This paper traces the origins and development of coal mining education and training in Britain from 1900 to the 1970s, by which time the coal industry had substantially declined. It looks at the progress from working-class self-help to national policy in support of education and training. The research makes use of college prospectuses and principals' reports to identify the kind of courses offered at several former mining and technical colleges located on the Lancashire and Yorkshire coalfields. The research also identifies funding available to those who worked in the industry, from new employees to those aspiring to be colliery and area managers. The paper also briefly summarises what policy-makers can learn from studying the former mining industry's education and training framework.