Adult Skills and Community Learning


It's thought that one in five adults lack the basic digital skills they need for everyday life and work. To fill this gap, our Essential Digital Skills for work and life course will help you to develop these.

This course is for those who lack secure digital skills, but do have some experience of using the internet.

You'll develop your knowledge in five key skill areas as per the DfE’s National Essential Digital Skills standards. These are:

  • Communicating
  • Using devices and handling information
  • Transacting, creating and editing
  • Problem solving
  • Being safe and legal online

During the course there's lots of hands on activities where you'll do real time and simulated tasks. This is especially when you're learning about online transactions, to help build your confidence.

This course will enable you to:

Develop essential digital skills for work, life and study.

  • Know how to manage your online identity (your digital footprint).
  • Develop transacting skills for work and life.
  • Use online services and manage your account settings.
  • Compare online buying options for an item or service and choose the best one.

Create, edit and process numerical data.

  • Know and understand layouts and styles for type of document.
  • Be familiar with a range of formatting and layout features for things such as text, tables, images and charts. You'll also sort data, use simple filters and complete calculations.
  • Know the terms and concepts for image editing, adding data to a worksheet, formatting, cell borders and data types.
  • Know how to create and format charts from data. This includes bar charts, pie charts and line graphs. You'll learn how to add titles, axis labels, data labels and legends.

Share content and communicate using digital devices.

  • Know how to check for operating system (OS) and application updates. Be able to choose how and when an OS is updated.
  • Know and understand folder structures and file details. This includes things like meta data and tagging. Know how to access data across devices and the limits on file sizes when using some services.
  • Understand how to solve common technical issues.
  • Know how to use help facilities, online forums and tutorials.

Be safe, confident and responsible online.

  • Understand how to protect and control the use of your personal information.
  • Know how to protect devices and data from online risks and threats.
  • Set up and use multi factor authentication to access and use online services.
  • Know how to backup data locally and using a cloud provider.
  • Use appropriate language and behaviour online.
    Apply simple methods to avoid health risks while using devices.

You'll also develop other skills for life and work:

  • Working as part of a team, sharing ideas and motivating peers to complete a task.
  • Have a positive attitude to plan your own work and complete it within a time frame.
  • Be a good listener and follow instructions accurately.
  • Be able to adapt the way you work when things change or you need to change tasks quickly.
  • Be resilient and be able to stick with a task, even if things don’t go to plan. You'll be able to learn from setbacks.
  • Develop your literacy and numeracy skills.

Course delivery 

  • Two 3-hour sessions per week for nine weeks.
  • Learning takes place face to face. You should also practice your skills away from the classroom and complete some online sessions. (This will depend on your ability and if you have access to a device with internet access.)
  • At least 30 minutes of tasks to complete after each session.
  • Via Teams for Education. This is an online tool where you will access resources, take part in discussions and submit work.
  • Tutor support via Teams messaging.
  • This is a nationally accredited course and you'll need to do an assessment at the end. The certification is Essential Digital Skills at Entry 3.

What you need

  • Access to a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or computer with internet. (This is desirable but not essential).
  • A folder, paper or notebook, and a pen.
  • Time - at least one hour a week to complete the tasks set during each session.
  • To attend all sessions.

Entry requirements

You should have already completed the following courses with us:

  • Information, advice and guidance with an assessment on the BKSB software.
  • Either:
    • Setting up Office 365
    • Getting started with digital skills
    • Essential Digital Skills Entry 3

The level you study will depend on your initial assessment results. 

Course fees

This course is free to all learners over 19 years old who have no or low digital skills.

How to apply


  • Introduction to Business Admin Entry 3
  • Certificate in the Introduction of Customer Service Level 1
  • Microsoft applications Level 1

What our learners say

  • Digital skills are needed in every day life nowadays. I've avoided technology for so long and taking this course has given me the confidence to do things online.
    Adult learner
  • I had never used Excel before and now I can do the basics, which is what my level of course covers. I’ve also learnt about saving files in OneDrive and working in Office 365.
    Adult learner