For those aged 18 or over, many organisations offer short courses and other opportunities.
Sunderland is home to the University of Sunderland, with nearly 21,000 students from all over the UK and around the world. It is an innovative, forward-thinking university with high standards of teaching, research and support. It has strong links with industry and business, and works closely with some of the world's leading companies.
For those aged 19+, Access courses are a real alternative to studying for A Levels. They provide an excellent way to gain a qualification, improve job prospects and prepare for higher education.
If becoming self employed appeals to you, it is important to think through your ideas carefully and take professional advice.