General skills
What is it?     What you need     Getting started     Find out more


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What is it?

  • General skills courses help you to improve your abilities in areas like reading and literacy, numeracy, computing, self presentation and personal relations, elocution and public speaking.  

  • These skills will help you in all aspects of daily life.  Other courses of relevance are covered under vocational study, health and exercise groups, and computing as a hobby.  

  •  There is instruction available for complete beginners and for those with some knowledge already. 

  • You can learn in your own time, take a quick day or weekend course, or commit yourself to a longer programme of study.

Find out more


See the organisations listed under Learning.


See the magazines listed under Learning.

Getting started

  • Find a local group or club that is concerned with the type of skill that interests you (see organisations above).

  • Take a class or course at your local adult education centre.  See if your local group offers introductory sessions or events.  Check magazines or the Internet for distance learning possibilities and general skills study weekends or holidays.

  • Consult books or magazines on different types of general skills.

  • Check in your local library/paper or education centre for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • You can learn these general skills at any age and no special abilities are required. 

  • You can study most general skills at home on your own, but you may prefer to learn with a tutor and/or a group of people. 

  • There are many systems of distance learning (mail order, radio, TV and Internet based), as well as help from tutors in the home, and  short and longer local classes. 

Equipment or clothing
  • You will probably need some books  and tapes, though it is possible to learn just from an individual or group tutor, or from radio and TV programmes.  

  • Those studying computer skills will need access to a computer of some kind, though this should be provided at the course you attend.

A place or facilities
  • No special facilities are needed for learning general skills at home. 

  • Local groups usually meet in schools and adult education centres.

Have a go - get started now


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