Step up to restart your education and pathways to employment

The Step Up Programme offers support for people to re-engage with skills and education in order to access employment.


Step-Up programme - Supporting you into learning or into employment.

Step up to a fresh start 

The Step Up Programme offers anyone aged 16+ a choice of pathways, designed to meet various employment and training needs. This is free to attend as all costs are met by the Department for the Economy.  If you are looking to gain skills and education to help you get into work, the Step Up Programme could be for you. Step Up opened in September 2023 across SERC’s Bangor, Downpatrick, Lisburn, Newtownards and Newcastle campuses.  All pathways are person-centred and flexible, and each student will be given personal support to help you reach your goals.   

Pathway 1: College Connect 24 +


Designed for anyone aged 24+ who is unemployed or economically inactive and looking to build their skills to enter employment or return to education. This pathway is designed to give you confidence and to develop skills to help you achieve your goals.

We understand how daunting it can be to come back to education and we want to help you take that first step. Our approach is student centred and we are confident that we will be able to support and inspire you to learn and achieve, regardless of the challenges you face.

Participants will:

  • Develop an individual learning plan
  • Receive mentorship
  • Receive FREE expert 1-2-1 career guidance by SERC Careers Advisors
  • Learn new skills 

Courses will run subject to demand. 

To register your interest for College Connect 24+ please register below or contact Phil Martin:

Register Here


Pathway 2: Step up to Access

If you have been out of education for a while, returning to learning can be daunting. Perhaps you think you've missed your chance at university because you didn't get the qualifications needed to apply when you were at school, or perhaps you have been out of employment for a long time and want to get your dream job or career. The Step Up to Access course is a 12-week programme that is designed to get you ready to take your next steps, get ready to re-enter learning and could progress to further study.

What will be covered.

  • Study skills
  • Research skills
  • Building confidence
  • Developing numeracy and literacy skills
  • Reintroduction to IT and computer skills
  • What to expect when studying further at SERC
  • Taster lessons in the Access to Education programme

Step up to Access pathway will start from w.c. 18 March 2024 across the following SERC campuses:


Bangor9.30am- 12.30pm or 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Lisburn9.30am- 12.30pm or 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Newcastle9.30am- 12.30pm
Downpatrick9.30am- 12.30pm or 6.30pm - 9.30pm

To sign up for Step up to Access courses, please register below:

    Register Here
    Pathway 3: Women Returners Access Programme (WRAP)

    WRAP will be running free programmes starting in March 2024 for 12 weeks, delivered mainly in the community as follows: 

    CampusStart DateTimes
    Monday 11 March, 1 day per week9.30am - 12.30pm
    BangorTuesday 12 March, 1 day per week9.30am - 12.30pm

    All programmes will have a focus on taking care of yourself and your wellbeing. The programme is a perfect opportunity for you to: 

    • Learn new skills around building mental health, resilience, protecting yourself
    • Build your confidence
    • Meet new people

    Programmes are designed for women who are currently unemployed or economically inactive, and wishing to return to education to refresh skills, to learn new skills and to build confidence.   

    To sign up for our WRAP courses, please register below:

    Register Here
    Pathway 4: Step Up to Employment

    This course is ideal if you are currently unemployed and hoping to get back into the workplace.  It is aimed to help improve your IT skills and also equip you with the skills and tools required to get that dream job such as a personal up to date CV, help with job search and interview skills. 

    • Free 12 week course
    • Preparation to enter the workplace
    • Improve IT skills
    • Help to create a CV and Covering Letter
    • Job Search and Interview Skills
    • Build your confidence

    The course will be delivered at Ballymacash Community Centre, Lisburn

    Induction on Wednesday 20 March at 11.30am and then course will run on Mondays, beginning on Monday 8 April from 9.30 am to 12.30pm. 

    To sign up for our Step Up to Employment courses, please register below:

    Register Here
    Contact Us:

    Telephone: 0345 600 7555 or Email: