Learning and upskilling

Jobs and training

Developing skills is vital in an ever-changing job market and is crucial to being able to meet new demands and challenges. It can keep you current and motivated, whether you are embarking on a basic skills course or studying towards a specialist subject. The investment will pay off in a variety of ways, from landing a job, upgrading your CV, or even simply adding to your knowledge.

New Waltham Forest digital skills and employment programme

Waltham Forest Council has launched a free digital skills and employment programme for adults in the borough.

After a free skills assessment, residents can enrol on this Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service programme. There are beginner workshops as well as informal one-to-one support. Some courses also help residents learn practical skills to get an Essential Digital Skills Qualification (EDSQ).

For adults with digital skills who are interested in volunteering, the Adult Learning Service is also offering free training for digital mentors. Volunteers will do a free six-week Peer Mentoring course before they start supporting others in the community.

This programme is part of the Council’s commitment to help Waltham Forest residents gain digital skills for their everyday life and to improve their chances of getting a job.

Waltham Forest adults can enrol on the programme or find out how to become a digital mentor by phoning 020 8496 2974. Read more about the digital skills and employment programme.

Waltham Forest Council delivers learning and training opportunities for adults through our Adult Learning Service.

We are committed to engaging local people in lifelong learning through working in partnership and promoting widening participation and high-quality learning and training opportunities.

We provide a range of accredited and non-accredited learning opportunities for adults and young people across the borough.

There are hundreds of exciting daytime, evening, and weekend courses to help you to:

  • Learn new skills
  • Develop existing skills to help you to find work
  • Set up your own business
  • Gain a qualification
  • Update your skills for professional development

We look forward to welcoming you and wish you every future success. For information about the prospectus, to search for courses and for information about offers and discounts, please visit the Adult Learning Service website.

Free online courses Click to get info

There are free online courses for just about anything, from IT to professional development courses. Taking a course, especially with a well-known provider, can really help to boost your CV.

Learn online

We recommend the provider’s bellow:

The Skills Toolkit: The national careers service has teamed up with partners including The Open University, Google, Amazon and FutureLearn to deliver this series of free online training courses.

Linked in learning: is proud to partner with Microsoft to offer learning paths and resources to help the unemployed re-skill to prepare for in-demand and stable jobs, with a focus on digital skills needed to pursue the jobs of today and tomorrow. There are 10 career specific learning pathways and four soft skills pathways available, on top of the many hundreds of hours of other courses.

Digital and IT support Click to get info

If you feel you or someone you know needs help to use the internet, then you are not alone. One in nine people in the borough do not have access to the internet, or do not know how to use it.

Having good IT skills and being confident with using the internet and new technology can be key in helping you to get a job. Upwards of 80% of all job openings online require at least basic digital skills, such as using office programs like Microsoft Word or Excel.

That is why we have put together a list of different ways to help people online.

Returning to education Click to get info

It can be a big decision to return to education but whether you want to improve your professional skills, start your own business, or learn something new for fun there is an option for you.

Adult learning service 

We deliver learning and training opportunities for adults through our Adult Learning Service. For information about the prospectus, to search for courses and for information about offers and discounts, please visit the Adult Learning Service website.

Waltham Forest College

At Waltham Forest College there is a range of flexible courses full-time, part-time, fast-track, or even in the evening to choose from, offering online and on campus learning.

The Big Creative Academy

The Big Creative Academy Is the largest creative college in London and its located right here in Walthamstow. The academy is part of Big Creative Education which also provides creative-focused apprenticeships and training. View courses at the Big Creative Academy.


If you are thinking of going to university but do not have the qualifications you can study a 1-year Access to Higher Education Diploma. Find approved Access to HE Diplomas courses.


Discretionary Learner Loans are available if you are aged 19 or over, on a further education course and facing financial hardship.

To apply for these, go through your learning provider.

The Waltham Forest English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Advice Service offers free sessions for residents who want to learn or improve their English. To book an appointment and find a free online language course, text, or WhatsApp your NAME + ‘ESOL advice’ to 07770 054 167.

Looking for something more casual, join one of our free English Conversation Clubs. Run by trained volunteers, our English Conversation Clubs let you practice speaking English in an informal, relaxed environment.