Learning, training and getting into work

woman sitting at desk with laptop

When you take on a caring role it can be easy to forget about your needs and wellbeing.  Taking time for yourself and for your own interests is important.

Learning for leisure and gaining new skills can help you while you are caring. It can bring you new opportunities and new friends and may help you move towards paid employment.

Gain confidence before going forward

Many carers find that having an activity outside of caring is important to them. If you feel uncertain, ask if there are taster courses to help you build your confidence and find what is right for you.

Learning for leisure

Are you looking to learn something new, meet new people and turn your spare time into time well spent. Learning for leisure courses are all about exploring your personal interests further. These courses are shorter, and there are no qualifications, allowing you more freedom to enjoy your learning and focus on the areas that suit you

Training and career development

If you want to study towards a career or are thinking about getting back to work or changing career, whether this is combining study with a caring role or getting back to study when caring responsibilities end there are a number of options for support and guidance. 

Many courses are free or reduced in cost for those who are in receipt of certain benefits. Funding for travel to your course, materials and childcare costs may also be available if you have a low income or are on eligible benefits.

Activate Learning

Deciding the best way forward

Organisations help with decisions and advise you about learning and study. If you are concerned about funding, ask advice as there may be different options available.

Please note: it is advisable to discuss your caring role in relation to your availability for courses. Make sure you ask if there are any concessions or replacement care options.

It is also important to check if your activity will affect your benefits. 

Getting into work

It is important that those carers who want to work, and are able to do so, get the right support.

Jobcentre Plus provides resources to enable job-searchers to find work, through Jobpoints (touch-screen computer terminals), Jobseeker Direct (telephone service) and the Jobcentre Plus website. They offer information about training opportunities for the chronicly unemployed. They administer claims for benefits such as Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, and Jobseeker's Allowance.

You can ask to speak to an adviser who can arrange an appointment to support you as a carer.  There are multiple offices for Jobcentre Plus Oxfordshire.  Each Jobcentre Plus office is listed in alphabetical order.

Abingdon Jobcentre Plus

Torus House
38-44 Stert Street
OX14 3QS
Telephone 0845 604 3719
Textphone 0845 608 8551

Banbury Jobcentre Plus

Crown Buildings
Southam Road
OX16 2EX
Telephone 0845 604 3719
Textphone 0845 608 8551

Didcot Jobcentre Plus

130a The Broadway
OX11 8DB
Telephone 0845 604 3719
Textphone 0845 608 8551

Oxford Jobcentre Plus

7 Worcester Street
Telephone 0845 604 3719
Textphone 0845 608 8551

Oxford Jobcentre Plus

Floyds Row
Telephone 0845 604 3719
Textphone 0845 608 8551

Witney Jobcentre Plus

2 Rivers Trading Estate
OX28 4JA
Telephone 0845 604 3719
Textphone 0845 608 8551

Oxfordshire Specialist Advice Service

Age UK Oxfordshire, Citizens Advice Oxford, Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire and Oxfordshire Welfare Rights have joined forces to provide a free, comprehensive, independent advice service.

The service helps with queries around benefits, money advice, budgeting and other welfare issues and will link you into services that can provide further support.

The service is free for people to use. It is jointly funded by Oxfordshire County Council's Adult Social Care and Children, Education and Families, so it is focused on meeting the needs of people living in Oxfordshire who are struggling with their day-to-day lives due to disability or ill health. However, you don’t have to have a carer or anyone looking after you.

Citizens Advice

Courses for carers

There are many local short courses available that may help you in your caring role - some only last an hour or two.  You may be able to get help with transport or care costs for some courses.

Our mini-courses will last between 1and 2.5 hours and each course will be provided around the county during May to December 2016. The courses are open to all carers who are over the age of 18 whether they support an adult or a child with needs, where appropriate some are provided by age of the person supported. All carers you can join one, more or all sessions, all sessions are available free.

A list of all full courses are also available covering a variety of topics

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