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Learning and upskilling

Get help with your career

Last updated: 21 February 2022

It's vital to develop your skills in an ever changing job market so you're able to meet new demands and challenges. It can keep you current and motivated, whether you're starting a basic skills course or studying towards a specialist subject. The investment will pay off in many ways, from landing a job, upgrading your CV, or simply adding to your knowledge.

Courses through Adult Learning Service

Our Adult Learning Service provides learning and training opportunities for adults.

We're committed to engaging local people in lifelong learning by working with partners, boosting participation and offering 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. View the prospectus, search for courses and fin out about offers and discounts, on the Adult Learning Service website.

Free online courses

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 providers below:

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

Linked in learning: is working with Microsoft to offer learning paths and resources to help the unemployed reskill to prepare for in-demand and stable jobs. The focus is on the digital skills needed to pursue the jobs of today and tomorrow. There are 10 career specific learning pathways and four soft skills pathways available, as well as many other courses. 

Digital and IT support

If you feel you or someone you know needs help to use the internet, then you are not alone. One in nine people in our borough lack internet access, or don't know how to use it.

Having good IT skills and being confident with using the internet and new technology can help you to get a job. More than 80% of all job openings online require at least basic digital skills, such as Microsoft Word or Excel.

Returning to education

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

Adult learning service 

We deliver learning and training opportunities for adults through our Adult Learning Service. For details of the prospectus, to search for courses and to find out about offers and discounts, see our Adult Learning Service website.

Waltham Forest College

Waltham Forest College runs 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 in Walthamstow is the largest creative college in London. It is part of Big Creative Education which also provides creative-focused apprenticeships and training. See courses at the Big Creative Academy.

University

If you're thinking of going to university, but lack the qualifications, you can study a 1-year Access to Higher Education Diploma. Find approved Access to HE Diplomas courses.

Loans

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

To apply for these, go through your learning provider.

Help with English for speakers of other language

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.

If you're after something more casual, join one of our free English Conversation Clubs. Run by trained volunteers, they let you practice speaking English in an informal, relaxed environment.