200,000 sign up in rush for evening classes
AROUND 200,000 people in Dublin alone will sign up for adult education courses starting next month.
Interest in part-time learning courses has surged by 21pc over the past six months.
That's according to Beth Rees of Learning Ireland, organisers of Which Course Expo 2011, which takes place on the weekend of August 27 and 28 in the RDS.
"There is generally a high level of interest in classes and courses at this time of the year," she said.
"Our research has shown a huge surge in interest in part time courses, due in part, to those who may be unemployed with more time on their hands or simply those who just want to learn new fun skills."
The exhibition will feature more than 100 course providers who will showcase a wide range of course options available throughout the Greater Dublin area from September onwards.
Government initiatives aimed at helping people to get back into education have helped to spur the surge in interest.
Learning Ireland says there is a wide array of courses on offer, with choices of evening, morning and weekend part time courses, upskilling programmes, distance learning, careers information and leisure opportunities.
The expo weekend, with free entry, will include seminars and practical displays and a careers clinic where visitors "will be free to put all their career development and job-seeking questions to qualified guidance counsellors," Learning Ireland said.
People attending the weekend exhibition will also get the opportunity of "hands on" demonstrations, including arts, crafts, knitting, flower arranging, DJ and radio presenting, life coaching, yoga and massage.