Improve your CV with free online GCSE courses

Missing out on those vital school qualifications can be a serious obstacle to finding a decent job in a highly competitive market.It's not too late to learn though, and investigating the availability of free online GCSE courses could pay dividends.

Major employers like RBS, Sainsbury, British Gas and Virgin expect a certain level of academic attainment before they will consider candidates. Even at smaller companies, GCSE qualifications can make a substantial difference. Better-qualified employees might find they start on annual salaries that are £2000 or more higher than their colleagues without qualifications, and they will progress faster up the career ladder.

The best place to look is the Department of Education's site at direct.gov.uk and their Learning For Free programmes, which can point you in the right direction to find the course to suit you.

If you don’t already have GCSEs you may qualify for free tuition for qualifications that are the equivalent of a GCSE pass. You can study courses leading to a Level 2 qualification, which is the equivalent of 5 GCSE passes at grades from A* through to C. A Level 2 GCSE equivalent course can be modified to provide qualifications suitable for a range of specific jobs and careers.

Students who are under the age of 25 will also qualify for free tuition for a Level 3 qualification. A full Level 3 qualification is equivalent to 2 A Levels, and can lead to college or university courses.

In addition to GCSE equivalents, the government online learning service also offers NVQ or BTEC qualifications that can be linked to specific job requirements. The Next Step guide will help you find the rightcourse for your chosen career.

The BBC (bbc.co.uk) is also an invaluable source for anyone needing help with free online GCSE courses. Their schools page has a wealth of freely accessible ancillary material and course work. The BBC learning page offers online learning, support and advice in 26 subject areas, from Art and Design through to Sports and Fitness.


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