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Free courses and additional training for your employees

Free training, financial support and career advice available to your workforce.

Some of the benefits of your employees taking a free course or training outside of employment include:

  • upskilling your existing employees
  • progressing your current employees into higher skilled roles
  • filling vacancies or skill shortages within your business
  • gaining a workforce with the right knowledge, skills, and behaviours for your company to succeed

Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs)

Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) are a high-quality addition to technical training routes, alongside apprenticeships, traineeships, and degrees.

HTQs have been developed by employers and awarding bodies to help you upskill existing employees and provide a different recruitment pool to hire new talent.

You can support an employee to undertake an HTQ. The cost is dependent on the course and the provider.

They are:

  • new and existing Level 4 and 5 qualifications (such as Higher National Diplomas, Foundation Degrees, Diploma Higher Education)
  • approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, against employer-led occupational standards
  • classroom based and do not require an in-work placement

The first Digital HTQs will be available for teaching from 2022, leading to higher-level occupations like Network Engineer, Software Developer and Data Analyst.

Health and Science and Construction qualifications will be available for teaching from 2023, with a full roll-out of further industrial sectors over a four-year period.

30 second video

Offer a HTQ

Learn more and get started with HTQs.

Free training for basic skills (English, maths and digital)

Free English, maths, digital courses, and qualifications for adults.

English and maths entitlement

In England, any adult who does not already have a level 2 qualification (GCSE grade 4 or equivalent) in English or maths is legally entitled to fully funded study up to level 2. 

Your workforce gets the potential to progress, and your business increases its productivity.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Adults can be fully or part-funded to study for ESOL qualifications from entry-level to level 2.

ESOL improves English language skills which provides a clear return for individuals and the economy. 

Full-funding is available through the Adult Education Budget (AEB) if individuals:

  • are unemployed, looking for work and in receipt of certain benefits
  • in low-wage employment 

Some AEB-eligible learners can have up to 50% of the course cost paid for through a Government contribution.

In 9 Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs), AEB funding is allocated locally as well as in the Greater London Authority (GLA). Therefore, in these areas, eligibility may differ. 

Free digital training

Any adult with low digital skills is entitled to fully funded essential digital skills qualifications, at entry-level and level 1. These equip adults with the full range of essential digital skills needed for life, work, and further study. 

Funding for other digital skills qualifications may also be available but this will depend on local training providers.

Find out more about free training courses at skills for life.

Free level 3 qualifications for adults

Any adult aged 19 or over who does not already have a level 3 qualification (equivalent to A levels or an advanced technical diploma) can choose from over 400 free level 3 courses to help them boost their earnings or get a better job.

These qualifications are also available to adults who are unemployed or earning below the National Living Wage annually (£18,525 from April 2022), even if they already have a level 3 qualification or higher.

The qualification list has been developed with input from industry representatives to deliver the skills your business needs.

You or your employees can find out more at: Free Courses for Jobs

National Careers Service

The National Careers Service is free to use and can help you explore work and skill opportunities for your workforce.

Find out more about the National Careers Service and how to contact them.