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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Learn English - discover London, its history, culture and people, level 1 - level 2
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 12 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you want to improve your English and learn about London, its history, culture and people at the same time? On this course, you will visit places of interest and learn about the history of these places especially about the different people and cultures who have lived there, and about important events which have shaped the city. You will do your own research and so improve your reading and writing skills as well as your speaking and listening. In addition, you will feel more at home in London and able to participate in its rich and diverse life.

    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
  6. ESOL pronunciation: stage 2 (level 1-2)
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    What are the different ways of pronouncing 'a'? Does 'for' always sound like 'four'? Is 't' always pronounced the same way? Learn the answers to these questions as you focus on fluent pronunciation practising linking, rhythm and stress and discover how context affects the pronunciation of English. This course is aimed at students with a good level of English - level 1 and 2 (B2-C1), who have completed Stage 1. Please contact the department on 020 7492 2511 or universal.skills@citylit.ac.uk for more information. Highly fluent students at level 3 or above should apply to the courses in the drama department.

    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 £42.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  7. Getting ready for English Language GCSE
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you excited by the English language? Do you want to gain an English language GCSE but are not ready yet to achieve this in a single year? Do you need to test your abilities before attempting the qualification course? Then this Getting Ready for English Language GCSE is the course for you. It will prepare you for the accreditation and familiarise you with its content, level and expectation.

    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.

    After you have completed your assessment, please also click on the following link and tell us more about yourself -https://forms.gle/WpjbXEsfBRtByVjz5.

    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
  8. Outlook 2016 for the workplace: integrating Outlook, Excel and Word (advanced)
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 26 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you working as a Secretary, PA or an Administrator or thinking of becoming one? Do you need to learn more about Outlook 2016? This course is for Outlook users who needs to become more expert in work related Outlook tasks. Join this course and learn how to: create advanced message rules, create and manage categories, apply advanced filtering, create and copy group contact lists, share contacts, copy calendars, use a scheduling tool to create appointments, create advanced signatures as lists and emails, use advanced mail merge using MS Word and how to archive your mail box.

    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
  9. Business: find the right word (advanced)
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 27 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you already working at a good level of English but still not sufficient for the needs of your workplace or to develop your career? Do you need to find just the right word, the correct tone, the exact phrase' This course will help you develop the right English for the right situation particularly in the world of work. Learn about different styles of writing, and effective and appropriate communication.

    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 £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £115.00
  10. Grammar in practice: advanced (level 2+)
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 28 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Is your grammar holding you back? Learn how to communicate more effectively by analysing, discussing and experimenting with English grammar. This course will help you realise that grammar is really about meaning: understanding better the meaning of what someone is saying and expressing yourself more meaningfully.

    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. The course runs over three terms (though you may start any term, places allowing).

    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:
    100% of 100
  11. 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
  12. Matters of opinion (level 2)
    Last Few Places Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 5 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you need to improve your fluency, your vocabulary and your pronunciation? Join this course and learn how to express your opinion and talk about important topics: love, politics, films, current affairs, morals. This course will help you develop your grammar and to talk in a more complex way.



    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
  13. 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
  14. 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

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