The biggest ever national drive to raise
skills has been launched by Margaret Hodge, Minister for Lifelong
Learning, Bryan Sanderson, Chairman of the Learning and Skills Council
and TV morning chat queen Trisha. They called on people from all walks
of life to sign up for free, local Bite Size courses as part of the
national campaign to kick start new skills learning.
Over 18,500 different Bite Size courses,
supported by some of the UK's major employers, will run throughout the
country in June and July as part of a nationwide campaign to give
adults a taste of success in learning and begin to change attitudes
towards learning new skills.
Marking the launch of the campaign, Bryan
Sanderson said: "I encourage everyone to call 0800
100 900, sign up, join in and move on. Bite Size, which started on 25
June, running for four weeks, is an excellent, free opportunity for
"Our groundbreaking initiative will
give thousands of people the chance to have a whirl at learning a
diverse range of skills; courses cover everything from building walls,
maintaining tractors, speaking Chinese, lip reading, sign language,
tap dancing, surfing the Internet, to helping families with their
reading and discovering osteopathy & chiropractic health.
"People who have done little or no
learning since school can now have a go at something new. By offering
short, easy to manage courses we hope to begin changing attitudes
towards learning, particularly for people who had a hard time at
"Bite Size will be an enjoyable way
for people to learn a new skill. Everyone taking part will receive a
certificate to mark their achievement and participation. By
encouraging people to do a short one off course we hope to encourage
them to go on to gain more skills in the future."
The courses, which last between one and
two hours, will be held across England in local shopping centres,
mobile units, offices, gyms and airports as well as traditional
learning centres. They will be held at a variety of times in the day
to accommodate those working or with children.
Mr Sanderson added:
"All courses are free and anyone can take part. Bite Size could
even unearth hidden talents. Let's hope that these courses are the
start of bigger things."
Trisha, morning TV chatshow host,
spearheading the national Bite Size campaign, said: "I am delighted to be able to
support the Bite Size initiative. The courses are free, fun and
easy-to-do. In just an hour or two you will be able to learn something
new. There are hundreds of courses to choose from wherever you live.
They are being held at lots of different times, so you should be able
to find one to do while your kids are at school, in a lunch hour or
"OK I was lucky enough to enjoy
school. But there's a big difference in having to learn things and
making a personal choice to learn things, and hey, school doesn't
cover everything! I wish Bite Size courses had been around during the
years I spent as a single mum. My self esteem was at rock bottom and I
would have loved the chance for an excuse to not only learn something
that truly interested me, but to get the opportunity of meeting other
people who had the same interests.
"Almost everything I use in my TV
job, I learned after school. I got into mental health via community
work. I got into journalism through hassling people I knew who wrote
for local newspapers and my first job in TV was as a 'runner' (or
message girl) for a television show for no pay! For so many of us,
it's what you learn after school that proves to be the stepping stone
to where you want to be.
"Employees who have had a negative
experience at school don't want to be force-fed with education. What
they first need is an appetite for learning and a menu of
opportunities to choose from which will fit around their work and life
styles. Bite Size courses can do all this and will hopefully motivate
new learners to take more courses in the future."
here to find Bite Size courses in your area.