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Adult and part-time education courses


We are fortunate to have a number of training and skills providers that offer a wealth of experience and a diverse range of courses and training opportunities to meet learners and company’s needs.

Plymouth City Council is committed to enabling all employers to have access to the training, skills and qualifications they need to upskill their workforce through lifelong learning. This is done by ensuring a wide and variable offer from English and maths skills, higher-level technical skills, professional qualifications in an individual’s field of expertise as well as workplace skills.

Many of the Plymouth area adult education providers can help you to upskill and train your workforce. This can lead to better productivity, a motivated workforce and create movement through your organisation. They will undertake workforce planning with employers to understand skills gaps and suggest skill training needs.

Did you know?

Upskilling helps support the continuous learning and development of the workforce with numerous benefits both to businesses and their employees. Upskilling your workforce involves identifying skills gaps and providing a strategic approach to training and development to upskill team members to fill the gaps.

Employers may be uncertain about the gap between current capabilities and skills that their business requires. Such an understanding calls for a full grasp of employees’ skills, as well as detailed insight into the capacities required to meet challenges and opportunities in the business, the industry and the economy. This can be difficult for small businesses, as the analysis may require more time and effort than they can easily spare. It may also be a challenge for large enterprises, because of the scale and scope of their operations and aspirations. Training organisations will work with employers to identify all of these factors and create a training plan.

How it works in the city

On Course South West provides training that supports businesses, young people and adults through key transition points. They deliver services that build and convert aspiration to achievement, whilst unlocking potential and developing individuals. They work with employers to create a ‘made to measure’ training programme, providing bespoke training to meet the needs of your industry sector and of your workforce.

On Course South West will work with you to develop unique packages for your employees or volunteers that really add value including:

• industry specific training courses for sectors as diverse as retail, health and social care, early years care and education

• workforce essentials including Equality and Diversity and Safeguarding.

Click here for the full suite of courses available, this includes for the Health and Social Care sector.

Contact On Course South West by email on or by telephone on 01752 660713

On Course South West specialist partners for adult and community learning include odils Learning Foundation, Shekinah, Sunflower Women’s Centre and Discovery College. To find out more about their adult education and community learning provision click here.

City College Plymouth works with businesses and organisations across Plymouth and beyond. As one of the largest providers of skills in the South West, they value the input of employers and collectively work towards a goal of a stronger economy and more opportunities for the people of Plymouth.

Further information and contact details can be found here.

A wide range of courses and qualifications including part-time evening courses are available and can be seen here.

Careers South West (CSW) delivers a broad and exciting suite of practical free courses for your business including Smart Skills which is part funded by the European Social Fund, (projects are subject to change so please check with them for current projects running/planned). SMART SKILLS offers a wide range of fully funded training and skill development solutions. In collaboration with our partners and learning providers these courses have been designed to meet the needs of businesses in Devon with the aim of supporting and enhancing economic growth in the region.

The training provided is flexible and can be delivered both in-person and online. Varying from one day skill development workshops all the way through to full, academic qualifications our courses are designed to be accessible and targeted to the needs of organisations based in Devon. It’s free and it could have a huge, positive impact on your organisation – helping to boost productivity, drive growth, improve staff retention, and build skills for the future! Funded until 31 December 2023. To explore further contact Sean Gibson Partnership and Engagement Manager by email on

The Health and Social Care Skills Accelerator Programme (HSSAP) provides a variety of free, flexible learning and development sector specific opportunities; from workshops to short courses and qualifications, with a range of subjects to support your team. Courses are available at colleges across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, either in person or online. Further information can be found here.

For local HSSAP support contact:

On Course South West


Telephone number: 01752 660713

City College Plymouth


Telephone number 01752 305300

Localised sector support training and sector Skills Bootcamps are ideal for existing and new staff to attend to upskill and improve their knowledge in specific areas relating to their jobs. These can be explored here

Find out more

Devon and Cornwall Training Provider NetworkRepresents a local network of training and shares the most up to date information on the different training providers, FE Colleges and Independent Training Providers, which offer training and skills so you can see just how near your local training centre is. Please click here.

The Government Skills for Life Tool-kit offers a range of online free courses, careers support and additional training for employees in your workforce. Find out more on the Government website and the National Careers Service website.

For skills boot camps, click here.

For sector based work academy programmes please click here.

A range of government programmes are available for employers, some of which offer financial incentives. Further detail can be found here.

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