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Online payments: essential information

Posted on: 14 March 2016

Pixabay keyboardIf you are claiming a discount on one of our courses or making a payment that is less than 100% of the full cost of the course, due to technical issues this service is currently not available through our online payment system.

Instead, please phone or visit one of our centres with your course information to hand, and our team there will be able to apply the discount and take payment for your course.

We are working to resolve the problem as soon as possible. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

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“I am enjoying my time working in an office”

Posted on: 17 January 2017

Exmouth-based Apprentice Paige Dempster tells us what she’s learned in her first few months with Learn Devon…

Sitting on the front desk in reception of The Kennaway Centre, I’ve gained so much experience.

I’ve quickly got the hang of daily duties, from enrolling learners to producing posters to promote new courses.

I have learned how to use software to process our learner’s information, deal with payments and prepare course folders for new courses starting.

I also recently had the opportunity to redesign the spring 2017 courses guide that we give to the public to inform them of our courses.

My daily responsibilities include answering the phone to customers and partners we work with, providing tutors with paperwork they may need for their learners and running reports to show our current courses.

I have loved learning on the job so far. As I am completing a Customer Service NVQ, I have been able to interact with customers face to face and quickly get an understanding of how we work and what sorts of things are expected of us.

I would like to give a big thank you to the rest of the team and my line manager in reception for guiding me through my first few months. I feel like I have gained a lot of confidence and am enjoying my time working in an office. I am sure I can only progress further.

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Free* GCSE maths preparation courses

Posted on: 10 January 2017

LD Poster Graphics-2Keen to study for your maths GCSE? We run free (subject to eligibility) nine-month courses starting in September across Devon.

These courses are intensive and there’s a lot to cover, so give yourself the best chance of success by enrolling on a free (subject to eligibility) maths GCSE preparation course now.

We are piloting these in three locations:

Tavistock, Wednesdays 11 January to 27 April 10am-12.30pm. Find out more

Newton Abbot, Tuesdays 17 January to 2 May 10am-12.30pm. Find out more

Totnes, Mondays 23 January to 24 April 6.30-8.30pm. Find out more

Contact one of the above centres for further information about the courses and to enrol.

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Have your say in our Learner Survey

Posted on: 22 December 2016

have-your-sayHave you been on a Learn Devon course? Please take a few minutes to give us your feedback about your learning experience in our survey.

Your answers will be very helpful to us as we continually look to improve the service.

Start the survey

The survey will remain open – you can fill it in whenever you like, and as many times as you like, throughout the academic year. Many thanks for taking the time.

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Celebrate your learning at our special events

Posted on: 20 December 2016


Award winners at our 2016 Bideford Learner Celebration

Have you been on a course with us this term? Join us at one of our Learner Celebration events next summer to celebrate your learning!

We are holding the events in Tavistock, Totnes, Bideford and Exmouth.

You’ll be able to enjoy a presentation of awards to learners nominated by our tutors for their outstanding progress or achievements. There will also be an exhibition of learners’ work and light refreshments.

Contact your local Learn Devon centre to register your interest in attending. There are limited places available, and we will confirm your place in June 2017.



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Trainee hairdressing scheme changes lives in Exeter

Posted on: 20 December 2016


Left to right: Mary Pugsley (Hair@theAcademy owner), Vicci Wood (Traineeship Workplace Link Adviser), Abbey Peach (Apprentice), Nicki Mills (Hair Boutique Style Director and Company Founder), Shaun Thornburgh (Hair Boutique Managing Director) and Nick Child (Learn Devon Operations Manager)

Two long-term unemployed young mums from Exeter are embarking on new careers in hairdressing thanks to Learn Devon.

Both Nik Langmead, who is working at Saks in Princesshay, and Abbey Peach, who is at The Hair Boutique on Musgrave Row, started as trainees and have now been offered full-time apprenticeships.

They were offered the apprenticeships after graduating from a traineeship scheme run by Hair@theAcademy, a salon at Exeter Deaf Academy that provides training to disadvantaged young people.

The scheme is funded by Learn Devon.

To complete the scheme, the trainees achieved level two diplomas in hair and beauty, and spent 100 hours at their salon placements learning on the job.

Nik Langmead said:

“Doing a traineeship with Hair@theAcademy has changed my life. I have learned hair and beauty skills in such a friendly and encouraging environment, and found confidence and professionalism within myself.”


From left to right: Mary Pugsley (Hair@theAcademy owner), Tom Wilson (Saks owner), Nik Langmead (Apprentice), Vicci Wood (Traineeship Workplace Link Adviser), Annie Raine (Learn Devon Quality and Performance Manager)

Tom Wilson, owner of Saks in Exeter, said:

“We are lucky to have found a talented apprentice in Nik. I cannot praise her highly enough. From day one, she has had an incredible work ethic and such a positive impact on our team. We thoroughly enjoy having her as part of our permanent team.”

Abbey Peach said:

“I am grateful for the opportunities I have received from doing my training at Hair@theAcademy, and also that The Hair Boutique has offered me an apprenticeship. I am thoroughly enjoying getting to work in a salon environment and learning new things.”

Shaun Thornburgh, Managing Director at The Hair Boutique, said:

“We’re delighted to be working with Hair@theAcademy and Learn Devon to help young people who are looking to work in the hairdressing industry. Attracting the right staff is critical to our success, and apprentices are fundamental to the future growth of our business. Seeing Abbey come through this programme and become an employee has been very rewarding.”

