English, maths and ICT

English and maths are basic skills that people require to be able to do their jobs, run a home, manage money and enjoy a social life.

That includes the ability to read, write, speak English and use maths. Unions are constantly highlighting these skills to employers as vital for the learning opportunities of workers, their careers and for the efficiency of businesses and services.

Many of you will know the term "Skills for Life" which has been used to describe English language and maths skills. The terms English and maths are increasingly being used – they are often the words learners themselves use to describe what "Skills for Life" means. Of course, some existing (and still very useful) unionlearn documents still use the term "Skills for Life".

In this section, there are separate pages for English, maths, digital learning (ICT), English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) and functional skills.

These pages give you information about how you can support learners to improve their skills, along with some of the resources, training and other help that unionlearn provides, examples of how other unions and Union Learning Reps (ULRs) have supported members with English, maths and ICT and links to useful websites that can help further.

English, maths and ICT Latest news in this section

Technology is making us read more but experts warn parents are stopping reading with their children too young

06 February 2014 English, Maths and ICT
  • Half (48%) of Brits who use technology to read say it has made them read more, with the average adult reader spending six hours a week reading
  • However, one in five (19%) parents with children under eight admit that they read with them just once a week or less
  • Experts warn of risk to future literacy levels as a third (33%) of parents stop reading with their kids before they are ten and a further 38% between ten and eleven

Join us in celebrating Adult Learners' Week 2014!

05 December 2013 English, Maths and ICT

There are lots of ways to get involved - it's a great opportunity to encourage people from all walks of life to give learning a go through events and activities. You can also nominate a learner or project for the Adult Learners’ Week Awards to share their remarkable stories and inspire others. 

The festival of learning will start in May 2014, culminating in a week of celebrations and activities from 14-20 June. It will encompass activities such as VQ Day, Learning at Work Week and Volunteers' Week.

Bestselling authors throw their support behind Quick Reads 2014

06 September 2013 English, Maths and ICT

The new list of Galaxy Quick Reads titles is announced today, to coincide with International Literacy Day, with a host of bestselling authors penning books for the charity.

The books, which will be on shelves in February 2014, include:

New Initiative to Improve Adults' Maths Skills

23 January 2013 English, Maths and ICT

To help more people improve their maths skills a new initiative - Maths4us - starts today 23 January 2013, with over 20 national organisations coming together to take strategic action on adult maths.

Functional Skills Learners

unionlearn welcomes government doubling of functional skills funding

05 December 2012 English, Maths and ICT

Unionlearn has welcomed the government’s recent decision to double the funding for Functional Skills learning, both as part of Apprenticeships and for adults.