Free Job Training For Senior Citizens

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Why The Need Is Especially Large Now

Tips on how to get a job for senior citizen

Maura Porcelli, SCSEP managing director at the National Council On Aging, says: “We’re seeing older workers getting hired at a slower rate than younger people and people at mid-career.”

Covid-19 has created a new set of challenges for SCSEP and its potential participants. But it’s also created opportunities for some older workers looking for training and jobs.

“The mindset is all about eventually getting them jobs and not losing that muscle memory.”

Last spring, as the pandemic triggered widespread lockdowns, the U.S. Department of Labor let SCSEP participants train from home. That helped keep them safe from the virus, but also made training more complicated, especially for those lacking computers or reliable internet access.

But Porcelli says program administrators found workarounds. Some older workers have been borrowing laptops and tablet computers from host agencies for technical training others have focused on resumé and letter writing to prospective employers.

“The mindset is all about eventually getting them jobs and not losing that muscle memory,” says Porcelli.

The coronavirus also created new employment opportunities for some older workers, with SCSEP training them as contact tracers, as it did for Lane.

National Able Network is providing training and staffing for the Chicago Contact Tracing Corps, which is hiring 450 people.

Some nonprofits and government facilities affected by the pandemic are creating other opportunities for SCSEP workers.

Professional Diploma In Interior Design

Provided by Shaw Academy

Shaw Academy believes that your future should go the way you want it, even if you are a senior citizen! There is still so much to gain later in life and this interior design diploma could be the key to starting a new hobby or even career. Typically, access to Shaw Academy means you would have to pay nearly $70 a month. However, this interior design diploma is one of the few courses on the site that is offered at no charge. The diploma takes about 4 weeks to complete and gives you the tools you need to become an interior design pro.

During this globally-recognized course, you will learn about how to create and manage your own interior design projects, whether they are in your own home or in someone elses. The free online course will go over what you can expect as an interior designer, as well as basic design terms and jargon. You will also learn about floor plans, sections, elevations, mock-ups, perspective drawings, individual style, and more. This course is truly a comprehensive look at interior design as a whole, one that will have you ready for any design challenge.

Cost: Free

Time to Complete: Approximately 4 weeks

Curriculum: Beginner

Provided by YouTube and The Studio by Jamie Kinkeade

Cost: Free

Time to Complete: Approximately 15 minutes

Curriculum: Beginner

Provided by SkillShare

Cost: Free

Certificate: No

Time to Complete: Approximately 2 hours

Curriculum: Beginner

Provided by


Types Of Vocational Training For Senior Citizens

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Working and moving can help to keep you young. Plus, who doesn’t like a little extra spending money? It is becoming more common for seniors to remain in the workplace much longer than in decades past, so the demand for senior citizen vocational training is increasing. Find vocational training for seniors in computer skills and other working knowledge.

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This Program Might Be Good For You If You:

  • came to Canada as an immigrant or a refugee
  • want to improve your English skills to better communicate in your everyday life
  • need to improve your English skills to find a job or go to school
  • need to prepare for an English test such as the Test of English as Foreign Language or the International English Language Testing System

Note: Service providers may charge a small fee for materials.

Senior Work Experience Program

Interested in Job Training? (Federally

The Senior Community Service Employment Program provides work-based training for seniors 55 and older, who are currently unemployed and in need of updating their skills. We have openings in several counties throughout Tennessee. If you would like more information to see if you qualify contact us at 615-741-5671 or email Lance Butler at .

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Hope And Help For Finding Work

For SCSEP participants like Chicago’s Edward Robinson, 62, the program has provided hope and served as a bridge to better opportunities.

Robinson says he never kept a job long enough to save enough for retirement. In recent years, health problems made it difficult for him to find work and his financial situation deteriorated.

Two years ago, Robinson enrolled for training in SCSEP through National Able Network and was assigned to work as a receptionist at the nonprofit Volunteers of America in Chicago. In September, the organization hired him as a staff receptionist.

“It’s a wonderful job with a very relaxed atmosphere,” says Robinson. “I’m hoping that I can continue here as long as I can.”

SCSEP began more than a half-century ago as part of The Older Americans Act and helps about 55,000 older workers annually. But in recent years the program has faced significant challenges.

Its budget was slashed by roughly $80 million over the past decade and repeatedly targeted for elimination by the Trump administration. Congress reauthorized funding for SCSEP in 2021 at $405 million, the same amount as the program received in 2020.

But SCSEP’s proponents say that’s not enough at a time when the pandemic has left about 4 million Americans among the long-term unemployed , representing 39% of the nation’s unemployed. In September 2020, just 19% of America’s jobless adults were long-term unemployed people.

