Courses / Learning

Learning and Skills Service Course Directory

Hello, everyone, I am delighted to welcome you to Sunderland Council’s prospectus detailing our Learning and Skills provision for 2021–22 which is government funded via the Education and Skills Funding Agency in combination with European Social Fund.

Our Learning and Skills Service, which is rated Good by Ofsted, offers a wide range of courses for adults aged 19 and over across all of Sunderland’s localities. This includes family learning, employability courses, health and wellbeing programmes, apprenticeships and other accredited courses leading to qualifications and skills. These programmes are designed to support people to gain the skills and confidence they need to improve their lives and progress to employment, volunteering, or further learning.

We can support those who have a love for learning or are coming back to learning after many years.

During the last couple of years, Covid 19 and the lockdowns have presented tough challenges to all of us, and it has become our aim to ensure that the people of Sunderland continue to have opportunities not only for learning and gaining skills but also for connecting with others in a variety of different ways, despite lockdown restrictions, to avoid feelings of isolation and detachment.

We work with learning providers who deliver high quality learning programmes and share our commitment to looking after our learners and complying with safeguarding best practice. Throughout 2020–2021, our providers have pulled out all the stops to create new types of programmes to address some of the problems people have been encountering due to Covid 19; these courses include healthy cooking on a budget, physical fitness, mental wellbeing and using technology to stay connected with other people.

They have also designed new ways of delivering learning, such as using social media platforms, creating, and delivering workbooks and learning resources to people’s homes whilst also providing telephone counselling and support for those who are struggling to cope. During the coming year, 2021–22, because restrictions have been reduced significantly, we will see a return to traditional face-to-face classroom learning.

However, many of our learning providers will still be offering some alternative delivery models such as online and distance learning programmes.

We want you, your family, and friends to have the confidence and skills to live the best life possible and our learning programmes are designed to enable you to achieve this. Countless studies show learning supports you to get the best opportunities and chances in life and that’s why learning is a key part of Sunderland Council’s commitment to making Sunderland a place where everyone thrives and can access education and skills for life and employment.

People who learn are less likely to be in debt, are more likely to find employment and stay employed, have better physical and mental health, are more likely to have children who are successful in education and, of course, have a greater income.

In 2020-2021, we delivered 415 courses and had over 2730 enrolments which resulted in over 52.08% of learners progressing into further learning opportunities, whilst 17.26% of learners have achieved successful employment, self-employment, or volunteering outcomes.

Take a look at the courses we offer, there’s sure to be one to help you achieve your goals. I wish you all well in your chosen course of study – learn and enjoy.

Councillor Louise Farthing
Member for Children, Learning and Skills

WEA Arts Digital Courses 2020

WEA Arts & Digital Autumn Term Courses:

A unique opportunity to join our classes online this term. Using a combination of video and our online classroom environment, our courses offer you the opportunity to stay connected with other students with similar interests.

Our brilliant tutors have worked hard to offer you the same high quality and enjoyable learning experience from the comfort of your own home.

All the courses run for 10 sessions at 2 hours per session, unless stated. If you receive a qualifying benefit the course will be FREE, otherwise there is a fee of £64.00.

You must book either online at or be telephone at 0300 303 3464.  Priority booking for WEA members opens 13 July 2020 and then open to everyone from 24 July 2020.

Food Safety Course

The new Distance Learning Course on Food Safety


Level 2 Food Hygiene in Catering Course. To be completed online at a time that suits you

You will receive a workbook and will have tutor support via Zoom. There will be an assessment to complete and you will receive a certificate upon completion.

Please note: Learners must be aged 19+ and be in receipt of a benefit.

For more information or to book onto the course, please contact Colin Liddle on: 0191 537 3231 or 07850 916 471

Email: [email protected]