Essential Skills for the Workplace and Everyday Life

Free courses online and in London.

Join Essential Skills and learn the key skills you need to progress in work and participate fully in everyday life.

Our courses develop your communication, decision-making, problem-solving, team-building and analytical skills, at the same time as you improve your English, ESOL, maths, digital skills, and data literacy.

The classes are at all levels from beginner literacy to GCSE English, for new office-workers to experienced managers, from maths for life to data analysis in the workplace.

Join the courses below and develop the skills essential to your job success, well-being, and ability to express yourself in all settings, digitally and face-to-face.

Many of our courses are free to all UK and EU citizens living in London, and most are free if you are:

  • on a Low Wage or
  • on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance (ESA), or
  • receiving other state benefits (including Universal Credit)

To find out more, please read this information pack. You can also apply to our bursary if you need help with fees.

For help or advice, please contact us on 020 7492 2511 or email universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk. Most of our classes are now live online. You will need a computer with a microphone, a camera, and a good internet connection. Some courses are taking place in the City Lit building in London.

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  1. ESOL communicating at work: customer care (entry 3-level 1)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you working with the public – in a shop, at reception, on the phone? Are you a cleaner who needs to talk to members of the public? This course will help you communicate at work with customers, your colleagues and your manager. You will learn how to speak fluently and politely and use the vocabulary you need for work. You will practise how to help a customer or a client, make suggestions, give advice, begin and end a conversation, take messages over the phone, and talk about products.

    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.

    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £42.00
  2. ESOL pronunciation: stage 1 (level 1-2)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tired of people not understanding you? Would you like to sound 'more English'? Do you need to commununicate well with people in your work? Then this specialist course will help you. Learn how to make the individual sounds of English, hear the differences between them, and read and write the phonemic script, a special alphabet of sounds. This course is aimed at students with a good level of English - level 1 and 2 (B2-C1). Highly fluent students at level 3 or above should apply to the courses in the drama department.

    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.

    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £39.00
    Rating:
    88% of 100
  3. English for professionals: English for business and work (level 2)
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you want to work in business but lack the confidence? Do you already have a job but feel that your language skills are holding you back? This course will help you improve your business English so you can approach negotiations, meetings, presentations and reports with confidence. Aimed at second language speakers of English with a high level of competence (level 2) in the language.

    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.

    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £109.00
  4. ESOL: finding a better job (entry 3 - level 1)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Mon 17 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you looking for a better job? This course will help improve your English for doing well in interviews, writing successful CVs, and making good job applications. You will also learn where to look to find new work.You will receive some free career advice, guidance and information to help you make progress in your current company or find a new type of work.

    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.

    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £12.00
  5. Digital skills to find a better job
    Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 21 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you looking for better work? Are you in-work but not progressing? Come and learn the digital skills you need to boost your employment prospects, including: how to search online for better work; how to complete a top-class job application form and write a positive CV; how to use LinkedIn and other online platforms; and at the same time develop essential office computer skills including word processing. You will also receive regular help and support from our IAG team.

    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £14.00
  6. Becoming confident on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: for complete beginners
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 24 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Too nervous to face Facebook? Is tweeting something birds do? Have you heard of Instagram but never used it? Then this is the course for you. Improve your digital communication in a supportive environment and learn the different ways you can connect to friends, family and the wider world.

    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  7. ESOL and film: discussion, expression, critical writing (level 1-2)
    Last Few Places Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 30 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Love film? Learning English? This course will help you develop your English through watching, discussing and responding to a variety of film clips. The course willl focus on improving your listening skills so you can understand the meaning of what is said and not said, as well as developing your vocabulary and range of expression in speaking, listening, and giving opinions. You will also improve your reading and speaking through performing short dialogues.

    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.

    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £79.00
  8. IT skills for the office: real and virtual (introduction)
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 3 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you want to start working in an office but lack confidence or skills in IT? On this course you will learn the most essential computer skills – word processing, use of spreadsheets, emailing and creating presentations. You will learn the main parts of Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint which you will need in order to write letters and documents, organise data, send and receive emails and create presentations. By the end of the course you will feel confident to work in both a face-to-face and virtual environment.

    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £40.00
  9. Pathway to ECDL level 3
    Course Date:  Fri 4 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Level 3 Certificate in IT User Skills (ECDL Advanced) is an important commitment. Prepare yourself on this short course and make sure Level 3 is the right one for you. This course will ensure you make the most of your ECDL Level 3 course and have the skills to achieve the qualification once you start.

    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £75.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  10. Becoming confident on the cloud: a new way of sharing and collaborating
    Course Date:  Fri 4 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The digital world is moving from emails to shared files. Don't get left behind. Join this course and learn how to make the most of the cloud. What is it? How can it be used for home life and in business? What does it mean to share a file rather than email an attachment? Learn how to use the main free Cloud apps including Google Docs and Forms, Dropbox and Flickr and how to maintain security while syncing your devices. Learners must be confident on the Internet and in using email.

    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £35.00
  11. How to be an administrator: the paperless office
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 9 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The excessive use of paper is high on the agenda for companies and countries in the face of environmental waste and destruction. From administrators to senior managers we can all play a part in the helping to reduce the amount of paper that we use. Join this course to gain a greater insight on how as individuals and in our work we can help to preserve our environment, reduce costs and become more administratively efficient.

    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £40.00
  12. Design and build your own website - for Deaf people
    Course Date:  Wed 9 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will help you how to create and design your own website using free resources. Ideal if you want to create own websites for deaf organisations, deaf clubs or deaf websites.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
  13. Digital skills: using SignVideo, SignLive, NGT or Relay UK for essential communication (entry 2 - entry 3)
    Course Date:  Thu 10 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will help you to set up a new account with different communication and relay services - SignVideo, SignLive, NGT or Relay UK. You will be able to make your own phone calls through relay services.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
  14. IT skills for the office: real and virtual (intermediate)
    Course Date:  Wed 7 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you working or wanting to start work in an office but lacking the confidence and digital skills to perform some of the more advanced office tasks? Are you already working as an administrator and wanting to progress in your profession? This course will help you develop your digital skills to be able to complete more complex office tasks with confidence whether face to face or online. You will engage in various projects to learn how to use the internet to research and find informatiion effectively in order to create report documents containing detailed information, spreadsheets, and charts. You will learn how to analyse and visually represent your data as well as send personalised emails and use mail merge.

    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
  15. Learn English - learn about London, entry 2 - entry 3
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Mon 12 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you want to improve your English and learn about London at the same time? This course will help you feel more confident about living in London and using your English. You will visit interesting places and learn about the history of the city and the people who live there. You will also learn about important events in the city in the past and now. You will improve your speaking, listening, reading and writing. You will learn a lot of new words to describe people and places and how to express yourself fluently and correctly.

    Before this course, you need to do a pre-course assessment. Contact universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk / 020 7492 2511 or click the Start Assessment button on this page. Log on with your email address (not name). Use Chrome if possible.

    This course is FREE if a) you are on a Low Wage or b) you are either on Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) or Employment & Support Allowance(ESA) or c) you receive other state benefits (including Universal Credit) and your monthly take home pay is less than £343. For more information click here

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00

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