Essential Skills

Do you want to improve your reading, writing, maths or ICT skills, or know someone who needs help with these essential skills? If you are over the age of 16 an Essential Skills course may help you to get on at home, work or in life.

Benefits of doing an Essential Skills course

An Essential Skills course will help you to improve your:

  • reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • working with numbers
  • use of computers and technology

All Essential Skills courses are free. You can do them in a college, at work or with a community organisation at different times of the day. The classes are small and informal. Crèche facilities may also be available.

You will be able to:

  • learn at your own pace
  • practise how to use the skills you learn in everyday situations
  • gain qualifications that employers will recognise

Why Essential Skills are important

Essential Skills courses can be really life changing. They have helped people to:

  • read a newspaper for the first time to find out what is happening in their community
  • fill in an application form and get a job as a result
  • read notes from their children’s school
  • help their children with their homework for the first time
  • use the internet to keep in touch with family and friends

Find an Essential Skills course

If you would like information on how to improve your ability to read, write, use mathematics and improve your computer skills, or have a friend or family member who would like help, the first step is to find an Essential Skill Course.

Essential Skills courses are delivered by further education colleges, both in their main campuses and in venues throughout the community. To find out when and where your nearest class is, contact the further education college in your area.

The information advisor will then work with you on the best available options. With such a variety of courses available in Northern Ireland there is something to suit everyone.

Share this page


Your comments are anonymous and can’t be responded to - if you would like a reply, use the feedback form.

Your comments
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum. Don't include personal or financial information.