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The OU in Wales launches new everyday skills in English and Maths

The OU in Wales recently launched a package of online courses in everyday maths and English skills, which are available for free on its OpenLearn site. Due to the coronavirus, the event was held online and attended by representatives of colleges and universities across Wales.

The courses have been developed in collaboration with FE colleges and Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult learning Wales, and are designed to give students the skills they need to go alongside other further education courses, improve job prospects or simply learn new skills.

Employability, skills and a fair economy

Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales Ken Skates MS recorded a message for the event.

‘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 in 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.’

Learners stories

The OU in Wales caught up with two people who have been studying the maths and English courses.

Alireza Zamani, Everyday English 

Ryan Davies, Everyday Maths

Online learning during lockdown

‘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.

‘Last year we marked our 50th anniversary, and for the past half a century, we have been the leader in distance learning, and more recently in the new millennium, in online learning.

‘That’s why we’re really proud of the work we’ve done with our partners on this Flexible Essential Skills project, making Everyday English and bilingual Everyday Maths available for free online.

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.’

The Everyday Skills courses were developed in partnership with Coleg Gwent, Coleg Cambria, NPTC Group of Colleges and Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult learning Wales. The project is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).

You can take the Everyday Skills Courses here:

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