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Bradford College Celebrates Lifelong Learning Week 2023

This week, we join the national celebration of Lifelong Learning Week at Bradford College to raise the profile of lifelong learning across England. The week is a chance to celebrate staff and learners from different corners of the College and let our local communities know we have learners from age 14 through to 83 years old.


We started the week with a special interview with Vanessa Phillimore, our Curriculum Area Manager, who explains how Bradford College helps individuals gain new skills, follow passions, and reinvent themselves at any career stage: 

This awareness week is absolutely critical in terms of highlighting and promoting lifelong learning for ALL

Why is lifelong learning important?

Education can unlock so many opportunities. Whether you want to gain skills and knowledge to boost your career, change direction, or just prove to yourself, yes, I can do this. This is what lifelong learning gives you: 

  1. It allows you to stay adaptable and flexible in an ever-changing world. It helps you acquire new skills and knowledge that can be applied to different situations and industries. This adaptability is crucial in today’s fast-paced and competitive job market, where new technologies and trends constantly emerge. 
  2.  It promotes personal growth and self-improvement. It allows you to explore new interests, expand your horizons, and discover your passion. Continuous learning helps you develop a sense of purpose and fulfillment. 
  3. It is essential for professional development and career advancement. It helps you stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends, advancements, and best practices. Continuous learning also enhances job performance, increases employability, and opens up new opportunities for career growth and advancement.

Prior experience counts

For adults returning to education, life experiences, work history and previous training hold signfiicant value.  A nationally recognised process helps Colleges and Universities to measure the impact and value of prior learning against an agreed framework. This means that adults could be exempt from some parts of their chosen programmes, allowing them to achieve qualifications faster.   

This assessment covers both formal and informal learning and is conducted through a formal process. Interested individuals can inquire about Accredited Prior Learning when discussing entry requirements for a program.  

Real-Life Stories 

Throughout Lifelong Learning Week, Bradford College has shared inspiring stories from various learners. One such story is that of Alexandra Robinson, who embarked on her career journey as a dinner lady but subsequently secured an apprenticeship in Business Administration at Bradford College, earning the prestigious title of ‘Apprentice of the Year.’ All this, while juggling family commitments and a full-time job amidst personal challenges. 

Another remarkable example is Mary Whitehouse, a mature student who transitioned from the field of physics education to the vibrant world of textiles. Mary’s journey reflects the essence of lifelong learning. Her successful participation in a national design competition not only showcases her talents but also underscores the supportive learning environment at Bradford College. 

Funding Support 

For those seeking financial support for their education, Bradford College offers various options, including: 

  • Free Courses for Jobs: Individuals aged 19 and over who are looking to gain in-demand skills can study for free at Bradford College under the Free Courses for Jobs program. This initiative is designed for adults who meet specific criteria, such as not holding a Level 3 qualification, earning below the National Living Wage annually, or being unemployed. Qualifications span across fields from Engineering to Health and Social Care.
  • Advanced Learner Loan: For those considering professional development or personal growth, the College provides an array of opportunities. Interested individuals can visit an upcoming open day to explore their options or request a copy of the adult and community prospectus. 

To learn more about the available programs and support, please visit the Gov website.  

Bradford College invites everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to elevate their careers and embrace the enriching journey of lifelong learning. 

If you’d like to consider professional development, personal growth or new skills to support a career change, pop along to our upcoming open day to talk to the team about your options, or you can order a copy of our adult and community prospectus. 

Published: 10th November 2023
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