Over 1,000 free university courses available in Wales


Thousands of people across Wales are now eligible for free training to rewrite their careers by creating a personal learning account.

As part of the Welsh Government program, Wales Colleges now collectively offer more than 1,000 free courses in sectors conducive to employment opportunities including construction, finance, IT, health and safety , project management and engineering.

The program is aimed at those who are currently on leave, on a zero hour contract or whose job is at risk, provided they are 19 years of age or older and earning less than £ 26,000.

Following a successful pilot project with Coleg Gwent and Grwp Llandrillo Menai which has seen around 500 people across Wales enroll in fully funded part-time courses, Personal Training Accounts are now being rolled out to the nationwide to help thousands of people in Wales boost their skills and employability.

All courses have been specially designed to address the skill gaps already identified in the priority sectors in Wales. Employers and stakeholders have worked in partnership with colleges to develop courses relevant to sectors that are expected to create employment opportunities now or in the near future.

All courses are part-time and are truly flexible, designed to study around other commitments such as a current job. Many are taught online, meaning that learners can study remotely and in the evenings and weekends.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams said: “The impact of the pandemic has unfortunately affected many industries, with many people looking for ways to learn new professional skills, perhaps at their local college.

“Personal learning accounts are designed to help people who have jobs and whose jobs may be at risk. If you are worried about the certainty of your job, or if you are on leave or on a zero hour contract, having access to a free personal training account could provide you with the skills and qualifications to start a new business. rewarding career.

“As we work towards a Welsh right to lifelong learning, the PLAs show what can be achieved for individuals, the economy and the country as a whole. “

Callum Wareham of Rhondda Cynon Taf was able to accelerate his career in the public service by setting up a personal learning account with Coleg Gwent. To date, he has completed the Agile Project Management, PRINCE2 and ITIL 4 courses, has been promoted and is now on track to raise his salary.

Callum said: “I was very lucky to get a job in the public service, especially since I had never done project management before. I liked it a lot, but because it was new to me I had to learn everything from scratch and I lacked confidence in my job. I wanted to move up the ranks to a project manager position, but I had accepted that it would take time to learn everything I needed to know on the job. Until I found out about learning personal accounts.

“Creating a personal learning account has already opened doors for me and gave me the confidence and initiative to teach myself if there is something I don’t understand or want. find out more. This came at a good time for me as I am working from home at the moment and the course was remotely which allowed me to easily adjust an hour in the morning before starting work or in the evening after having ended . I even have an app on my phone so I can access resources on the go.

“The professional qualifications I acquired in project management were more important to my progress than my university degree, but the courses can be expensive, so without a personal training account I could not have afforded it. It certainly accelerated my career, I would recommend anyone who qualifies to do so – he’s a real game changer. “

Everything you need to know about personal training accounts

What is that?

Creating a personal training account gives you access to free training that will help you improve your job prospects and your career in general. Choose from over 1,000 courses in 10 industries such as construction, finance, digital, health and social services, and engineering, and study at home online around your other commitments.

Who is eligible?

Anyone over 19 earning less than £ 26,000 or anyone currently on leave, with a zero hour contract, or who have been told their job is in danger.

How can I apply?

Apply for a personal learning account through Working Wales and speak to a local advisor. Call 0800 028 4844 or visit www.workingwales.gov.wales/contact-us for more information.

How much does it cost?

It’s free! All college courses under the Personal Learning Accounts program are funded by the Welsh government. The only costs you will need to cover are your own expenses if you have to travel.

What courses can I take?

Hundreds of courses are offered at all colleges in Wales. Visit college websites for more information.

Choose from qualifications in:

  • Accounting
  • Business and management
  • Construction
  • IT and digital
  • Engineering
  • Photography
  • Customer service
  • Advanced materials and manufacturing
  • Commerce, tourism and leisure
  • Hospitality and catering
  • Health and social protection
  • Food and terrestrial
  • Energy and environment

Should I go to my local college or can I study anywhere in Wales?

Many colleges offer online-only education, which can mean you can explore beyond your local college. However, be aware that face-to-face learning may be required during the duration of your course, so you will need to factor in travel times and costs.

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