Evening classes at New College Stamford have been teaching the local community new skills for a number of years, paving the way for young and old to try something different and develop interests and knowledge in areas they haven’t previously had access to.

And now the evening classes, known as PCDL (Personal and Community Development Learning) are challenging stereotypes with more women of all ages enrolling on courses such as plumbing, bricklaying and tiling.

John Baldwin, PCDL Coordinator at New College Stamford found more than half of this terms plumbing cohort were women, when previously the course had traditionally attracted a majority of male applicants.

The students gave various reasons for taking the course. One husband and wife team had previously attended the bricklaying course before and enjoyed the experience so much they we re now taking plumbing and were intending to go on to the tiling course next.

Another female applicant and her retired mother are taking the plumbing courses ready for the next stage of a barn conversion they have taken on. Having previously attended a bricklaying course and gained sufficient skills and training to complete brick work for the internal walls, they now intend to install the plumbing, toilets, bowls etc. in the barn conversion.

He said, “It is fantastic to see more women signing up for plumbing and other trade courses. It really highlights the amazing opportunities provided by our suite of PCDL courses to learn new skills. There is strong evidence that this training is supporting the community to take on new challenges and genuinely allowing candidates to apply their learning in their day to day activities.”

Not forgetting the men who are also gaining valuable skills including a landlord who is taking the course to enable him to do simple jobs for his tenants such as fitting new taps and another gentleman taking the course so he can do odd jobs around the hours for his daughter.

If you would like to learn a new skill and see what the evening classes we have available for the upcoming term, click here.