MORE than one in five Britons plan to head to college or night school during the coming 12 months, according to high street bank Abbey.

Around 35 per cent of people hope their studying will help them to further their current job, but 38 per cent are planning to study something new in a bid to change their career completely.

Some of the more extreme career changes people are planning include a shop assistant who wants to become a forensic technician, a pensions' administrator who is retraining as a photographer, a machine operator who plans to become a lifestyle coach and a scaffolder who is retraining as a feng-shui teacher.

Four out of 10 people plan to pay for their new course by dipping into their savings, 23 per cent will fund it through a monthly allowance, 18 per cent hope to get a government grant and 2 per cent will take out a loan.

Head of Abbey Loans Paul Morrish said: "With so many of us planning to undertake an extra curricular course in the next 12 months, it's clear that Britons have a strong desire to keep on learning.

"It's also great to see that so many people stuck in jobs they'd rather not be in, have the will to do something about it while they can."

Director of Smart Recruitment Helen Stacey added: "I think that it's very encouraging that people are taking responsibility for their own destiny by paying to attend courses that may well then affect how they work in the future.

"A lot of people are retraining into so called lifestyle businesses that in the future can perhaps mean that they become self employed, possibly contributing to the local economy by then becoming employers themselves."