Skip to the content
Choose your content
UK NI Scotland Wales
Join us Login Forum Media enquiries
Choose your content
UK NI Scotland Wales

Developing your current skills - and learning new ones

At times you may feel that your whole world revolves around caring, without much room in it for you. If you have been caring for a long time, you may worry that you have lost sight of your own goals, skills and achievements. We help you focus on these and develop skills or interests, whether you still have caring responsibilities or are looking for a new direction following your caring role. 



Why develop your skills?

Finding an interest outside of your caring role is important, especially for your sense of identity and to boost your confidence. Undertaking a short evening course or a degree course could be a great way to do this. 


Note for carers

Making the choice to study may affect your entitlement to benefits so it's a good idea to look into this before making any decisions. For guidance, you can email


Where to start

If you're keen to develop your skills, you could begin by asking yourself the following questions: 

  • Do you want to develop an existing interest or skill or learn a new one? 
  • Where do you want to do your course – do you want to go to an adult education centre or college?  
  • Do you want to do distance learning or e-learning? 
  • How much time do you want to spend learning? 
  • What level of the course do you want to do? 
  • What can you gain through learning? 

Our free online course, Learning for Living, provides a helpful starting point if you are wondering what skills you've gained from caring. It covers everything from communicating effectively to goal setting and includes a wide range of scenarios to suit people in different situations. 


Need further information?

For more detailed information about where to go to find courses and interests, visit our ‘Thinking about returning to work?’ section where there are lots of ideas about courses and suggestions to further your personal development. 

To expand your horizons further, you could join a local carers’ group to gain thoughts and ideas from those in similar circumstances – visit our local directory. Or you could join our online forum. Our forum is a safe and friendly community of carers and former carers who ask questions, and offer support, ideas and tips on a whole range of topics, ranging from practical caring matters to looking after your health and wellbeing. 

Latest updates

Register now for Carers Scotland's Carers Summit
Date announced for Scotland Carers Summit 2023

At the Carers Summit, hear about Scotland's new Carers Strategy, learn about enabling greater independent living through technology, talk about…

Press Release
Dummy image
Landmark Bill gains further support ahead of Report stage in Commons

MPs from many different parties are backing a Private Member’s Bill on Carer’s Leave, which would see millions of unpaid…

Press Release
Dummy image
Carers UK responds to Reimagining Care Commission report

A new report, released by the Archbishops’ Commission on Reimagining Care, calls for a National Care Covenant with three actions…

Press Release
Dummy image
Census 2021 data shows increase in substantial unpaid care in England and Wales

Today the Office for National Statistics has published Census 2021 data about unpaid carers which showed growing intensity of care…

Got a question about caring?

Every day we hear from people who need help with looking after a friend or family member

Become a member for free

Joining Carers UK is free and takes just a few minutes.

Back to top