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Work, learning and volunteering

In this section you will find information and services that can help you learn new skills, help to find employment and where you can access free computers and the support you need to use them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I access free WiFi in Sunderland?

Free public Wi-Fi has now been installed as part of the Smart City programme into a number of public spaces.  These are the locations delivering free Ultrafast public WiFi;

  • High St West
  • Keel Square
  • St Mary’s Boulevard
  • Hedworth Court Community Room
  • Dock St Tower Community Room
  • Hudson Road Parent WiFi – available in reception and the Community Room
  • Roker to Seaburn Seafront

There is also free wifi in Sunderland public libraries and Customer service centres.  For details on the locations and how to access them can be found on the Council’s WIFI, internet and public access web page.

BT provide information about where to find Wi-Fi hotspots in Sunderland and how to login.  These hotspots are free for existing BT broadband customers, however there are pay as you go options, further details can be found on the BT Wi-Fi website.

Where can I get help finding a job?

Finding and applying for jobs can be hard but if you had the skills to search and apply online it can make the process easier and offer more opportunities. Please look at our list of services in the Employment support section.

You can do a search for jobs online with recruitment agencies, or you can find more information about searching for a job on the GOV.UK job search website. 

If you struggle with filling in online forms, banking, Universal Credit and health appointments, our Sunderland Libraries Services are working in partnership with Sunderland Social Inclusion and Dyslexia Project (SID) to make the Council IT facilities more accessible by installing Google Chrome. 

If you are looking to for your local JobCentre Plus, you can find more details on the GOV.UK website.

Sunderland College run a course to help get you ready for employment.  You can find more information on the Sunderland College Get ready for employment web page.

There is also free training available on the Learn My Way wbesite called Finding a job online, they also offer free online training in a range of other subjects. 

If you have a disability and are looking for a job, you can find out more information on the GOV.UK Looking for work if you're disabled web page.

Can Sunderland City Council help me find courses near me?

Sunderland City Council Learning and Skills Team access the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) - Adult Education Budget and European Social Fund to offer Family, Adult and Community Learning across Sunderland.

There are a wide range of learning opportunities available across the City. Courses are available to support developing maths and English, family learning courses, preparation for work and life, digital skills and more. Please take a look through the prospectus and contact the relevant training provider to get the latest information on courses and availability.

Where can I access local courses and training?

There are a variety of courses available in Sunderland to help develop your skills.  Please look at our list of services in the Local courses and training section.

There are also a number of online training wesbites that contain a range of online courses, tools, and games that will help develop your digital skills:

Learn My Way – is a free online website offering a variety of courses designed to help you develop digital skills and make the most of the online world through informal and formal learning.  Click on the link Learn My Way to register so you can start learning straight away!

Sunderland Social Inclusion and Dyslexia Project (SID)
Sunderland Libraries Service is working in partnership with Sunderland Social Inclusion and Dyslexia Project to make the Council IT facilities more accessible. 

They have installed Google Chrome on all Council Public Access computers to help if you struggle with filling online forms, banking, health appointments and Universal Credit. 

If you are a member of the library you can set up a personalised account with preferences tailored to your individual needs.  When your account has been set up you will then be able, using headphones, to have the screen content read to you as well as being able to dictate text. 

Where can I use free computers in Sunderland?

There are public access computers at a number of venues across Sunderland including libraries, customer service centres and community centres.

How can I be safe when I am online?

It is important to remain vigilant and safe whilst online but it is also important to know how to protect yourself, your family and mobile devices.

Details about accessing free practical advice on how to stay safe online can be found on the Get Safe Online website.

How can I become a volunteer?

If you like helping others you may be interested in volunteering.  Whether it's in a club or at an event taking place in Sunderland, it's a great opportunity to gain experience and be part of a team.

Age UK Sunderland are looking for volunteers for their Keeping in Touch service -
his service offers companionship and support to older people across the City, view this video about Betty to see how volunteering really makes a difference to people's lives.  

The Friendly Faces home visiting service provides volunteers who make regular social visits, offering company and a friendly chat to older people who live alone, are housebound and have days when they see no one.  For those who prefer to chat without someone in their home, their Telephone Service offers a regular call to look forward to, building friendships and helping to alleviate loneliness.

If you would like to become a befriending volunteer and can spare an hour or two each week, Age UK Sunderland would love to hear from you, please contact them on 0191 514 8324 or 0191 5141131 or email

You can also find more information on the Council’s Volunteering web page. 

Where can I go to improve my English language skills?

Please go to ESOL for a list of English classes in Sunderland.

Being able to understand and speak English to a good level is a useful skill to have to help you socialise and become more independent while you settle into life in the UK. It will also become very important when you apply for jobs.

Whatever your level of English, there are plenty of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes in Sunderland that you can join to help you improve your English language skills.

The Sunderland ESOL Network has developed a directory of classes to support you through your journey to learning English.

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