You can improve your employability and expand your career opportunities by taking professional courses. Many of these courses are available for free.
We have researched ways for you to find courses that can improve your job prospects. Our guide gives you tips and resources to help find free courses that provide the skills employers seek, leading to potential job opportunities.
Tip #1 - Find out what's offered by your local
(06 April 2023, data collections for Individualised learner record (ILR) submitted through the Submit learner data service, will close at 6pm).
Qualifications are currently available in:
accounting and finance
building and construction
childcare and early years
health and social care
horticulture and forestry
hospitality and catering
mathematics and statistics
medicine and dentistry
teaching and lecturing
transportation operations and maintenance
warehousing and distribution
You can get a free level 3 qualification if you:
are 19 or over and do not already have a level 3 qualification
already have a level 3 qualification or higher but earn below the National Living Wage annually (£18,525 from April 2022)
already have a level 3 qualification or higher but are unemployed
In some areas, there may be a slightly different low wage threshold. Check with your local training provider to find out the low wage threshold in your area.
Tip #2 - Get to know what's offered by NCS
The National Careers Service’s website lists free courses to help you learn a new skill or change jobs.
GCSEs and A levels
hobby and leisure courses
training for 16 to 19 year-olds
On the National Careers Service website you can search for free courses to help you get skills employers need.
Tip #3 - Discover Open University courses
OpenLearn is a free online learning platform, delivered by The Open University. You will find over 1,000 free courses, topical and interactive content, videos and online games on OpenLearn. OpenLearn courses are freely accessible to all Jobcentre Plus customers regardless of previous education, learning experience or disability. Learning with OpenLearn designed to help people find a job, advance their career or grow their business.
Find out more about OpenLearn courses.
You can use OpenLearn to:
browse the subject categories to discover articles, watch videos and interact with features and games created by our academic experts and guest contributors
discover the most popular courses, articles and interactives with our top 10 lists
take one of our free courses
check out our resources and guides For Study and For Life
explore new topics to build your personal knowledge or look for reference material for an OU module you are already studying
earn a digital badge or statement of participation as evidence of your learning
Simply register with your name, date of birth and email address and you’re ready to start your free learning journey. You will get the most from OpenLearn if you create a free account.
Tip #4 - Learn about Future Learn
FutureLearn is a British digital education platform founded in December 2012. Resource was launched with 12 university partners, which are: The Open University, University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, Cardiff University, University of East Anglia, University of Exeter, King's College London, Lancaster University, University of Leeds, University of Southampton, St Andrews University, and University of Warwick.
You can choose from thousands of online courses from top universities and specialist organisation.
Tip #5 - Familiar yourself with Facework Ukraine Career Training Programme
The pilot program works directly with displaced Ukrainians to co-design employability and careers training to support them in growing their confidence, gain valuable soft-skills and English language to access jobs.