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Understand further study and training opportunities

Boost your job prospects and earning potential through further study and training 


Covid-19 has changed the way we live and work; the uncertainty it brings us as individuals and for our local businesses is still relatively unknown.

There are jobs available right now in our amazing city and there are predicted to be more jobs in the future, as our businesses recover and grow.


Through further study, re-training or up-skilling, you will be able to stand out from the crowd by putting yourself in the best position. This can all be done through learning more about your chosen subject; gaining relevant qualifications and certification; getting hands-on experience which our local employers will value.  


Plymouth is behind you to give you the best possible start for your career.    

Make an informed choice

If you plan to stay in and around Plymouth, when choosing your further study and training options, it is worth understanding the latest picture of the city’s growing employment and work sectors. This can help inform your choice of course and improve your chances of employment and earning potential both now and in the future. We know today in and around Plymouth that there is high demands for skills in the following sectors:

  • Health and Care, and Health Technologies
  • Marine and Defence
  • Construction and the Built Environment
  • Manufacturing and Engineering
  • Green jobs

You can read more about this on our Local Employers and Sector page.

What qualification levels and pathways mean

There are 9 qualification levels – the higher the level the harder the qualification. The levels are based on the standards of knowledge, skills and competence needed for each qualification. You can read more here

Financing further study

You may be able to get help with the costs of:

  • Your course
  • Day-to-day living costs
  • Childcare

Find out more here

For funding to support you with further education:

For funding to support you for higher education:

Your options for further study

Further education includes any study from age 16 that’s not part of higher education (that is, not taken as part of an undergraduate or graduate degree). This can include technical and applied qualifications in chosen subjects. Many Further Education (FE) colleges also offer progression routes to Higher Education as an HEI (Higher Education Institution). Both City College Plymouth and Plymouth College of Art are FE and HEIs.

Click here to find information about the Devon and Cornwall Training Provider Network

Click here to see all the different local training providers in Plymouth

Higher education – you usually need to be 18 or older to take a higher education course. They’re usually taught in universities, colleges and specialist institutions like art schools, with qualifications including foundation degrees, bachelor degrees and postgraduate degrees.

Click here for advice on progressing and moving on to higher education

Adult education and community learning

Adult learners can enjoy learning and retraining across specific subjects to support continuous professional development, gain digital skills, become work ready, brush up on English and maths skills, take up a vocational qualification and learn about mental health & well-being.

Local adult and community learning training providers

On behalf of Plymouth City Council, Plymouth Adult Education Service helps anyone aged 19+ to get your foundations right and build those skills and that CV!

On Course South West

On Course South West offers courses to support adult learners and families across Plymouth and surrounding areas and many are free. Helping individuals to find a new job after redundancy or return to work after a break. Working closely with communities, employers and job centres, the On Course team know that refreshing knowledge and developing new skills are great ways for adults to build confidence and impress new employers. In addition to short, long courses and free courses, On Course also have a professional menu of accredited online qualifications, which are nationally recognised by employers and are free to those eligible. They are exclusively designed for online home study and assessed by a fully qualified assessor. You may also wish to get free help with your English, maths or digital skills. On Course are here to help.

To view the full range of courses visit: , email or call: 01752 660713.

ODILS Learning Foundation

ODILs specialise in adult training for second language speakers and are experts in English language training.

Shekinah Mission

Sunflower Women’s Centre

Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre

Greenlight Safety Consultancy

Focus Training Group


Regional support

Heart of the SW Local Enterprise Partnership Jobs Launchpad

This website provides information and resources to help support unemployed individuals or at risk of, through the journey into employment.

Serco's Skills Support for Redundancy

If you have been made redundant within the last three months, the Serco Skills Support for Redundancy programme provides funded training courses and advice to get you ready for your next job role. This could include retraining for a different career or progression training to help you take the next step on your existing career path. A dedicated Partnership Coordinator will work with you to identify the best sources of support and training to help you achieve your career goals and get back to work.

Learn Devon

Learn Devon, who provide adult and community learning courses on behalf of Devon County Council, offer support to anyone looking to get back into work, or for those who want to improve their digital skills, and improve wellbeing.

Useful links to support further study and training options with Skills Launchpad Plymouth:

Make sure you feel ready to get back out there – check out the support available if you are feeling anxious, confused, lost or overwhelmed Find out about Plymouth’s current employment picture and learn about our industry sectors which are growing fast creating new job opportunities Too much choice out there? You can always learn more about your career options Consider earning while you learn through an apprenticeship Where to find jobs in Plymouth Consider becoming a volunteer to gain valuable new skills and experience Access help for starting your own business and work for yourself

National support

The National Careers Service can help inform career, learning and training choices.

Key links to support at risk staff include:

National Careers Service advice for furloughed workers:

National Careers Service advice for those who have lost their job:

National Careers Service help with Interview advice, CVs, applications, soft skills development:

National Careers Service – help finding a job:


Apprenticeships are open to people of all ages, are real jobs with real training, meaning you can earn while you learn and gain a nationally recognised qualifications from Level 2 up to degree level, depending on the role you are working towards.

For information about apprenticeships please visit our helpful Secure an Apprenticeship page

Training opportunities

Courses at City College Plymouth

Learn a new skill, retrain or get a new qualification with City College Plymouth. The UK and South West’s top performing College can offer you a range of courses designed to fit around your work and home life. Can’t decide which route is best for you? Get free and impartial careers advice and guidance from our Careers team who can guide you through the range of options.

Gain numeracy and digital skills independently

The Skills Tool-Kit – get started

Digital and numeracy skills are highly valued by employers, and can help you progress in work and boost job prospects. Find free, high quality digital and numeracy courses at Skills Tool-Kit.

