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Adults get chance to learn new skills.

FIRCROFT College of Adult Education is a residential college occupying a former Cadbury family home, set in six acres of beautiful grounds in Selly Oak.

The college aims to help adults learn new skills, improve their confidence and increase their employment opportunities. Learners can choose from more than 150 short courses throughout the year, most lasting just a few days and many designed specifically for adults with few or no previous qualifications.

Subject areas include English, maths, ICT, counselling and mentoring, personal and social development (improving your mental and physical health and wellbeing), as well as a range of professional courses and qualifications.

The majority of courses are free for students claiming means-tested benefits, including accommodation and meals.

The college also currently has limited residential places available on its Access to Higher Education Diploma, a full-time 30-week course starting in late September, aimed at adults who want to go to university, but who don't currently have the right qualifications.

Success rates on the Access course at Fircroft are significantly higher than the national average and the majority of students who successfully complete the course go straight to university, others change career and most describe Fircroft as a "life-changing experience."

One such student is Paul Savage, 52, from Harborne, who was inspired to enrol on the Access course after seeing his son graduate and is now looking forward to starting at the University of Birmingham in just a few weeks.

"I had a fantastic time at Fircroft," said Paul. "Being here has enabled me to realise my dream of going to university after more than 30 years of asking myself 'what if?'".

To find out more about Fircroft College of Adult Education call 0121 472 0116 or visit www.fircroft.ac.uk

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Paul Savage.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Sep 12, 2013
Words:295
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