Online training support

If you’re a furloughed worker, or have lost your job as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) and want to develop your skills to help you look for work, free online training is available.

Open University courses

The Department for the Economy has partnered with the Open University to offer a range of free training to help you improve your skills and wellbeing.

The Open University offers a wide range of online courses. View The Open University full catalogue for ideas.

The following key areas of learning are particularly relevant and widely applicable at this time.

Digital skills

Employability

Essential skills (English and maths)

Universities and Further Education colleges

Northern Ireland has three universities, two university colleges, six further education colleges and an agri-food and land based college, all of which offer opportunities to study for and attain various higher education qualifications. Find out what courses are available online by visiting their websites.

Careers online support

A range of interactive tools are available to help you find out more about your career options, based on your skills, interests and values. The career matching tools give you suggestions based on what you like and/or what you’re good at.

The Career A to Z tool has lots of information about employment, education and training options, to help you learn more about careers you're interested in.

Other online courses

AbilityNet helps people of any age and with any disability to use technology to achieve their goals at home, at work and in education.

Alison is a free learning platform for education and skills training. It is a not-for-profit social enterprise dedicated to making it possible for anyone, to study anything, anywhere, at any time, for free online, at any subject level.

AWS Training & Certification is free to register and offers over 500 free courses to build AWS Cloud Skills.

BBC Skillswise offers a collection of free videos and downloadable worksheets to help adult learners improve their reading, writing and numeracy skills.

BT Skills for Tomorrow offers a wide range of free resources anyone can use to help them stay safe, connected an informed online.

Business Model Canvas helps you develop business direction, appraisals and create new value propositions and business direction

Carnegie Trust in partnership with CILIP Library association offer online development materials on leadership and innovation, including on transformation, creativity and innovation, influencing skills and power.

Google Digital Garage offers over 40 hours’ worth of training to get the digital skills you need to start your career or grow your business.

Invest NI offers a wide range of tools and business tutorials to support improvements in business processes and growth.

Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom, offering mathematics, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more.

Learn My Way is a website of free online courses, built by Good Things Foundation to help people develop their digital skills.

Training Matchmaker offers a range of free short courses, based online or across Northern Ireland, in a wide range of technical and vocational areas,

Class Central offers several thousand free online courses that have been developed by a number of top universities from across the globe, including in ICT and business.

Coursera  brings together courses and certificates provided online for free by a variety of universities and companies. The main focus is on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with additional material in other areas also available.

Oxford Home Study College offers a range of fully certified provision including cyber security, digital marketing, life-coaching and planning.

UK Learns is a new online learning platform, offering a wide range of largely free, certified courses, which have been identified with employers as relevant for future employment.  

Help and advice

If you need any help deciding on which course is right for you, contact a careers adviser who can discuss your specific needs and circumstances, offering one to one advice and guidance.

If you live in England, Scotland and Wales

This advice and guidance is for people living in Northern Ireland. If you live in other parts of the UK, visit:

Useful links

Disclaimer: This page provides links to other websites which are not under the control of nidirect. The nature, content and availability of the courses or content available on these sites may vary, and the inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the content or views expressed within them.

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.