Four other long-term unemployed adults have also graduated from the traineeship. They have since gone on to apprenticeships, study for maths and English qualifications, work part time or undertake a higher qualification.

Mary Pugsley, who owns Hair@theAcademy, said:

“Life-changing work is being done in Exeter to re-engage adult learners into a recognised training programme and enable them to get back into work. With the support of their salons, Nik and Abbey have made a seamless journey from education to employment and are well on their way to becoming successful hairdressers.”

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learn Devon, said:

“Congratulations to Nik and Abbey for completing their traineeships and starting their apprenticeships. I wish them luck in their careers.

“This successful scheme shows how dedicated Learn Devon, Hair@theAcademy and the salon teams are to providing opportunities for young people to gain workplace experience, develop skills and take their next steps into employment. Without their commitment, these opportunities would not exist.”

Learn Devon will be funding more courses at Hair@theAcademy in the future. Anyone who is interested should contact Learn Devon and we will pass their details on to Hair@theAcademy.

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Boost your business digital skills for free with Google

Posted on: 29 November 2016

TheDigitalGarage_Logo_WebAre you a small Devon business, sole trader, charity employee, someone seeking to start a business or a student/young person building skills for employment? And are you keen to boost your digital skills for free? Then we can help.

We are working with Google and The Tinder Foundation to deliver Google’s Digital Garage – a series of online tutorials to give you the digital skills needed to save time, make the most of the web and grow your business.

When you register, you’ll answer a few questions about what you walogo-bluent to achieve. You will then get access to a range of online training based around your needs, for example using web analytics, creating an online shop and promoting a business on social media.

The tutorials are completely free. If you are interested in taking part, email us at  learndevon@devon.gov.uk

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Enjoy a free leisure course for Government research

Posted on: 29 November 2016

free-your-mindStarting in the New Year, we are running a special series of free courses, in subjects including arts and crafts, as part of a Government research project looking at ways to improve community mental health and wellbeing.

You are eligible to join one of these courses if you:

  • are 19 years or over
  • have not taken part in any adult learning in the past 12 months
  • meet the research criteria, which we will discuss with you.

Here’s how it works:

  • First, get in touch with your local centre to book a chat with one of our team where you will answer some research questions about your mood and wellbeing.
  • Your answers will tell us if you are eligible to take part in the research. If you are, you can choose and enrol on one of the project courses.
  • We will measure your wellbeing before, during and after your course, and will share the results with the Department for Education.
  • Once your course has finished, you can come to any of our free follow-up sessions to support your mental health.

The project courses will be running at our centres on various dates from January until April or May. The range of courses will vary at each centre, so contact your local centre to find out what they are offering.

Each participant may take part in one course only. A total of 300 people can take part in the project.

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Enrol on our new spring term courses

Posted on: 22 November 2016

Learn Devon pottery classOur new spring term courses are now online for you to browse and book. Use our website course search to find your perfect course and enrol. Alternatively, contact us or visit one of our centres for more information and to enrol.

We have a wide range of courses choose from, all across Devon, from wellbeing to arts and crafts, languages to creative writing.

If you want to develop your key skills, join one of our Improve your maths or English courses. They are free (subject to eligibility), you can join at any time and they take place in venues across Devon. We also run English courses for speakers of other languages.

We are continuing our series of free courses for over 50s, run together with Drink Wise, Age Well Devon. Courses include pottery, singing, relaxation, buying and selling on eBay and many more. Look out for course titles beginning with ‘Drink Wise, Age Well’ or with course codes starting ‘DW’.

Don’t forget, it’s really important to enrol at least one week before the course starts as we need to have a set number of learners on a course in order for it to run.

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Our learners raise £200 for BBC Children in Need

Posted on: 18 November 2016


Learner Jeremy Briers, one of the Tavistock fundraisers

Some of our learners with learning needs have raised an amazing £200 for BBC Children in Need. The groups were out in Kingsbridge and Tavistock, selling craft items they have made, as well as second-hand goods and new products donated by local businesses.

A huge well done to all those involved and thanks to everyone who supported their fundraising.


Some of the Tavistock fundraisers (left to right): back row: Marion Marshall, Theresa Hooper, Andy Mitchell, Andy Trigger, Sharon McKenzie, Mark Brickwood; front row: Jeremy Briers, Angie Kuchenbecker

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Improve your English and maths skills

Posted on: 17 November 2016

english-2Would you like to develop your English or maths skills? At Learn Devon, we can help you find out what skill level you are at and put you on the right course.

We offer Improve your maths and English courses in the locations below, and you can join at any time. Contact your local centre for more information.

East Devon
Exeter, Exmouth, Honiton (English only), Sidmouth (English only), Seaton (maths only) – contact The Kennaway Centre in Exmouth

Mid Devon
Crediton (maths only), Cullompton, Tiverton – contact The Kennaway Centre in Exmouth

North Devon
Bideford, Ilfracombe (maths only) – contact Bideford Arts Centre

South Devon
Dartmouth (English only), Ivybridge, Kingsbridge (English only), Totnes – contact The Mansion in Totnes
Newton Abbot, Teignmouth – contact The Passmore Edwards Centre in Newton Abbot

West Devon
Holsworthy, Okehampton, Tavistock – contact The Alexander Centre in Tavistock

Contact us for more information or use our online course search to find English and maths courses near you.

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