Ways to develop your skills

There are lots of ways to develop your skills for work. Not all of them take place on a training course or in a classroom. You could develop the soft skills needed for most jobs as well as find ways to pick up skills for a future career.


Volunteering can help you to develop new skills and get useful work experience. It's also a good way to support your community and help others.

You can find out more about volunteering from:

The National Council of Volunteer Organisations (NCVO) can give you information about voluntary groups and charities in your area. You could also try organisations like Citizens Advice.

Teach yourself

You can learn new skills and knowledge on your own. You could:

  • use teach yourself style books and CDs
  • listen to podcasts from professional organisations
  • watch videos online
  • join online communities for specific skills like cookery, arts and crafts or motor vehicle maintenance
  • watch educational TV and radio programmes
  • download skills apps on your mobile or tablet

Virtual work experience

You can use sites like Accenture's Skills to Succeed Academy or Barclays Lifeskills to develop skills to deal with situations in the workplace, without having to go out on a placement. You can also search online for other companies that offer 'virtual' work experience schemes. There are City law firms and finance organisations offering virtual schemes. There may be companies in other sectors too, so it's worth checking company and careers websites.

Find an online course

Use The Skills Toolkit to access free, high quality courses to help you build up your skills.

Explore free online courses

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Speak to an adviser

Call 0800 100 900 or use webchat

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  • 10am - 5pm Saturday