Essential skills

We offer a range of essential skills courses throughout Northamptonshire that can lead to a qualification and help increase employability.

What we offer

Select the categories below to view the essential skills courses we currently offer and how to book onto them.

ESOL courses are for people whose first language is not English. An ESOL course can improve your English fluency, confidence in English speaking and help increase your employability.

Courses take place throughout Northamptonshire and are delivered by specialist language tutors.

These courses consist of three units:

  • Speaking and Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing

Each course is delivered through two 2 hour sessions per week and typically last 15 weeks.

ESOL courses are free for learners that are unemployed and in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit. Or if you are employed and earn below £17,004.00 per year.

Learners who earn over that amount are still welcome to attend the course, but will be expected to make a financial contribution for each unit which you can pay as you go.

How to book

You can book a place on one of our courses via our online booking system or by calling us on 01604 367119.

You can also register your interest by adding yourself to a waiting list for these courses. Visit our register your interest page, choose 'add to waiting list' and we will contact you once future courses become available.

At your first session we will ask you to do some reading and writing to find out your level and give you advice about the best class for you. Please remember to bring:

  • Photo ID such as a passport or driver’s licence
  • Evidence of any current benefit you receive
  • Proof of income if you are employed and earn below £17,004.00 per annum (this could be a wage slip from the past 3 months, or a current employment contract which states gross monthly or annual wages.)

Please note: Learners who do not qualify for a free place will need to make a financial contribution for each unit. This will not be charged before or at the first session. Payment will be collected after week 4 of the course, and this can be arranged to be paid in 2 instalments.

Our certificated First Aid and Food Safety courses are a good opportunity for learners to achieve a qualification, progress on to further learning opportunities and improve your skills in the workplace.

We currently offer the following courses:

  • Emergency First Aid at work (Level 3)
    • An introduction to First Aid for the general public and volunteers, as well as those who may act as an Emergency First Aider at work. These courses are typically 8 hours and include practical exercise, with dummies and a defibrillation. No previous qualification is necessary.
  • Food Safety (Level 2)
    • Achieve a nationally recognised level 2 certificate in Food Safety and Hygiene. Learn about food handling, preparation and storage in ways that prevent food-borne illness. The certificate is for anyone who works, or is planning to work with food preparation, handling or selling, to ensure safeguarding the health of consumers.
  • Emergency Paediatric First Aid (Level 3)
    • Includes information and practical exercises helpful for any adult with responsibility for children. This certificated course is taught in a group of no more than over 7 hours, is for professional child carers, or anyone who regularly deals with children under 8 years old.

How to book

If you’re interested in any of the courses above, please email One of our advisors will respond to you with information about the latest courses.

Functional Skills courses are free courses that give you the opportunity to gain a qualification up to level 2 for English and Maths, and up to level 1 in ICT.

The courses are taught at several locations within Northamptonshire, are certificated and taught over 24 weeks.

How to book

You can register your interest in functional skills courses by adding yourself to a waiting list on our website. Simply visit our register your interest page and choose 'add to waiting list'. Once you have signed up we will contact you whenever future courses are available to book.

You can also contact for further information about any of our functional skills courses.

​Essential Skills Facebook Group

Join the Essential Skills Facebook Group for the latest information and updates.