer please call:

Please call for details. 01206 814292 or 01206 712825

Please get in touch if you are interested in any of the Learning Shop courses

The Learning Shop @ Colchester
Colchester Institute
Sheepend Road

(01206) 814292

The Learning Shop @ Braintree
The College at Braintree
Church Lane

(01206) 814292

The Learning Shop @ Clacton
The College at Clacton
Church Road
CO15 6JQ

(01206) 712825

The Learning Shop @ Dovercourt
171a High Street
CO12 3QB

(01206) 712825

The Learning Shop @ Witham
Witham Library
18 Newland Street

(01206) 814292