2020 has certainly been an unusual year and Lancaster & Morecambe College (LMC) has responded to the challenges the on-going Covid-19 pandemic has brought the local community, by offering an increased number of Distance Learning modules. This has resulted in record numbers of adult students signing-up to learn a new skill or to add crucial qualifications to their CV, all from the comfort of their own home.
The College, which earlier this year celebrated being awarded a GOOD Ofsted inspection report, quickly recognised that a huge number of local people who were furloughed during the initial lockdown, would benefit from the opportunity to develop employability skills, via on-line learning. Working in partnership with The Skills Network, they added new courses to those already on offer and the Distance Learning team at LMC suddenly found themselves inundated with hundreds of enrolments.
One of the people who chose to study a course during lockdown was Lisa Bower, who signed-up for the Mental Health Awareness Level 2 course , following the closure of her business due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I wanted to challenge myself to do something new but I was not ready to go into a classroom environment as it has been a very long time since I had studied. I checked the LMC website and when I came across the Distance Learning courses these seemed perfect for me.”
Lisa completed the course with support from her on-line assessor and was surprised at how easy it was to return to education after such a long break – without having to leave her house.
“The enrolment process was so simple and straight forward and the course itself was really easy to navigate; I was given set assessment dates and worked my way through the online tutorials. The course covered a wide range of mental health illnesses and approaches to support and treatment and I got great feedback from my tutor. This gave me so much confidence and helped me decide to retrain as a mental health nurse. I am now studying the Access to Higher Education course at LMC and hope to progress to a nursing degree next year.”
Someone else who has benefitted from the Distance Learning courses on offer is Luke Read. He enrolled onto Certificate in Lean Organisation Management Techniques Level 2 , which he felt would complement his management role. The course, which takes between 8 – 12 weeks complete, is split into 3 units and breaks down the core principles and essential skills into easy-to-follow formats.
“During the lockdown, I continued to work full time. The course helped me to stay focused and provided a welcome distraction in the evenings when there was little else to do. In the future, I would like to move into Human Resources, so this course was beneficial because it has allowed me to continuously improve and review documents at work. This was my first experience of remote learning and I have thoroughly enjoyed the course. It has enabled me to feel more confident and has helped me to gain a qualification and develop a transferable skill I can use at work.”
Distance Learning courses with LMC and The Skills Network allow you to fit your learning around other commitments such as work and/or home life. Our courses vary in duration, level of study, and subject areas including; Accounting, Business, Health & Social Care and Childcare. You can decide your own pace of study and gain a qualification from anywhere in the country.
Lisa certainly feels that having the option to study remotely has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for her.
“I would say to anyone thinking they would like to learn something new or just gain a useful qualification, then the distance learning courses are an absolutely fantastic way to start studying at a manageable level at your own pace. I didn't really enjoy learning at school, so it has been rewarding to realise that it’s never too late to return to education. I am now following a career path I could never have imagined at the beginning of the year and it feels very exciting.”