Subsidized Training Program For Homeless Older Adults

The Older Worker Employement Program provides part-time, on-the-job training for homeless and at-risk-of-homelessness eligible older adults. The goal of the program is to identify and recruit homeless older adults to place them in training opportunities, connect them to various social services, and help them transition into unsubsidized employment.

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Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes

The Bernard Osher Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1977 to help provide individuals aged 50 years or older with easily accessible opportunities for learning. The foundation provides post-secondary scholarships to 120 colleges and university campuses across the United States. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers a number of classes on a wide variety of subjects including philosophy, history, art, music, political science, etc. These are non-credit classes without exams or grades. Course availability will vary depending on the state and campus location. A complete list of participating institutions can be found online.

The National Council On Aging

Seated Weights Workout For Seniors (10 Minutes) | More Life Health

The National Council on Aging offers an online program called Job Source. It can help you identify your skills and interests and provides training: more than 30 free online courses to learn new skills and earn free job certifications.

The program also provides resources to help find jobs, write resumes and help prepare for the interview process.

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Subsidized Training Program For Low

The Senior Community Service Employment Program provides an opportunity for unemployed seniors to return to the competitive job market through work experience and job training programs. SCSEP provides subsidized, temporary, part-time, community service work-based training for low-income persons age 55 or older who are unemployed and trying to re-enter the job market. Through this program, older workers have access to on-the-job training as well as employment assistance available through local WorkSource Centers.

Are Free Online Courses Difficult

Since many of the courses listed in this article are of the more creative discipline, none of them would be considered particularly difficult. The instructors themselves are all creatives who had to learn at one point, and they are simply attempting to enrich your creative potential as opposed to challenging you.

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Poetry: How To Read A Poem

Provided by Future Learn

Poetry is everywhere, and it is one of the many forms of literature that can be incredibly calming and relaxing for people of all ages. Unfortunately, many dont know how to properly read or interpret poetry. Taking this course could change that entirely. Its hosted on Future Learn and is provided by the University of York, one of the preeminent universities in the United Kingdom. Future Learn offers a vast array of free courses, all with the option to pay a flat fee and receive extended benefits like a certificate of achievement upon completion.

This free online course takes about a month to complete and explains the beginnings of how humans interacted with other people and their world through poetry. Throughout the class, students will learn about the foundations of poetry and poetic form, intertextuality, how to write about poetry effectively, and more! Whether you love poetry or have never read a poem in your life, this course will certainly allow you to take something away that will have you seeing poetry through a new lens.

Cost: Free

Certificate: Yes

Time to Complete: Approximately one month

Curriculum: Beginner

  • Start whenever you want and go at your own pace
  • Takes students from the very foundations of poetry
  • Teaches how to write about poetry


  • Certificate of completion does not come free with the course

Online Learning With Coursera

Computer and Internet Training for Senior Citizens

The New York State Department of Labor is partnering with Coursera, the leading online training provider, to provide training opportunities to New York’s unemployed and dislocated workers. Through Coursera, you will have access to nearly 4,000 programs across high-growth industries and can hone skills in data science, business, and technology. Many of these programs are pathways to certifications, professional certificates and can help elevate your career.

These programs are developed in partnership with top universities around the globe based on current business needs.

New York State has a team of experts working to curate content based on industry demand to help job seekers gain skills to help them advance in their career.

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Art Essentials: Learn Watercolor Painting Basics

Provided by SkillShare

Watercolor painting is an incredibly easy and accessible way for senior citizens to learn a new form of art. Watercolor paints are fairly self-explanatory, plus they are cheap and easy to find at most craft stores or online. This simple watercolor class provided by SkillShare has all the tools you need to use painting to pass the time! This is one of what SkillShare considers to be their premium classes, meaning you would normally need a paid premium membership to access it. However, the site is currently offering a two-week free trial period for new users, which is plenty of time to complete this short course.

This great free course for senior citizens covers all of the basics of watercolor painting, including how to use watercolor paints on both wet and dry paper, how to mix a color using primary-colored paints, and how to create texture using different brushes and tools. For practice, the instructor uses the example of shoes, which is incredibly fun and whimsical. By the end of the course, you will learn how much water to use, how to use different brushes, and how to use a basic color chart.

Cost: Free

Certificate: No

Time to Complete: Approximately 1 hour

Curriculum: Beginner

  • Start anytime and go at your own pace
  • Learn watercolor paints from the absolute basics
  • Learn how to use different brushes and tools


  • Certificate does not come with the course

The Path To Happiness And Good Quality Of Life

Provided by Future Learn

As you grow older, you may find that some of the things you enjoyed earlier in life are no longer accessible. Even if this isnt the case for you, it is always important to take control of your happiness and understand your feelings. This course from Future Learn does just that and is completely free to take for members or non-members. Future Learn is an online website that offers a variety of educational resources for people of all ages, with a rotating list of courses that is ever-changing so you never know just what you will get.