BT Skills for Tomorrow

Learn digital skills to help you in all areas of life – home and work life.

Help with your English, maths or literacy

There’s lots of choice in Plymouth to help you brush up on your English and/or maths skills. You may need to take things at your own pace and do it your way in small groups, or you may need to fast track for a specific exam or retake. Whatever you need, there are lots of places to help you.

To develop your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills and to work towards a Functional English or English GCSE qualification from age 16 find out how City College Plymouth can help.

If you’re 19 or older and want to make a fresh start with English and maths but aren’t quite ready for an exam but would like to work towards one, contact On Course South West on

Local sector specific training opportunities: Construction

Greenlight Training dIf you are looking for a way to get ready for employment in a wide range of construction jobs and apprenticeships, have you considered a pre-employment course? Greenlight Training works with a variety of construction companies, and offer a two-week course, during which you will learn fundamental skills in carpentry, bricklaying, plastering, painting and decorating, floor laying, groundworks, roofing, dry lining and plant, so you are ready to apply for apprenticeships - and you know exactly which trades you are best suited to!

Sherford Skills Training Scheme

The Sherford Consortium is committed to strengthening the region’s business, economic and employment landscape, including by creating a legacy by nurturing local talent and the next generation of construction workers. Alongside City College Plymouth and South Devon College, the Sherford Consortium offers onsite training, work experience and long-term employment opportunities during every phase of the town’s construction, with its Skills Training Scheme.

Clarion Futures - Interested in working in the construction industry?

Our fully-funded online CSCS course offers you the opportunity to gain your Level 1 Health & Safety qualification, help to prepare you for your test and apply for your site operative’s card.

To find out more, get in touch with the contact below.

Avi Jugessur: 07849 078614 or email

Reform – Free remote weekly construction CSCS courses

If you are unemployed, aged 18 or over, have the right to work in the UK, you could be eligible for a four day CSCE course with your test and card paid for. You will need access to broadband and ideally a PC/laptop to be able to take part.

The courses are run weekly, over 4 days. They are part workbook based (posted out) with an on-line multiple choice test at the end of the week. Learners gain the NOCN L1 Certificate in Basic Construction Skills and the Level 1 Award in H&S in a Construction Environment. Once the completed paperwork is returned your CSCS test will be booked and paid for, and upon successful achievement your card will be paid for. On successful completion of the 4-day course, learners get a £50 ‘One4all’ back-to work voucher to help with PPE/Tools/Interview clothes etc.

JCP Sector Based Work Academies

Local people who are in receipt of an eligible benefit can speak with their Jobcentre Work Coach to register interest in the following current sector based work academy opportunities:

City College Plymouth

Prepare for jobs in the Care Sector by attending our classroom based course with City College Plymouth covering:

  • Discuss various roles in Health and Social Care and how to apply (including DBS check info)
  • Look at Health and safety in the Workplace and Safeguarding
  • Manual handling
  • First Aid
  • Listen to Skills for Care presentations on the sector and the support available from them
  • Look at specialist job sites for health and Social Care
  • Employability skills - application forms and interview skills
  • Have an interview for Care roles of the area you want to work in
  • Have access to local employers recruiting at the time.

Health and Social Care with Integer

This distance learning course is available without any classroom time and is a roll on and off programme so start dates are when you are ready.

The programme will include:

Level 1 Certificate in Personal Development for Employability

Level 2 Certificate in Health and Social Care

Level 2 Award in Understanding Infection Prevention & Control in Health and Social Settings

There is also funding available to pay for a DBS for anyone who finishes the course and is applying for work.

Contact Integer – Sarah, by calling 01288 357354

Warehouse (sortation associates)

We are running an on-line course to support customers to apply for vacancies for a Sortation Associate that Adecco have on behalf of the Amazon Warehouse in Estover. They are currently recruiting so if anyone feels they need support then this will be useful.

The customer will enrol with the provider Eat that Frog who will then provide a 121 mentor service to go through support modules which may take up to 5 days to complete online including virtual interview techniques and a Health & Safety in the workplace awareness. This is via an app which is downloaded.

Free online courses


The Heart of the South West LEP Digital Skills Partnership is excited to announce a partnership with Coursera to help you learn critical skills to succeed in this digital era, empower you to thrive in your job or pivot in your career.

Coursera is a world-leading online learning platform for higher education. With short to medium courses from world-class universities and industry giants, the online platform is available 24/7 allowing you to learn something new anytime, anywhere. Through a local government offer, access to Coursera is now free for a limited period of time.

With Coursera you can:

  • Learn skills that are in-demand, all the courses available relate either to in-demand roles, growing or Covid-19 resilient sectors.
  • Get ready for a career with job-ready or management short courses.
  • Earn a certificate of completion from a leading university or the likes of Google or IBM to add to your CV.

Find out more here

Online courses

Discover a range of free learning content designed to help your business or in your career. You can learn by selecting individual modules, or dive right in and take an entire course end-to-end.

Learn relevant skills for jobs in-demand Start developing your skills for free with learning paths from LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft. Learn, then practice tech skills in the GitHub Learning Lab. Accenture Skills to Succeed Academy Are you looking to apply for a job, brush up on your interview techniques or seeking a career change? If so the Skills to Succeed Academy can help you! Accenture’s Skills to Succeed Academy is a FREE online employability training programme, designed to support you with navigating your career journey. There are a variety of topics to choose from to help you gain confidence with your employability skills. Find Your North Star with LIveWest Find Your North Star will help you to: • Understand what makes you unique. • Identify what motivates you and what you are passionate about. • Explore what type of work excites you and why. • Understand how your past has shaped you and to how to build your future. • Build your self-confidence. February - July 2021 with various course dates available. Email or call 07870372819