Education,Training and Learning

Below you will find some useful links for further information on Adult/Lifelong learning and free resources. These websites offer a variety of courses and resources for you to use, the majority of courses are free but there may be charges for certificates etc.

The CWU believes that trade union education can transform the lives of working people for the better and is committed to providing all our members with opportunities to learn and provides a wide range of educational resources for members and reps.

An excellent E-Learning resource for members and reps
Register for e-mail alerts and get up to date information on events, publications and latest policy on learning.

Culture and Informal Adult and Community Learning
A wide range of free audio books, free online courses, free language lessons, free eBooks covering a wide variety of subjects.
British Pathé Film Archive – the archive covers an enormous range of subjects including modern British and world history, news, fashion, sport, entertainment, travel, warfare and 20th Century social history.
BBC Things To Do: activities run by BBC and partners, for example a nature walk run by the Ramblers or an adventure sports taster session at your local sports centre. To find activities near you, type your UK postcode, region or town into the search box.

Higher Education Courses:
Choose a high quality free course from a range of topics from Science & Technology to Arts & Humanities, from Body & Mind to Business & Management provided free by high quality universities.
Try over 600 free online courses from The Open University from introductory to advanced level, each takes between 1 and 50 hours to study.

Learning Languages:
BBC languages: courses and phrases, audio and video, vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, activities and tests in 40 languages. Japanese: Grammar Lessons, Introductory Lessons, Japanese Culture, Japanese Language – Reading Practice.
Also available from English as 2nd Language, French, German, Italian, and Mandarin Language.
don Quijote: online Spanish learning tools, find out your level of Spanish, get weekly lessons emailed to you, acquire new vocabulary while playing games, etc.
Learn French by Podcast: download mp3 to listen to on your computer, mp3 player or phone and printable lesson guide with exercises.
Free basic courses in over 35 languages, with the opportunity to access more in depth language courses for free when you assist other learners.

Skills for Life:
Maths and Science
Khan Academy: Maths, Science, Computer Science, Finance & Economics, Humanities, Test Preparation.
Maths 4 Us, resources to support learners in developing and improving their maths skills and support for Maths Champions. become a Maths Champion (training course for Maths Champions).
National Numeracy, resources to help adults learn and use the maths needed for everyday life, including National Numeracy Challenge.

Promoting Literacy
National Novel Writing Month, an ongoing creative writing challenge promoting literacy throughout the world and inspiring people to write.
Promoting literacy through reading including the Six Book Challenge and reading groups.

Free resources, competitions and activities for practicing and learning the English language, including English for the workplace.
English as a second language: Free resources, lesson plans and email English courses for learners and teachers.

IT Skills
Computer Skills – including Excel 2013. Reading and Maths are also offered.
Basic IT courses ideal for the beginner.
Basic IT courses ideal for the beginner.

Online learning
There are a range of online courses you can do from the comfort of your own home
If you don’t have a PC/Laptop or internet access you can get a cheap PC or Laptop from get online at home visit their website or ring them on 03719 100 100.
BT offer great deals on internet access see their website for details or phone them from a landline: 0800 100 400 or from a mobile: 0330 1234 150
At a basic level you can use the Learn my way website ( to help guide you through the basics of keyboard and mouse use and internet use. It will also guide you on everyday tasks such as shopping on line and using online forms. It also offers a free assessment of your literacy and numeracy skills.
“Everyone needs to use maths and English in everyday life, and this Initial Assessment will help you find out what level your language and number skills are. There is no time limit for the assessment, but it should take around 30 minutes to finish it. When you have finished you’ll be able to see what skills you might like to brush up on.”
Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum is another source of basic computer skills

It’s goal is to teach and assess basic computer concepts and skills so that people can use computer technology in everyday life to develop new social and economic opportunities for themselves, their families, and their communities.

If you already confident in PC/internet and want to try some online courses use you could try using learndirect (,you can do many of their courses at your local centre or from home or work if you have access to the Internet. Courses are broken down into bite-sized chunks, so you can learn at your own pace whenever and wherever it suits you.
Openlearn from the Open University aims to break the barriers to Education by reaching millions of learners around the world, providing free educational resources and inviting all to sample course registered students take – for free

What can you do on OpenLearn?
You can use the website to:
• plan and prepare for a course of study by enroling on one of our free courses
• browse the subject categories to discover articles, watch videos and interact with features and games created by our academic experts and guest contributors
• explore new topics to build your personal knowledge or look for reference material for a course you are already studying
• join the debates – hit the Comments area on all our pages to make your voice heard, rate how we’re doing and share with your friends
• Much of the content on OpenLearn will be accessible to anyone with a general interest in a subject.
Each free course is set at a particular level to indicate the amount of previous educational experience expected for you to be able to study the unit without too much difficulty, and within the stated hours of study. There are four levels – introductory, intermediate, advanced and masters – indicated in the summary description of each free course. is another excellent source of online learning and covers a wide range of subjects and better still is totally free! “ALISON provides a new world of free online learning opportunity”

In person learning

As well as many opportunities to learn online there are just as many to learn offline, many secondary schools have community learning (evening classes) covering a wide range of topics from academic to non academic such as puppy/dog training classes cooking classes and even bellydancing.
Some libraries such as some in Cambridgeshire will have learning centers where you can brush up your skills or learn something new.
National Careers Service
The National Careers Service website has lots of useful info and resources.
Learning Links
Adult and Community Learning in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough (Peterborough)

Adult and Community Learning in Norfolk

Adult and Community Learning in Lincolnshire

Adult Learners Week

Adult Learners’ Week is a national celebration of how learning can transform the lives of individuals and families, as well as their communities and workplaces. It’s also the perfect opportunity to showcase and explore the many different types of learning available to adults from all walks of life.

In 2013, Adult Learners’ Week will take place between 18 – 24 May 2013. For more information and to register your interest, visit

Adult Learners’ Week in England is coordinated by NIACE (the National Institute for Adult Continuing Education) – an independent charity which promotes adult learning across England and Wales. Find out more at

Justice is the goal, solidarity is the tool, education is the key!

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