Councillor Stephen Reid, Executive Member for Education, Skills, Human Resources and Performance, said: “Training in the most vital skills, such as literacy and digital technology, should be accessible to all who need it. Providing free learning to those who may find it more difficult to access courses, in venues that are close to their homes or easy to travel to, helps people to aim higher, and engage more with the community around them.”
The courses are available in all boroughs and districts across Hampshire, in a variety of venues such as schools and parish halls. Many of the courses will be available in local libraries, which are ideally located in the centre of Hampshire’s communities, often with purpose-built learning facilities.
Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, said: “Libraries are at the heart of their local communities, and provide excellent venues for learning. I’m very pleased that libraries can once again offer a broad range of courses to support people from all walks of life to thrive in education, training and employment – and to feel like part of the community, as soon as they walk in.”
The courses are funded through Hampshire Futures, the County Council’s service to learners over 14 years of age, recently rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.
The courses cover three broad themes and are aimed at specific target groups:
‘Hampshire Thrives’: Courses to support better quality of life
‘Hampshire Thrives’ provides courses to support family learning; English and maths skills; digital inclusion; community cohesion; and health and wellbeing. They will be provided free of charge to learners who receive Income Support or Universal Credit, or have a learning difficulty or disability. The courses will be available at a wide variety of venues such as schools and parish halls, and also at libraries in Eastleigh, Petersfield, Alton, Fareham, Gosport, Hart, Havant, New Forest, Rushmoor and Test Valley.
‘Hampshire Works’: Courses to help people improve their employability
These courses will help with skills such as CV writing and interview techniques, and basic English and maths. They will be provided free of charge to people aged 19 or older who receive Universal Credit to access employment, including those with learning difficulties or disabilities. The courses will be available at a wide variety of venues such as schools and parish halls, and also at the libraries in Fareham, Gosport, New Forest and Rushmoor.
‘Hampshire Learns’: Courses to help people undertake leisure learning
The courses include various themes from tap-dancing to languages to yoga and allow people to continue learning for their own leisure. There will be a charge for these courses, however concessions are available.
To find a course near you, visit: www.hants.gov.uk/adult-community-learning