Belfast Telegraph

Bag an Essential Skill this autumn

Stormont Executive press release - Department for Employment and Learning

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry today reinforced the benefits of Essential Skills for adults this autumn.

Many adults continue to struggle with numeracy, literacy and Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) and fear taking on new challenges or improving their career prospects because they lack the right skills.

Calling on all prospective adult learners to sign up for a free Essential Skills course in literacy, numeracy or ICT, the Minister said: “Skills transform lives, generate prosperity and promote social inclusion. Strong Essential Skills help people accomplish their potential, achieve their goals and take advantage of opportunities. 

“Essential Skills are accredited adult qualifications available throughout Northern Ireland. The free classes offer a second chance for individuals to fulfil their capabilities with a range of qualifications in literacy, numeracy and ICT. Gaining these skills not only improves an individual’s confidence but also helps up-skill the workforce, contributing to a stronger local economy.”

Classes last either one or two hours and typically run weekly. On average, it takes 40 hours to complete a course. Classes are held in a range of venues, from community halls to local further education colleges, throughout the day and evening.

Michael Bloomfield, Essential Skills tutor from Belfast Metropolitan College said: “Understandably, many adults are anxious about returning to education. However, Essential Skills tasks are designed to be relevant and interesting. The Essential Skills qualifications aim to reward and motivate learners and improve their opportunities in a supported and informal learning environment.”

To find out more about Essential Skills courses in your area, contact your local college or visit for more information.

Notes to editors:

1. Photographs to accompany this story are available to download from the Department for Employment and Learning’s Flickr collection at: Caption: Minister for Employment and Learning Dr Stephen Farry pictured with tutors Mike Bloomfield from Belfast Met and Michelle Hickland from South Eastern Regional College.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


From Belfast Telegraph