This best free online course, instructed by Graciela H. Tonon from the Universidad de Palermo, goes over the concepts of happiness and quality of life for people through different stages in their life. You will discuss the quality of life for children, adults, and senior citizens, all while identifying the different characteristics of your quality of life and happiness. Considering all of the stress that has surrounded the year 2020, evaluating your personal quality of life and happiness could be cathartic.

Cost: Free

Certificate: Yes

Time to Complete: Approximately 4 weeks

Curriculum: Beginner

  • Start anytime and go at your own pace
  • Delve deep into the concepts of happiness and the quality of life
  • Especially relevant for senior citizens


  • Certificate does not come free with the course

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Free Senior Citizen Education Resources

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If you’re interested in gaining a new skill, you may be pleasantly surprised to find there are many free educational options for senior citizens. Many community-based organizations, libraries, and institutions of higher learning offer free education to the elderly.

What Kind Of Free Online Courses Can I Pursue As A Senior

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Really, you are only limited by your knowledge of the internet, the devices you own, and how well you can use them. If you are very tech-savvy and familiar with computers, you should have no problem accessing any of the courses found on this list. Luckily for you, the internet is quite limitless when it comes to learning material, so virtually any hobby you can think of likely has a free online course to go alongside it. While this article only listed ten different disciplines and activities, a simple Google search will show you that you can learn anything you want. Websites like YouTube and SkillShare often have courses that are freely uploaded by instructors, so you can find a lot on there.

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Are Free Online Courses For Seniors Worth It

100 percent yes! Especially for those who are frequently cooped up in the house, online courses can be your key to connecting with the outside world and engaging your creative muscles. Senior citizens have a novel opportunity to pursue new skills and activities in retirement when they have much more time to spend on themselves.

Since all of the courses on this list come at no cost to you, you have nothing to lose except for the time you spend learning a new skill. If you attempt to complete any of the courses listed in this article, we can assure you that your time certainly wont be wasted!

Disclaimer: Some courses may include an affiliate link. Courses were chosen first based on the methodology with affiliate links only added after the ranking was complete.

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How The Scsep Job Training Program Works

SCSEP is administered by states, which contract with community service organizations like National Able Network, the National Council on Aging and Goodwill Industries to provide training and employment services. Older workers are then assigned to nonprofits or public facilities like schools and hospitals where they can work up to 20 hours a week for minimum wage.

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Local Community Colleges And Universities

Each state operates a post-secondary education system consisting of a network of community colleges and universities. Some offer discounted or free educational opportunities to senior citizens. The state of Alabama, for example, sponsors a scholarship program for senior adults. This program provides free in-state tuition at two-year colleges to individuals 60 and over who qualify for admission.

Requirements and availability of funds vary greatly from one state to another. If you’re interested in finding out what opportunities might be available in your area, contact the financial aid or admissions office at the state schools in your area. Even if the school you want to attend doesn’t offer specific funding opportunities for seniors, you may be able to qualify for a Pell grant or other need-based financial assistance program.

Time Tested Ways To Make Pottery Without Potters Wheel

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Provided by SkillShare

To some, pottery may seem like an inaccessible activity, especially as you get older. Wheel throwing can be expensive, especially when you may not have the money or time for your own pottery studio. This course from SkillShare takes students through how they can create their own beautiful pottery without needing a potters wheel or any other expensive equipment. SkillShare is an educational platform that offers a variety of courses, some of which are locked by a premium membership. This course is one of those, so you will need the two-week free trial to access it.

This exciting class only takes about an hour and a half to complete and is sure to flex your creative muscles! The free online course for senior citizens takes you through pottery techniques that dont require a lot of training, including making pinch pots, coil constructions, scooping techniques, slab construction, and making textured pots. If you are stuck at home for long periods of time and need a new creative outlet to keep your mind occupied, making your own, unique pottery could be the perfect pastime.

Cost: Free

Certificate: No

Time to Complete: Approximately 1.5 hours

Curriculum: Beginner

  • Start whenever you want and go at your own pace
  • Teaches pottery methods that dont require potters wheel
  • Great for those stuck indoors


  • Course material is not accessible after free trial period

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Free Educational Opportunities For Senior Citizens

Free senior educational opportunities are offered in the form of reduced fees, tax credits, scholarships, and, in some cases, free classes or training. However, the availability may vary from one area to another. Some grants or scholarships may be offered to individual seniors based on specific income, skill, or other criteria. In other instances, the organizations offering services may receive grant money to pay for training programs that they make available to the general senior population at no cost. However, there are a lot of places to look if you want to get some free senior education.

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