NELSON AND COLNE College Group has unveiled an expanded range of adult learning opportunities with online learning integrated with community venues.

This comes as central government boasts of a ‘radical’ shake up to adult education to help cope with the post coronavirus economy and cope with a national skills short by planning to allow adults to learn new skills for free.

The expanded provision at Nelson and Colne, which also includes Accrington and Rossendale College, meanwhile will focus largely on skills for work, community learning, professional skills and higher education.

Assistant principal for adult learning Andrew Parkin said: “We’re extremely proud that through our College Group we are able to offer adults across Lancashire a fantastic range of courses to boost their employment prospects, support an aspiration or develop a hobby or interest.”

He added: “For those looking to upskill for a career change, future proof and consolidate their position in an existing career, or improve their employment prospects with a Functional Skills qualification, there has never been a better time to do this.

“I’m delighted that our comprehensive provision offer for adult learners has something of interest for everybody.”

Many of these courses have moved to online or partly online teaching in order to allow learners to continue their studies safely despite the disruption caused by the pandemic and the looming threat of more stringent lockdown regulations.

Mr Parkin said: “The safety of our learners remains our number one priority during this time, and as such we are pleased to have been able to adapt to the current climate and to invest in a high quality online learning experience for more courses than ever before.”

This comes at a significant time for adult education across the country.

The new national adult education policy aims to ensure that adults in England without an A-level or equivalent qualification will be offered a fully funded college course as fears of a post lockdown surge in unemployment continue to mount.

Nationwide funding for courses offering "skills valued by employers" will be made available from next April, and the government say that a full list of the courses will be announced next month.

In the meantime, for more information about adult learning at Accrington and Rossendale College Group, visit: