Training to improve your CV

This information applies to England and Wales.

Training can boost your skills and make you more employable. Listing recent training on your CV can give a positive impression to recruiters, particularly if you have little work experience.

What training is right for you

You should think about:

  • your skills and experience, such as GCSEs, A-levels, vocational training, work experience
  • the skills, knowledge or training you need to get the kind of job you want
  • whether you can find free training or online courses

Free online courses on FutureLearn

Free business events on Eventbrite

Training can help you to get specific roles. More general training can help you to get a broader range of jobs. For example, courses on presentation skills or time management can make you more employable.

It may help to make a list of what you’re good at. People who know you well could help you to do this. Or you could use jobs skills tests to help you identify your skills.

National Careers Service Skills Health Check

Finding jobs that interest you

You can search for roles and the skills needed on the National Careers Service’s job profiles page.

Use these profiles to see if you need additional skills or qualifications to do the job you want.

Types of training

If you’re working, you could ask if your employer could pay for all or some of your equipment and training.

If you’re a student, you may be able to get Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) to cover some of the extra study-related costs.

Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)

Short or day training courses

Short or day courses can enhance your CV. These could include learning to use software or developing presentation skills.  

To find short or day courses, you could:

  • try a general search online
  • contact charities in your area
  • look for adult learning where you live
  • see what’s offered by local colleges and universities

Ask your work coach about what help you can apply for. If you do not have a work coach, contact your local Jobcentre Plus.

Academic courses

Academic qualifications include GCSEs, A-levels and degrees. Some employers will ask for qualifications in specific subjects.

Search for colleges that can meet your specific needs (Natspec)

Vocational courses

These tend to focus on practical skills that you will need in a specific role or field. Examples of vocational courses include IT, construction, catering, hairdressing and hospitality.

Search for vocational courses (City and Guilds)

Apprenticeship schemes

Sometimes learning on the job is the best way to learn new skills. Apprenticeships are a mix of work and study. They combine training at work with classroom or home learning.

At the end of your apprenticeship you will receive a recognised qualification. The qualifications can range from diplomas up to degree level depending on the apprenticeship. You can search through the qualifications on offer by selecting the apprenticeship level you would like to consider.

There are 4 levels of apprenticeships:

  • intermediate
  • advanced
  • higher
  • or degree

Find an apprenticeship (GOV.UK)

Apprenticeships (Get My First Job)

Amazing Apprenticeships (Disability Rights UK)


A traineeship is a course with work experience for people aged 16 to 24. You can get help with English and Maths if you need it. You will not be paid but you might get expenses.

Find a traineeship (GOV.UK)

Access to Higher Education Diploma

A qualification for people who want to go to university, but who do not have traditional qualifications like GCSEs or A-levels.

Search for courses (Access to Higher Education)


Volunteering can be a good way to learn skills and get experience without having to pay for training.

Volunteering to develop your skills for work

Financial support for students aged 16 to 19

You could get a bursary to help with educational costs if you’re studying at a publicly funded school or college. You can also get a bursary if you’re on an unpaid training course or doing work experience.

16 to 19 Bursary Fund (GOV.UK)

Last reviewed by Scope on: 20/09/2023

Was this page helpful?

We're sorry to hear that.

Tell us how we can improve it

Need more help finding work?

Opens in a new windowOpens an external siteOpens an external site in a new window