18th May 2012
Learning new skills is key to achievement
Essential skills are key to economic growth and personal achievement, according to the Department of Employment and Learning.
Speaking as this year’s Adult Learners’ Week wraps up today, Minister Dr Stephen Farry highlighted the importance of essential skills for the economy.
The event has raised the profile of the free literacy, numeracy and ICT training on offer to adults through DEL.
He said: “Strong essential skills help people fulfil their potential, achieve their goals and take advantage of life’s opportunities.
“To date, almost 118,000 learners have gained qualifications through my Department’s free Essential Skills provision. Many of these learners are already in employment, and essential skills training is helping to enhance their workplace skills which are necessary for both economic growth and personal progression.
“Through Essential Skills provision my Department is playing a key role in raising the skills of the workforce to ensure businesses have the people they need both now and in the future.”
One such learner is Ian Watson, winner of the ICT category at the recent Essential Skills Awards at Hillsborough Castle. Ian returned to education after being made redundant from his long term job.
He took this as an opportunity to improve his skills and embark on a new career path and completed three essential skills qualifications at Level 2 in ICT, numeracy and literacy and also his framework for City and Guilds Level 2 in engineering.
As a full time employed husband and father, he was able to successfully apply his new skills within his workplace at Kerry Foods, and at home helping his family with school work. He is currently doing his Level 3 qualification in engineering and hopes to progress further in the field of engineering.
Ian said: “Going back to education has given me hope for the future and opened up new job prospects.”