An adult learner at a laptop

Free hobby and employability courses for adults at RNN Group

26 April 2024

Did you know that adults in South Yorkshire could access free skills-based courses with RNN Group?

As a leading education provider in the region, we partner with employers, community groups and local councils to deliver free courses aimed at developing skills, knowledge, confidence and mental wellbeing for people over 19.

Whether you want to progress your career with a recognised qualification, want to learn a new skill, or are looking for a hobby, RNN Group’s community-based courses are for everyone.

We have a huge range of subjects available, such as digital courses, ESOL and BSL courses, health and social care qualifications and arts and crafts groups.

These run separately from our full-time vocational courses and are usually delivered in the community or the workplace. Some are distance learning courses that can be done at home around your other commitments.

Our tutors are qualified and have specialised knowledge, skills and experience of teaching adult learners. Whichever option you choose, you can guarantee a fun, friendly, and high-quality learning experience.

Feel empowered to achieve your career goals or make some time for you with these new opportunities to learn in a way that suits you.

Sounds interesting? Read on to find out what free courses you could sign up to.

Funded distant learning courses

At RNN Group, we have a huge selection of distant learning courses that adults over 19 can do for free.

These industry-specific short courses focus on level 2 qualifications relevant to health and social care, retail or administration roles.

Whether you’re looking to update or upskill for an existing job, or take a first step towards a new career, these courses can help you, whatever your needs.

Distance learning is totally flexible. There are no classes or exams. Instead, you just log in online and learn at a pace that suits your lifestyle and commitments.

And the best part is, if your business is in South Yorkshire, they’re free thanks to funding from South Yorkshire Combined Mayoral Authority.

To be eligible for these free distance learning courses you must be:

  • Living in the UK and aged 19+
  • Those aged 19-23 must hold a full Level 2 qualification and not be enrolled on an apprenticeship
  • Aged 24 or above – free to everyone

These CACHE-accredited level 2 courses cover a range of sectors and interests. Some examples are below but find the full list for distancing learning courses here.

Health and Social Care:

  • Care Planning
  • Counselling
  • Dementia or End of Life Care
  • First Aid
  • Infection Control
  • Mental Health Problems Awareness
  • Mental Health in the Workplace
  • Nutrition and Health
  • Safe Handling of Medicines

Workplace Skills:

  • Business Administration
  • Cleaning Principles
  • Customer Service
  • Creating a Business Start-Up
  • Data Protection and Security
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Retail Operations
  • Team Leading
  • Understanding Workplace Violence and Harassment
  • Warehousing and Storage Principles

For more information contact 01709 513213 or email

Digital skills bootcamps

We’re constantly surrounded by technology, and those who didn’t grow up around it or have been slower to adopt it can feel like they’re being left behind.

That’s why the European Social Fund has given learning providers and councils funding to deliver free digital skills bootcamps to businesses.

At RNN Group, we have partnered with Sheffield Hallam University, Barnsley Council, Sheffield City Council, and Barnsley Council to run the Advancing Digital programme.

Businesses across the South Yorkshire region can benefit from a free digital skills analysis to see where your employees’ current skills are at and how these can be improved.

Our digital skills bootcamps are split into basic, intermediate and advanced. Our IT tutors deliver training in things like creating Excel spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations, how to use social media for business, and even understanding SEO and Google Analytics.

And again, it’s all free.

If you prefer to learn in-person, we have three colleges where lessons can take place: Rotherham College, North Notts College and Dearne Valley College. We can even come out and to deliver the courses at your own business premises.

Don’t miss out on your chance to power up your employees’ potential. Get in touch to see how we can deliver digital skills bootcamps at your business.

Community courses

As well as online and campus-based learning, we also reach out into the community with a broad range of free hobby and interest short courses.

These informal sessions are taught at venues across our catchment area at places like local libraries and community centres. The free courses usually run for nine weeks with weekly two-hour sessions.

Our community courses are all about improving your wellbeing. You’ll learn a new skill while spending time with like-minded people from your local area. It’s a chance to develop meaningful friendships as well as spending time doing something you enjoy away from home.

Just some examples of the free community courses we offer at RNN Group are:

  • Arts and crafts
  • British Sign Language
  • Cake decorating
  • Crochet and critical thinking
  • Dressmaking
  • Embroidery
  • ESOL
  • Flower arranging and mindfulness
  • IT for beginners
  • Jewellery making
  • Machine and hand sewing
  • Painting and drawing
  • Paper crafts and botanicals
  • Quilting
  • Weaving

You’ll find classes in Brinsworth (S60), Kimberworth and Thorpe Hesley (S61), Rawmarsh (S62) Thurnscoe and Goldthorpe (S63), Swinton (S64) and Maltby and Wickersley (S66), Dinnington (S25), Kiveton Park (S26), Cortonwood (S75) and Retford (DN22).

Find our full list of community courses here

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