About adult learning

Skills for work and life

Maths, English and employability (workshops and courses) are delivered by the BESS (Bedfordshire Employment and Skills Service) adult learning team.

Our adult learning tutors deliver small group provision in different ways to suit how you prefer to learn:

  • class-based sessions in local community venues
  • Microsoft Teams group video calling
  • independent, flexible online learning with tutor support

We're COVID-safe

If you are coming to one of our adult learning venues for classes or exams, we have COVID-19 requirements in place to keep our staff and learners safe and minimise risk.

Measures include clear signs for using the venue safely, maximum room numbers, desk spacing based on social distancing, hand sanitising in rooms and corridors, face coverings for those who need them and antiviral wipes for desks and equipment.

View or download information about our venues and COVID-19 requirements (PDF).

One-to-one support with learning and work

If you need:

  • help to find the right learning
  • support into work
  • advice about career progression

we have advisers who can provide one-to-one support.

Find out about employability support

Joining a workshop or course

Your learning journey will start with us through contact with someone from our support team. We will help you to complete an online enrollment form and conduct an ID check for funding (courses are free for eligible learners).

If you are joining a maths or English course, we will set up access to an online initial assessment so we have information about your learning starting point. We will also set up an online neurodiversity assessment, so we can find out how you learn best and whether you might benefit from additional support with learning to help you achieve your learning goals. This all helps the tutor to know about your learning starting point.

You will be allocated a tutor and workshop or course to get started with your learning. The tutor will connect with you to introduce themselves and to let you know about arrangements for attending sessions or using the online learning platform for flexible learning.

Please read our induction information. Your tutor will also cover aspects of the induction information with you during sessions where appropriate.

View or download induction information (PDF)

If you have a learning difficulty or learning disability (maybe you have had additional support at school, or with another training provider), please let us know so the tutor can make adjustments required, we can provide adaptive resources and/or we can arrange for additional learning support.

If you face barriers to learning because of financial hardship (maybe you require childcare, or help with transport costs to be able to attend sessions) please let us know as we may (subject to availability) be able to help with these costs.

If we are unable to offer suitable provision you will be referred to an adviser who will help you find the right course with one of our partner providers or other training providers.

Getting started with maths or English

Most maths and English courses (subject to when you join our learning programme) begin with "get started" sessions that include group teaching, independent learning and/or self-study based on the type of course you have chosen. As part of these initial sessions, your tutor will get to know you, determine your learning starting point, teach you some general skills that will enable you to access our provision resources and get you started with some subject skills so they understand how you learn best.

Maths or English Functional Skills

We currently offer Maths and English Functional Skills City & Guilds qualifications at Level 1 and Level 2. This is generally 54 hours of learning, based on 2 hours per week, so takes around 27 weeks to complete the learning programme. At the start of your functional skills course, your tutor will make sure you know the exam dates you are working towards.

Building and applying maths or English skills

If you take your Functional Skills exams and fail we offer additional sessions ahead of exam retakes where the tutor can focus on those aspects that you need to build skills, knowledge and confidence with to improve to readiness for exams.

Employability workshops and courses

Our skills for work and life provision includes a number of workshops and short courses to help you build skills and knowledge for finding work or preparing for a career change. This includes:

  • Digital Job Seeking
  • How to Tailor your CV and Covering Letter
  • Interview Skills
  • Get Started with a Career Change

Talk to us

If you need help, support or more information about learning with us please get in touch:

Contact us online

Email: bess.adultlearning@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 300 8110

Feedback from our learners

The tutor provided lots of useful information in a clear and insightful manner. The style of teaching was extremely friendly, casual and open which made the entire course a very enjoyable experience.

The employability workshop is one of the best ones I have ever had regarding career coaching training. I am impressed by the high quality insight, expertise in this subject matter, and the professional manner in delivering. I can immediately use the knowledge I have gained for job applications.

The course was very interesting and the tutor is kind and approachable. I enjoyed the lessons; they were well prepared and interesting.

The online learning experience was good and being able to take lessons online from home was helpful.

The interaction between myself, the tutor and the other learners was great. It was good to be able to do activities online as well as on paper. The course has been set in a way that enables me to understand what is being taught. I liked the way the tutor gave feedback in an encouraging way.

My tutor was patient and understanding. Also, I’ve found that I’m not as far off my study and learning skills, preparation and personal targets as I initially thought.