Lifelong learning has a key role to play in enriching the lives of older people and the Scottish Executive is dedicated to providing high quality learning opportunities to everyone regardless of their age.
Older people and Learning - The facts
A great deal of work has already been done to widen access to learning. Over 93,000 new further education places have been created since 1998-99, with a significant proportion of them being targeted at those from under-represented and disadvantaged groups. Our aim is to ensure that there are routes and pathways to learning which will help older people develop the skills they require to lead a fulfilling life and gain the skills needed to remain in the labour market.
There is a perception that lifelong learning for older people is primarily a means of keeping active. In 2000-01 enrolments on vocational courses by those aged 50 and over accounted for 16% of all vocational enrolments in further education colleges. This is an increase of 14% on the previous year and an increase of 107% since 1998-99. It is clear therefore that older people are interested in learning new skills.
Lifelong Learning Strategy
It is never too late to learn and new, more flexible opportunities are now becoming available to allow you to learn in a friendly environment, at a time that suits you and where you can learn at your own pace.
Learndirect scotland makes access to learning easier by making available information on learning opportunities.
learndirect scotland freephone helpline 0808 100 9000
The helpline is open:
Monday to Friday from 7:30 am to 11pm and on a Saturday between 9am and 6pm.
The learndirect scotland website is also available with information on learning opportunities.
Further Education Colleges
Further education colleges play a key role in providing opportunities for learning. They offer a range of courses, delivered in various ways, to meet the needs of the communities they serve.
As well as offering courses in the main college building, many colleges take learning to the heart of communities by delivering courses in outreach centres.
The Scottish Further Education Funding Council website provides a link to college websites, why not take a look to see what learning opportunities are offered by your local colleges.
Senior Studies Institute
The University of Strathclyde, Senior Studies Institute was established as a centre for lifelong learning for people over 50.
Find out what is available at the Senior Studies Institute website
Photograph on this page is courtesy of the Senior Studies Institute.