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Further Information and Links



  • Basic Skills Agency (BSA) – www.basic-skills.co.uk
    The BSA is the national development organisation for literacy and numeracy. It is an independent organisation that produces teaching and learning materials.
  •  Learning and Skills Council (LSC) – www.lsc.gov.uk
    Responsible for funding and planning education and training for over-16-year-olds in England. The delivery of basic skills in colleges, training organisations, workplace and community setting is funded by the Learning and Skills Council at regional and national level.
  • Union Learning Organisation – www.unionlearn.org.uk
    Trade union organisations take an active role in providing learning opportunities in the workplace, especially in Skills for Life (literacy, language and numeracy). Union learning representatives are trained to recognise needs and to encourage both employers and employees to take advantage of funding that is available through the Union Learning Funds and the LSC.
  • Rail Union Learning Programme (RULP) – www.rul.org.uk
    RULP works within the rail industry, providing innovative projects, programmes and campaigns to encourage members to improve their skills. 
  • www.toolslibrary.co.uk
    The Skills for Life Strategy Unit has developed a suite of Screening and initial Assessment Tools to identify more effectively people with possible basic skills needs.
  • www.dfes.gov.uk/readwriteplus
    The web site is intended to be the main source of information and advice on all aspects of implementing Skills for Life.
  • www.direct.gov.uk/EducationAndLearning/AdultLearning/ImprovingYourSkills/fs/en
    The site advertises programmes for improving basic skills, including a free helpline number, information on learning computer and IT skills and courses in English for speakers of other languages (ESOL).
  • www.direct.gov.uk/EducationAndLearning/AdultLearning/ImprovingYourSkills/ImprovingYourSkillsArticles/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=10037433&chk=YXwtOG
    This site advertises the opportunity to improve reading, writing and number skills by learning with top football clubs through the 'Heading for Success' scheme. From Anfield to Old Trafford, top football clubs are offering the chance to boost basic skill levels - for free. All the learning is based on football. Exercises include writing match reports; reading commentary on matches; working out transfer fees; looking at league tables and points. One can start with a 'taster' course or work towards a full qualification. Anyone over 16 can join in, and the learning takes place either in the football club itself or in the club's learning centre.
  • www.dfes.gov.uk/readwriteplus/qualityandtraining
    The Skills for Life Strategy Unit is responsible for setting the strategy for improving the quality of teaching and learning in Skills for Life. The Unit also sets the strategy for the training and continuing professional development of Skills for Life teachers and tutors. The Unit works with a range of partners to deliver this agenda, including the Adult Learning Inspectorate, the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED), LLUK and the new Quality Improvement Agency for lifelong learning.
  • www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise
    This site includes factsheets, worksheets, quizzes and games to help improve skills.


