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Part-Time & Flexible Training For Adults

Trainee measuring wiring in the electrical workshop alongside text reading "Part-Time training for adults"

Part-time study and flexible training are more popular than ever as people juggle working with learning new skills. So whether you’re looking to upskill or earn new qualifications, part-time learning allows flexibility perfect for those who can’t commit to full-time courses.

What Is Part-Time Learning?

Part-time learning or training is typically aimed at adult learners and spreads a course over an extended time, making it ideal if you cannot commit to full-time training. In addition, part-time learning is an excellent option if you wish to continue working as you study – whether on weekends, evenings or for a few days a week.

Training Schedule

Depending on the course, you may be able to find a schedule that fits around any commitments you have. For example, some training providers will be flexible and work around you. However, be aware that some already set times/days for part-time students to study. This is likely for courses that require you to attend classes and lectures.

Online Learning

Another option is online learning. Often known as distance learning, online training courses continue to increase in popularity. Since 2000, online learning has been the fastest-growing market in the education industry (Source: Oxford College). Offering learners flexible learning options, they can study from the comfort of their homes, while they commute or even during their lunch breaks. In addition, many of these courses don’t have specific daily requirements so that you can study at your own pace.

For example, for 18th Edition Wiring Regulations, the study aspect of the course is all home study. For electricians who work throughout the day, it means they can study on evenings and weekends until they’re ready for their assessment.

Part-time student wearing a great t-shirt on a laptop viewing the my.options-skills online learning platform

Pros of Part-Time, Evening & Weekend Courses

  • Part-time courses allow much more flexibility. For example, rather than being required in classes five days a week, you may only need to attend for one or two – if at all!
  • The flexibility of part-time means you can continue working while training – allowing you to continue earning.
  • A part-time schedule will enable you to work around family commitments, making this study style popular with parents, guardians and carers. 
  • Rather than a block of weeks or months of training, you will spread your study over a longer period. Everyone has different learning styles, and part-time study invites more variety into your day-to-day life.
  • Depending on your industry and employment, your employer may cover the cost of your training.
  • Weekend courses can be a godsend if you can’t take time off your 9-5 job. Whether you don’t have any annual leave to use or you won’t get paid unless you’re at your desk, weekend courses allow you to continue earning your usual wage while learning new skills.
  • Giving up your weekend takes commitment which means you’ll be part of a class of dedicated students.

Cons of Part-Time, Evening & Weekend Courses

  • By their nature, part-time courses will increase training time. As a result, gaining certification/qualification in your area of study will take longer.
  • Everyone works differently, and some people find balancing work and training difficult, as part-time study means you’re not as immersed in training.
  • Not all training providers offer part-time or flexible training options.
  • Depending on the course setup, you may see different faces each time you visit your training centre. If the social aspect of training is essential to you, a full-time training programme might be a better fit.
  • While weekend training is technically part-time, you may be too tired to study after a week at work – so it may not be the best option for you if you usually snooze your alarm on a Saturday morning.
  • Many social events occur over the weekend, and training could mean missing out. Ensure you’re committed or arrange training during a period when you have no weekend plans.

Students in the gas workshop learning to bend and solder copper piping

Part-Time Trades Training With Options Skills

Like many other industries, you’ll need to complete an accredited training course to get your qualifications in a trade. We deliver gas, electrical and renewable training courses at Options Skills, with our managed learning programmes available full-time or part-time.

Centre-Led Training

Stage one of our domestic gas and NVQ Level 3 electrical courses see students attend our training centre for hands-on practical and theory learning. Gas requires eight weeks of training, while electrical requires six.

For this stage of training, we can split the duration into small blocks of two weeks over a few months. Many of our students choose to complete training in this way as it allows them to continue working in their current roles and work around family commitments.

Portfolio Building/On-Site Work

Stage two of our courses involves you working on-site and building a portfolio of work ready for assessment.

What’s great about this stage of training is that it’s incredibly flexible. With two years for gas engineers and three years for electricians, you have plenty of time to complete your portfolio. Many learners continue working in their existing jobs alongside working on-site. Alternatively, students can complete work full-time on-site and complete their portfolio sooner.

Student in the plumbing workshop cutting plastic piping

Flexible Trades Training

Everyone has different schedules, so we try to be as accommodating as possible. As a result, we’ve curated our training calendar to include regular start dates across all our courses.

Managed Learning Programmes

For instance, if you want to complete one of our MLPs, we have new courses starting monthly. Though we do get booked up quickly, we may have a few spaces available for classes due to begin soon. We do our best to find a suitable start date for all our students, and should that need amending, we’re happy to do so where possible.

ACS Renewal

An existing gas engineer must renew their ACS qualifications every five years. We have monthly enrolment available as ACS assessment requires engineers to take time out of their busy schedules. Therefore, you can book in for ACS assessment months or years in advance to secure a spot.


The trade industry is constantly evolving. Most recently, we’ve seen an update to the 18th Edition Wiring Regulations and a considerable shift in the heating industry.

As we move toward a Net-Zero future, gas engineers are receiving more requests for low-temperature heating systems installation, such as ground and air source heat pumps. As a result, we’ve developed a renewable energy training package to help engineers upskill.

Depending on existing qualifications, engineers can create a training package based on their requirements.

The complete package takes place over two weeks; however, engineers can significantly reduce their training time if they already hold some qualifications.

Part-Time Or Full-Time Training

What works for some may not work for you. The most important thing is finding a way of learning and training that’s right for you and allows you to develop your knowledge and skills.

Whatever your preferred learning style, get in touch with Options Skills to learn more about our training on 0800 802 1306.

All data correct at time of publication.