Learn a new life skill for free!

Ever found yourself listlessly flicking through the TV channels in search of some inspiration? Put the remote down, get up and go try something new. You are only ever an Internet search away from your next adventure...

Tune in to YouTube

From cooking tips and art classes, to make-up advice and music lessons, practice a new skill from the comfort of your own home using YouTube tutorials. There’s a massive range of vids: football fans could up their game by trying the Freekickerz channel; Italian-American chef Laura Vitale shares a huge range of cooking tutorials suitable for beginners and more advanced cooks; or, if you’re feeling crafty, The Craft Channel is packed with tutorials to get you making-and-doing, from geometric potato printing to origami gift bags.

Learn locally

Many creative skills, including painting, writing and sewing, are taught for free through events at local libraries, community centres and independent cafes. Next time you’re visiting, ask about sessions taking place, or look out for flyers and posters.

If you’re an active member of your local community, or have a pool of talented friends, why not arrange regular skill-swap sessions? Take it in turns to teach each other brand new skills (you’ll be amazed by the knowledge your mates have got up their sleeves). If you don’t already know a group of like-minded learners, try Meetup, a site and app designed to bring people with shared passions and skills together.

Get practical

Practical skills are brilliant for developing confidence and improving your everyday life. From free cycle skills courses in Londonto DIY and decorating classes for council tenants and leaseholders (check if your local council offers short courses), learning practical skills can be just as much fun as the creative stuff. 

Take free online courses

If you’d love to advance your education, but tuition fees are out of the question, check out the lifelong learning opportunities online. The Open University offers a range of free courses and Future Learn (also owned by the Open University) has further online programmes run in partnership with universities around the world.

Work-based learning

Depending on your job, there may be training opportunities you can access for free. Work-based schemes and mentoring are available at many UK companies - even if you’re not aware of them, they may exist! Speak to your manager or HR department about any opportunities available. If you’re looking for work, or want to change career, Alison provides over 1,000 free online courses in workplace skills.

Learn a new language

Whether your Spanish holidays leave you tongue-tied, or you love the idea of being able to hob-nob in Japanese, learning a new language gives your brain a brilliant workout. Consider a free app to get you started: Duolingo is one of the world’s most popular resources, and busuu, a social network for language-learners, offers a free level of membership.

The possibilities to up your skills just got even bigger.