Money Advice Service

Redundancy can mean new opportunities, including the chance to retrain for a new career. In this guide, you’ll find out where to get financial support and advice as well as your options for retraining. You might find that losing your job opens the door to a new career.

Getting advice on careers, retraining and funding

Adding to your existing skills or gaining qualifications in a new area are good ways of improving your chances of getting another job.

They could also give your confidence a well-needed boost.

You’ll find lots of retraining choices open to you when you’ve been made redundant, from apprenticeships and internships to part-time, full-time or distance study courses at college or university.

There’s lots of financial support too.

Computer and online skills

Visit the UK Online Centres Network at to find your nearest training centre.

Learn My Way offers free course on using a computer, browsing the web and finding work online at

Financing your training, studies or apprenticeship

You might not get a huge payout when you are made redundant, but that doesn’t mean you can’t afford to retrain.

There are different ways to finance a career change, depending on the training programme or study course you want to follow – and also depending on any savings or income you have.

Work out which option is right for you – a loan (which you need to pay back), grants or bursaries (which you don’t) or apprenticeships (where you earn while you learn).

Professional and career development loans

Professional and career development loans are designed purely for work-related learning.

How they work:

  • Borrow at relatively cheap rates.
  • Borrow anything from £300 to £10,000, regardless of your savings or income.
  • You don’t start paying it back until you’ve finished your course.
  • Banks will need between six weeks and three months to process your agreement, so don’t leave it until the last minute.

Student loans

Over half the people studying for degree courses in the UK are over 21 – it’s never too late to go to college or university. Or indeed, to go back!

Grants and bursaries

Usually available from government, charities, or the college or university that you’re planning to go to, but you need to search them out.


If you’re aged 16 or over, an apprenticeship can be a good way to move into a new career.

You’ll earn while you learn, and should come out with improved job prospects.

Claiming benefits while you retrain

As soon as you’ve been made redundant, you need to claim all the benefits you’re entitled to.

And when you sign up for an apprenticeship or study course, make sure you claim any additional help such as money towards childcare.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.