NPTC Group of Colleges, in collaboration with Coleg Cambria, Coleg Gwent and Adult Learning Wales, is working in partnership with the Open University Wales to launch a new package of online courses in everyday maths and English skills.
These courses are designed to give students the skills they need to go alongside other further education courses, improve job prospects or simply learn new skills and are available through the medium of Welsh.
Due to the Coronavirus, the launch event took place online and was attended by representatives from colleges and universities across Wales.
Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales Ken Skates MS gave a speech on benefits of online learning and partnership work.
“We in Welsh Government fully recognise the role employability and skills play in ensuring that people have access to employment, so that we can shape a more fair and just economy,’ he said. ‘Everybody faces challenges and barriers to accessing employment. Some people face more challenges than others. But we set up Working Wales just last year to ensure that every individual gets a bespoke and tailored package of support to put them on the pathway to good employment opportunities.”
The project involved the design, development and delivery of Everyday Skills in Level 1 and Level 2 English and Maths and the college also took the lead on developing the project branding and promotional materials for use with all partners.
Geraint Jones – Head of Curriculum at NPTC Group of Colleges said: “We understand that returning to education can be a daunting and challenging experience for some learners. The online Everyday Skills courses will provide the ideal means to enable these learners to enhance and develop their skills at their own pace, and whenever and wherever they want”.
Andrea Davies – ESW Cross College Co-ordinator received positive feedback from her learners who were some of the first to undertake the new courses: “My learners completed the Level 1 English. They found the course interesting, they liked that they could access it at home and in college and complete it in their own time. They felt that it benefited them and helped to improve their skills.”
Foundation Access student Karen Armitage said, “It was easy to follow, and it helped with English revision ready for our final assessment”.
The education sector has had to innovate and adapt to changing needs during the Covid-19 crisis, which has seen an increased demand for online learning. “Over the past few months, we’ve seen people turning to The Open University’s wide range of online learning resources as a way to brush up old skills, learn new ones, and to maintain their well-being during lockdown,” said Louise Casella, Director of The Open University in Wales.
Commenting on the post-16 education sector’s response to the Covid-19 crisis, the Minister added:
“Coronavirus will continue to challenge us. It will continue to cause tragedy. It will continue to impact on our economy. But we can and must respond appropriately, ensuring that we prevent people from experiencing lengthy periods of unemployment.
I’ve been incredibly impressed by the way that the post-16 provider network has stepped up during Coronavirus to adapt and change to dynamic circumstances. And of course, in May we published the resilience for the post-16 provider network. But now we wish to build on that plan, and we wish to ensure that every individual gets the opportunity – if they need it and wish it – to access support, training and advice to get them back into work. Or, if they are leaving school, to get them into a decent training or education position, or employment, as soon as possible.”
You can access the Everyday Skills Courses for free on the OU in Wales’s OpenLearn site: