Welcome to Access Southampton

Upcoming free courses from the Employment Support Team

We’re funded by Southampton City Council’s Skills and Community Learning Team to run adult learning courses for people in the city. See below for details of our upcoming courses and how to book on.

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Current Courses

Why our courses?

  • We’re completely person-centred and meet every learner before the workshop so we can make sure we meet their needs
  • We have a relaxed, fun learning environment
  • No exams or course work – we give learners the skills and confidence they need to achieve their goals
  • Our team has over 30 years’ experience of supporting people into employment

Adult Learning Eligibility Criteria

  • Aged 19+
  • Living in or around Southampton
  • UK national or other person with a right of abode who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least the previous 3 years on the first day of learning
  • Please visit GOV.UK for more details relating to eligibility

Access Art

We’re working with Southampton City Art Gallery to run art-based wellbeing and employability workshops.

These workshops are an opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills and build your confidence. The workshops will take place at Southampton City Art Gallery, Commercial Road, SO14 7LY and will support you with:

  • Confidence building
  • Using initiative
  • Working alongside others
  • Starting conversations
  • Getting to know others
  • Motivation
  • Trying new things
  • Stepping out of your comfort zone

The workshops are completely free, and all materials, plus tea, coffee and biscuits are provided.

Click the buttons below to book onto a workshop


Fully funded Employability Course to equip you with the skills and confidence needed to find work.

Click the dates below to book:

This course is suitable for anyone looking for employment, whether you’ve been out of work for a while, are looking for your first job, or have recently lost your job or are considering a career change.

This course is pre-entry level – there is no formal qualification and acts as an introduction to accredited employability courses.

Please note, you will need to attend all 3 days of the course

What do we cover?

  • Setting goals and improving confidence around looking for work
  • By the end of the training, all learners will have written/updated a CV and Covering Letter
  • Preparing for interviews, including virtual/online/telephone interviews
  • How to stand out in a crowded job market

Bodyswaps – Virtual Reality Interview Preparation

Southampton City Council is working with Bodyswaps to use a combination of Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence to support people to master job interviews.

We’re giving people the opportunity to use our Virtual Reality headsets to develop their interview techniques and build confidence.

Click below to book a 1 hour session:

  1. Discover a three-step strategy for preparing yourself for character-related questions in a job interview
  2. Practise techniques for managing anxiety and banishing self-critical thoughts before an interview 
  3. Identify your non-negotiables and character strengths
  4. Learn how to advocate for what you need to land that job on your own terms 
  5. Practise analysing interview questions (including curveballs) to identify what the interviewer is looking for
  6. Discover a failsafe three-step strategy for answering behavioural questions in a job interview
  7. Craft winning answers using the C.A.R. (Context, Action, Result) technique
  8. Practise your verbal and non-verbal communication skills when delivering responses in an interview

Find out more about Bodyswaps:
Bodyswaps Job Interview Simulator – Practise job interviews with VR & AI

Introduction to IT

Free Introduction to IT course for people who are looking for work but don’t feel confident using computers to do this.

The course runs on Thursdays for 5 weeks. Click the dates below to book:

This course is aimed at learners with very basic IT skills who want to develop their skills around using computers to look for work.

The course will cover:

  • The basics of using a computer
  • How to use email
  • How to search for jobs online
  • How to stay safe online

Introduction to Self-Employment

A free 2 hour Introduction to Self-Employment Workshop for people taking the first steps towards becoming self-employed and setting up a business.

Click the dates below to book:

This session is intended to help learners find out whether going self-employed and starting their own business is right for them. At the end of the course, learners will have the opportunity to get ongoing support from our team, or will be signposted to other support available to them.

The session will aim to:

  • Teach learners the basics of becoming self-employed
  • Cover the main things to consider before starting a business
  • Support learners to identify their business idea’s unique selling point
  • Learn the key points of writing a business plan
  • Support learners to find ongoing support and training to move towards their goals

Exploring Confidence

We’re running a 3 day course exploring confidence and the barriers to it.

Click below to book:

This course will break down:

  • How our patterns of thought can influence our levels of confidence.
  • What actions we can take in relation to personal development.
  • Taking ownership to ensure that a lasting confidence is created.
  • Using your confidence in relation to work/employment.

This activity is supported by Southampton City Council and the Education & Skills Funding Agency

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