We asked West College Scotland for some advice about returning to education after redundancy, and a bit about why students are choosing to retrain.
Do you get a lot of students who have already had careers coming back into education to retrain?
22% of our students are between the ages of 20-24 and 33% are over the age of 25, suggesting that more than half of our student population are returning to education. Based on student case studies, many students come back to retrain and upgrade the skills they have or go into new areas entirely.
What would be the main factors you would suggest someone considers before deciding retraining is the right option for them?
We’d always suggest speaking with a careers advisor and DWP in the first instant to discuss the individual’s options. Once they had determined which area they are interested in studying we would encourage them to speak to the course lecturers at the College who would help determine the correct course and level of study for them. Finally we may suggest that they look into securing some work experience within their chosen field to confirm that this is in fact the correct path for them to take.
Are there part-time options if people want to continue working/ raising a family?
We offer a range of both full-time and part-time courses as well as distance courses, which allow students to learn while working, caring for a family member or preparing to move into more formal education.
How can someone who has been made redundant and decided to retrain, prepare themselves for coming back into education? What changes should they expect if they have been out of education for a long time?
Returning to education after a long period a time can be extremely daunting however students should be assured that they are not on their own; there is a range of support and guidance on offer within the college.
Yes they will experience changes such as new IT resources and teaching methods but all students will be given the help, guidance and tools they need to succeed. We would encourage all students to time manage, plan ahead and set realistic achievable goals in order to succeed and always ask for help if needed.
What sectors are students who have decided to retrain coming from and what sectors are they choosing to go into?
Again using the information from our student case studies examples of sectors that students are coming from would be: oil industry, care, clerical, retail and the beauty sectors. What we do find is that many adult returners use College as a pathway to University. Popular courses that offer routes into Higher Education are Social Sciences, Applied Sciences, Care and Administrative Practice, Sports Coaching and Engineering.