1,130,000 learners have achieved their first Skills for Life qualification
More than one million adults receiving free training under the Government’s Skills for Life programme have now gained their first national qualification in Maths or English since its launch in 2001.
Speaking to the NRDC Skills for Life conference in York on the 1st of November, Ruth Kelly said:
“Before the Skills for Life strategy was launched in 2001, there was no adult skills curriculum, no national standards and little awareness of the basic skills issue. There was a stigma around admitting problems in literacy and numeracy and many people – employees, jobseekers, offenders – were often left to fend for themselves.
“We introduced the Get On campaign – featuring the now well-known Gremlin characters – which has broken down those barriers and which research now shows is one of the most well-known Government campaigns ever produced.
“By last year, we met and exceeded the target to help 750,000 learners achieve their first Skills for Life qualification. I am now pleased to announce that we have passed the 2005 milestone of helping 1 million learners achieve this – a total of 1,130,000 learners.
“5.2 million adults in England have literacy levels below that expected of an 11 year old. Since the launch of Skills for Life, nearly 4 million learners have taken up Skills for Life learning opportunities, helping them get on at home and at work and helping us tackle a problem that has long held us back as a nation.”
Ruth Kelly paid tribute to the teachers, trainers and tutors who have helped the Government reach the milestone:
“Everyone in the adult skills sector should feel immensely proud. Not only has a target been met but four years of hard work on Skills for Life is really bearing fruit and having a positive effect on the lives of learners. The difference being made to people across the country is a real one and an enduring one.”
Skills for Life courses are funded by the Learning and Skills Council. Director of Skills David Way said:
“Helping adults to improve their basic skills can have a major impact on their daily lives – enabling them to achieve things they may never have thought possible. It is also a major issue for businesses who need employees able to communicate confidently and effectively.
“Any reservations that people have about improving their reading and writing can be quickly overcome by supportive tutors, supervisors or Union representatives. We would encourage all those who want to improve their literacy, numeracy and language skills to take up the free learning opportunities available to them.”