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Free adult skills and training

Part funded by the European Union. Skills for Employment

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Skills for Employment ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​is a free service to help you get back into work, or improve your skills if you're already employed. Skills for employment is suitable if you want:

  • To improve your skills
  • Help finding work experience
  • Help finding a job with a local employer

You must be:

  • Unemployed for 6 months or more, or with only brief periods of employment during that timeframe
  • 18 years old and claiming benefits, or over 19 and not claiming benefits

This free support is designed around your own personal circumstances, confidential and is entirely voluntary. Your benefits are not affected by taking part.

Contact the Skills for Employment team on 01706 646471 or by email at

Skills for Employment is commissioned by the Skills Funding Agency in partnership with Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership the contract is part-funded by the European Social Fund

Types of training available

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​There are lots of local training organisations who offer free accredited training to adults. Please note that courses may be subject to funding.

Many of these courses are short, lasting just a few weeks, and delivered on a part time basis so that Job Seekers Allowance is not affected.

The courses cover areas including employability, IT, Maths, English and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) as well as sector specific courses such as Business Administration, Customer Service and Health and Social Care.​

Course providers

Bury College
0161 280 8645
  • Skills for life.
  • IT Training.
0161 624 1444
  • Free training to the unemployed.
Hopwo​​​od Hall College
01706 358 490
  • Skills for life.
  • IT Training.
01706 630 140
  • Skills for life.
  • IT Training.
Mantra Learning
0800 389 5283
  • Skills for life.
  • IT Training.
  • LearnDirect​.
Oldham College
0161 785 4014​
  • Skills for life.
Rochdale Training Association
01706 631 417​
  • Skills for life.
  • IT Training.
The Growth Com​pany
0161 359 3338​
  • National Careers Service.
WEA (Workers Educational Association)

09774 797 704 or 07813 686 080

  • ​​​​​Skills for life.

Support for people with disabilities

There are also training organisations who offer specialist support to adults with learning difficulties or disabilities including those with a mental health issue.

  • PossAbilities Employment Rochdale Employment Development Service offers services to help people with a disability or health condition to explore training and employment opportunities.
  • Rempl​​oy A professional and work-focused environment is provided for disabled people to improve their skills and search for the right job.​