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. English for life (entry level 1 and 2)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Fri 16 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you want to improve your reading and writing of English and your formal speaking? Come to this class and express yourself. Learn how to read and write full sentences in English about important events and topics that interest you. Learn how to fill in forms, understand important letters and make appointments. Become confident in your spelling, vocabulary, using capital letters, full stops and expressing your thoughts and feelings. This course will help you learn all the English skills you need in life without the pressure of an exam.

    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 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
  2. Essential digital skills for life- for deaf people (Entry 3)
    Course Date:  Fri 16 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will build your confidence on how to use digital devices and the internet. This course has no exams.

    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
  3. ESOL: Develop your listening skills (level 1)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you tired of asking people to repeat themselves? Do you nod and smile when you don't understand? Do you wish you could understand the TV better or follow phone conversations more easily? Good listening skills are essential to your English language development and students often never learn specific listening techniques. This course will help you change your experience of listening to English. It will change from being a stream of meaningless sounds into one in which you can identify the words and focus on the meaning of what you are hearing. You will be able to relax when you are having conversations and enjoy films without subtitles!

    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 £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £56.00
  4. Develop your writing and language skills (level 1-level 2)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Thu 22 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Have you been learning English for a long time but find your writing just doesn’t seem to improve? Are you quite a fluent speaker but find formal speaking difficult? Do you feel ‘stuck’. This course will release you! You will focus on how to improve the structure of your writing both the whole text, paragraphs and sentences. You will work on understanding the grammar of the language, and the skills you learn to develop your writing will help you improve your more formal speaking whether this is for job interviews, meetings at work or giving presentations. This course is ideal if you have been living in the UK for several years, feel quite comfortable in speaking English as a second language, but lack confidence in your literacy skills.

    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 £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £20.00
  5. ESOL entry 2-entry 3
    Last Few Places Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 24 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you quite confident about your everyday English? Can you have some short conversations and read and write simple emails? Can you go shopping, talk about simple subjects and write a letter? But do you make quite a lot mistakes? Is it difficult to speak, read or write about more complicated topics? This course will help you learn more vocabulary and grammar so you can talk, read and write about more interesting everyday things and make fewer mistakes. Your will practise your speaking, listening, reading and writing so you can understand people better, talk about most daily topics, read a simple news story, and write a long email or letter.

    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 £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £32.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. Level 2 certificate in IT user skills (ECDL Extra)
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 26 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you want to learn the skills you need for office work or everyday life, and gain a qualification? On this course, you will learn the core software applications required in every workplace. The course is made up of four modules: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Improving Productivity using IT. If you pass, you will receive the Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills (ECDL Extra). This course is ideal if you have some working knowledge of Word, PowerPoint and Excel, but want to be confident you can use their most essential elements.

    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 £379.00 Senior fee £303.00 Concession £190.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  7. ESOL entry 1
    Course Date:  Mon 26 Apr 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    For students who can speak or write only a few words in English or maybe none at all. On this beginners' course, you will learn new words and grammar, how to ask and answer questions, how to read and write about yourself, your family, and friends, and how to complete forms and short emails. 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 takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £156.00 Senior fee £125.00 Concession £31.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  8. Writing skills in practice: advanced (level 2+)
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 29 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you need to develop your writing so you can express yourself in a full and rich manner? On this course, you will focus on how to structure different types of writing, organise your ideas, and improve your vocabulary while focusing on difficulties typically faced by high level learners of English, such as tone and register. Learn how to research information and use your notes to write to the point, expressing complex ideas in a style which is engaging and takes the reader into account.

    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
    Rating:
    73% of 100
  9. English for life (level 1)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Mon 12 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you want to become more confident in writing and speaking? Would you like to express yourself more effectively in difficult situations, in emails to friends, at work, when dealing with the council or your child's school? On this course, you will develop your reading and writings skills so you can act confidently in the most important everyday situations and be able to give your opinions and debate with others about a range of topics and events. You will work on how to organise your writing use paragraphs well and form different types of sentences. You will improve your vocabulary, discover new spelling strategies and learn how to use punctuation accurately. You will develop your reading skills to be able to find information and details, identify the purposes and summarise different types of texts. By the end of this three-term programme, you will be a competent reader and writer both at work and home and ready to do exams such as Functional Skills.

    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 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
  10. Grammar in practice: upper intermediate (level 1-2)
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 23 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Unsure when to use present perfect or past perfect? Is reported speech still causing you problems? Do you need to practise your conditionals? Join this course and put your grammar into practice in speaking, writing, reading and listening. Gain confidence in using grammar effectively through engaging in contextualised tasks.

    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 £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £85.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. Grammar in practice: intermediate (entry 3 -level 1)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Wed 28 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Confused by verb tenses? Need to know when to use past simple or present perfect? Puzzled by the passive? This course will make English grammar simpler for you and increase your confidence by giving you lots of opportunities to put your grammar into practice.

    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
    Rating:
    93% of 100

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