After caring

It is easy to lose your confidence when out of the work environment for some time; you may feel your skills are out of date (for instance you may need to acquire or update computer skills), or that the lack of a recent work record will hinder any applications you make and that prospective employers will not be sympathetic to your situation.

As a carer, however, you may have developed new skills and thought again about the sort of work you would like to do. City and Guilds has developed a special internet-based course for carers - Learning for Living – which aims to help carers build on their skills and regain their confidence.

Your local carers' services should also be able to support you in making the transition back to work or training – some have special projects and support groups. Contact your centre for further information.

Financial implications of retraining

If you are concerned about the financial aspects of studying while you aren't working, there is a range of financial help on offer.

This includes Career Development Loans (CDLs), a deferred repayment loan scheme set up by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), which can help people over 18 pay for vocational education or training.

EGAS, a part of Family Action, specialises in funding from charitable trusts and maintains a database of trusts and charities that assist students. They offer funding advice for those studying in post-16 education in the UK and links to many other relevant and helpful organisations. Individuals can complete an online educational grants search via Family Action’s website.

Other useful information on getting back to work:

City and Guilds
Learning and Skills Council
Learndirect
MS Society - Carers Opportunities Fund

Read a carer's story:

Vicky's story: I became a carer overnight

Still can't find what you're looking for? Why not post a message on one of our discussion boards or join our online chat room. Here you can meet, and possibly pick up tips and advice from experienced family carers in similar situations to yours.