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 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
  2. Word 2016 for the workplace (intermediate)
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 16 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you using Microsoft Word in an office or in administrative job? Or are you preparing for this line of work? This course will develop all the skills you need to perform your workplace Word 2016 work to a high level . Become confident in creating long, consistently formatted, well-presented documents such as reports and performing the tasks most commonly associated with Word in the office. Such tasks will include developing your use of Styles, modifying pictures in documents, using templates, controlling text flow and using mail merge. This a course for those who already have some experience of using Word. For beginners, please see our Introduction to Word course.

    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 £80.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  3. Word 2016 for the workplace (advanced)
    Course Date:  Thu 3 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will develop all the skills you need to perform your work to a high level and give you the confidence in creating long, consistently formatted, well-presented documents such as reports and performing the tasks most commonly associated with Word 2016 in the office. Such tasks some of the more advanced features, including creating master documents, referencing, working with templates, styles, advanced tables, forms, linking and embedding, editing mail merge documents, creating macros and using automatic formatting.

    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 £80.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  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. Outlook 2016 for the workplace: managing your emails, tasks and priorities (intermediate)
    Course Date:  Wed 5 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you working in an office or in administration? Learn how to maximise the features of Outlook 2016 so you can become more efficient, prioritise and reduce your work load and make the most of this complex program. Learn how to: organise and manage your emails using message rules, create an efficient folder system, use categories to filter your emails, contacts and calendar, create reminders, organise follow up actions via tags, keep track of your tasks via email and calendar, create multiple signatures including with images or logos, create, enable and customise the out-of-office notice, share calendars, create recurring appointments, and mail merge using your Outlook contacts.

    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 £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £85.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100

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