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: 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Making sense of Windows 10
    Course Date:  Wed 16 Jun 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    New to Windows 10? Unsure about Edge and Cortana? Join this course and get to grips with this new operating system. This friendly introduction will open doors to the main elements of the software, as well as some of its less accessible applications and tools.

    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 £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  9. An Introduction to PowerPoint 2016: presentations in a day
    Course Date:  Wed 30 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    New to PowerPoint? Do you want to know how to create presentations? Can you use some of PowerPoint features but want to expand your skills? Join this short introduction to the essential elements of PowerPoint. Learn how to create a presentation using key features of PowerPoint 2016. Knowledge required: basic computer literacy and the ability to use a mouse and keyboard.

    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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. Office skills for ESOL students (entry 3 - level 1)
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Thu 22 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Would you like to work in an office? Not sure if your English or computing skills are good enough? Perhaps you already work in an office but want to improve your administration skills? Join this course and learn the English you need to answer the phone correctly, write good emails, letters and memos, and spell common words. At the same time, you will improve your digital computer skills including your word processing, file management, and emailing.

    You need to have an initial assessment before joining this course. You can come in person. See www.citylit.ac.uk/esol for dates. Or you can do an on-line assessment.

    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  15. Becoming confident on your computer
    Course Date:  Fri 23 Apr 2021

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Do you have lots of questions about your computer? Too afraid to ask them? This complete course will guide you through the key aspects of using a PC or laptop. You'll build your confidence and learn to understand the jargon, use some free applications, save and organise files, delete and recover them, and keep your work secure. To enrol, all you need is enthusiam and basic skills with a mouse and keyboard.

    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 £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00

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