  • Move On – www.move-on.org.uk
    Move On is a national project aimed at helping adults to brush up their skills and gain the National Certificate in Adult Literacy or Numeracy at Level 1 and Level 2.
  • City & Guilds – www.city-and-guilds.co.uk
    City & Guilds offers learners over 500 qualifications in 28 industry areas so that they can learn skills that will enable them to fulfil their career ambitions or enrich their leisure time. Qualifications are available at all levels from Entry upwards. 
  • OCR – www.ocr.org.uk
    This leading UK awarding body is dedicated to supporting education providers by offering respected qualifications and comprehensive support, including in basic skills.
  • Edexcel – www.edexcel.org.uk
    This awarding body provides a range of qualifications from Entry level upwards.
  • www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/workplace/
    This is the gateway to the 'Workplace Survival Kit'. There are many exercises directly related to work, such as proof-reading timesheets, calculating the amount of carpet needed for a room, etc.
  • www.basic-skills.org.uk
    This is the Skills for Life learner and practitioner qualifications web site of City & Guilds, a leading qualification authority for workplace skills. City & Guilds offers a range of qualifications contributing to the Government's Skills for Life strategy, including qualifications for both learners and practitioners. The learner qualifications are each assessed against the relevant national standards with content informed by the core curriculum. They enable candidates to get the literacy, numeracy, language and ICT skills they need for life and work. The qualifications range from Entry 1 to Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework.
  • www.nrdc.org.uk/projects_details.asp?ProjectID=2
    The National Research and Development Centre for adult literacy and numeracy has a project involving workplace basic skills.
  • www.literacytrust.org.uk/Database/Basic.html
    The National Literacy Trust runs a range of workplace literacy initiatives, often working with other agencies, such as the local NHS Trust, local firms and the LSCs to provide training for employees and to support employee development. Some courses were provided on site, some offsite. Examples include a modular programme including literacy, numeracy and communication skills, originally aimed at dustmen, cleaners and clerical staff in a local council; and basic skills at work classes in the form of: 'English and Maths for Work' and Careworkers Literacy' and 'Careworkers Note Taking', in partnership with Social Services.
  • www.dfes.gov.uk/readwriteplus/nosmapping/
    The Basic Skills Agency and the Department for Education and Skills, along with National Training Organisations, has mapped their occupational standards to the National Standards for Adult Literacy and Adult Numeracy. These maps are intended for use in training and development for all staff within each sector. The basic skills standards in these maps reflect the range of skills and knowledge required by workers to perform the occupational tasks. NVQ categories include: tending animals, plants and land; extracting and providing natural resources; construction; engineering; manufacturing; transporting; providing goods and services; providing health, social and protective services; providing business services; communicating; developing and extending knowledge and skill; and cross Sector Skills.
  • www.traintogain.gov.uk/newservice/
    Train to Gain is being rolled out nationally across England, having been developed from the Employer Training Pilots. In order to help businesses improve their productivity and competitiveness by ensuring that staff have got the right skills to do the best job, it offers: a free service to identify what skills a business needs now and in the future; help with choosing the most relevant training providers and courses; help with accessing financial support.
  • www.basic-skills.co.uk/site/page.php?cms=3&p=190
    ‘Workplace - The basic skills Brokerage model - The Basic Skills Brokerage model, based on a programme from the United States, aims to meet the basic skills training needs of individual workplaces by using trained and accredited ´brokers´ to liaise between employers and training providers’.
  • www.dfes.gov.uk/readwriteplus/workplace
    This page is aimed at employers. It points out that 'having staff that possess good literacy and numeracy skills is a crucial success factor for all businesses.' The page gives information on skills issues in the workplace and offers a number of sources of advice, guidance and support; free resources and materials for use in the workplace available in an employer toolkit; a freephone number for free advice on tackling literacy and numeracy in the workplace or to arrange a visit from a workplace skills adviser; and links to business-focused organisations who can help develop the skills and productivity of the workforce.
  • www.basic-skills.co.uk/site/page.php?cms=12
    The Better Teaching Partnership is a significant new initiative designed to provide advice and support to help improve the quality of adult basic skills provision. This includes colleges; LEA adult and community education services; major voluntary and community providers; prisons and probation services; adult training organisations, and workplace providers.


  • Department for Education and Skills (DfES) – www.dfes.gov.uk/readwriteplus
    The Skills for Life Strategy Unit within the DfES is responsible for the implementation of the national Skills for Life Strategy and ensuring that efforts to improve literacy, language and numeracy skills at national and local level are consistent and well coordinated.
  • Move On – www.move-on.org.uk
    Move On is a national project aimed at helping adults to brush up their skills and gain the National Certificate in Adult Literacy or Numeracy. The ‘gremlin’ campaign, on television and radio, has been very successful in recruiting learners in basic skills.
  • NIACE – www.niace.org.uk
    NIACE is the national, independent organisation for adult learning in England and Wales. A registered charity, NIACE both represents and advances the interests of all adult learners and potential learners – especially those who have benefited least from education and training.
  • learndirect – www.learndirect.co.uk
    learndirect is a national organisation offering hundreds of online distance learning courses as well as guidance and support for careers development. They offer a range of basic skills (Skills for Life) programmes to support learners with both everyday and workplace skills.
    Dissemination papers
  • Available from the Tribal CTAD Seasonal Update newsletter, and on the Tribal CTAD web site – www.ctad.co.uk
  • Basic Skills for Work
    Did you know that at least one in every four adults in Europe fails to reach minimum literacy levels for coping with everyday life and work? Are you interested in or involved with the planning or delivery of basic skills in the workplace? If so, then you will want to know more about the outcomes and materials from a pan-European project. Training materials and curricula for basic skills and communication skills for unskilled workers were developed for five sectors:
    • Hospital and care
    • Construction
    • Tourism and leisure
    • Cleaning
    • Railway transport.
    The 14 organisations in the project partnership included research institutions, social policy administrations, training institutions and those responsible for vocational guidance and qualifications.
    The overall objective of the project was to improve literacy and numeracy skills in the workplace where these problems are most urgent and to prevent unemployment. The curricula are available in more than one European language and will be available for free download from the project web site. To find out more, visit www.basic-skills-for-work.org.
    This project is funded within the European vocational education programme Leonardo da Vinci, Project Number A/04/B/F/PP-158.132
  • Leonardo Unit British Council
    10 Spring Gardens
    London SW1A 2BN
  • For Pilots, Language Competencies and Transnational Networks
    ECOTEC Research and Consulting Ltd
    12-26 Albert Street
    Birmingham B4 7UD
  • For Reference Materials and Joint Actions
    Department for Education and Skills/ Department for Work and Pensions
    Joint International Unit
    Caxton House
    6-12 Tothill Street
    London SW1H 9NA