The voluntary sector is a critical link in the chain for more than 50,000 adult learners a year, engaging with those who are less likely to approach formal educational establishments.
Stirling Women's Technology Centre, one of four such centres in Scotland, provides full-time courses in computing for unemployed women. Childcare is provided as part of the course.
On the Isle of Arran, Arran Textiles was established to provide education in traditional textile skills. It now offers courses in computing and languages alongside textile and business courses.
Skillnet Edinburgh is a very different project, providing career and educational guidance to minority communities. It runs pre-vocational training courses that equip trainees with skills and confidence.
For more information about voluntary sector adult education, contact Sarah Morton, Scottish Adult Education Voluntary Organisations Forum, co 18-19 Claremont Crescent, Edinburgh EH7 4QD, tel: 0131 556 3882