Combating Factory Closures with Online Courses in Norwich

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Tudor Lodge

Norwich has endured a storm over the recent past as factory after factory has announced planned closures, causing hundreds of local jobs to go. The blows came in a short space of time as Heatrae Sadia announced it would close its factory and cause 200 locals to become redundant. Along with Britvic setting up shop and Coleman’s who have been operating on the same premises also confirming that their site is due to close, the future does not look bright for Norwich’s unemployment rate.

Some people may point the finger at Downing Street for closures due to the uncertainty of Brexit. However, the UK as a whole appears to be in good shape. Unemployment rates have never been this low since 1975. In fact, the last time unemployment rates were at the current 3.9% low, Derby County F.C fans were braced for league success and Bowie’s Young Americans was about to hit the clubs.

How Can Online Courses Help?

One option for Norwich locals that are directly affected by the factory closures is to retrain. However, some people choose not to retrain because it comes in the way of making money and supporting families. When you consider that the companies who are due to leave Norwich have been there for almost a century, you can expect these long-standing workers to look for immediate employment to support families rather retraining for a new career.


Online courses provided by a recognised institution will allow you to do both. They are capable of being completed in your own time at home, so you can work your schedule – whether that is finding a new job or working in a temporary job in the meantime – around your online course. They offer the best of both worlds to keep earning money to support family, while also enhancing personal skills to find a better career you would enjoy.

What Type of Courses Are Available?

Even better news is the diversity of online courses today. The best providers offer a number of different courses to set you up for an array of careers. From business and IT courses to CIPD online courses, there is usually something for everybody. Some of which will build on the skills held by workers at Norwich’s closing factories. Whatever course you choose, just be sure that you choose one that is offered by an accredited and recognised provider. If not, employers may not recognise the hard work you put in to earn your qualification.

Do Online Courses Exclude Me from Benefits?

Enrolling onto an online course means you are now a student. Students in the UK who are working on their course in a full-time capacity are not permitted to claim government benefits, including allowances for seeking a new job. The government will recognise any course that takes up more than 16 hours per week of your time, or a certain number of credits for university students, to be classed as a full-time course, meaning this will exclude you from financial assistance. However, these rules online apply to courses which are funded by a small group of bodies, including the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the Welsh Assembly Government.


For other courses, such as most online courses in the UK, there are no set hours as to what will determine a full-time course, and thus classify you as a full-time student. Instead, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will determine if you are a full-time student on a case-by-case basis.

Making Sure You Still Get Benefits

If you are a job seeker in Norwich and have a family to support or a mortgage to pay it is only natural that you would choose financial assistance over an online course – and not take the risk. However, most online course cases are not seen as a full-time commitment by the DWP and learners still have the right to receive benefits. One way of making your case is by finding written information on your provider’s website that the course is not necessarily a full-time course and is completed at the learners’ discretion. You may also want to record hours to show a log of course time to your local DWP office.


An online course may be a great consideration for anyone in the UK to advance their current career or change direction. They may be of great value for Norwich residents currently experiencing job loss or job uncertainty.

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