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You are never too old to learn. Learning something new or improving your existing skills is becoming increasingly popular with older people and there are lots of opportunities out there for you to try, many of them free of charge.

Retirement is a good time to start doing something you always wanted to do but never had the time for. From informal learning to languages and degree courses, there’s something to interest everyone. There are also evening and weekend courses for those who want to keep working but are keen to learn new things in their spare time.

Classes and courses

Classes are no longer confined to evenings – there are part-time, day, weekend, online and distance learning classes to choose from.

Many take place in schools and colleges. Popular classes include languages, photography, yoga, cookery, computer skills, jewellery making and family history.

How to find a course

  • The National Careers Service has information about mainly career-focussed courses, great if you are looking for a career change or want to progress in your existing job.
  • Local libraries have details of local courses and computer facilities if you need them for the course.
  • Your local council can give you details of courses for adult learners in your area. You can find them in the phone book.
  • Age UK coordinates a network of computer training centres providing jargon-free training tailored to people in later life. If you’d like to learn more about computers and the internet see our computer training courses.
  • Learn Direct has a network of local centres offering computer-based teaching. Their courses are mainly vocational skills, English, maths and business.
  • The University of the Third Age (U3A) consists of local groups of older people (in their ‘third age’) whose members run informal courses, study groups and talks.

Further information

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 169 2081

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