SkillCheck kicks off learning at PFA centres

PFA Education has been going into learning centres at football clubs across the country to promote learning and skills – and has been making use of unionlearn’s SkillCheck initial assessment tool to help support learners.

Supporting young learners at Millwall FC
Young learners at Millwall FC using SkillCheck

The union have using the tool at clubs during the PFA’s induction with students. Tutors at clubs have all been assigned a login to monitor student progress and can therefore ask students to revisit the assessments again later.

The union gets all students onto a computer or ipad in the learner centre and talk through the registration process. During the induction participants are encouraged to complete at least 2/3 assessments in the time available.

The assessments have been completed by post-16 participants across a clubs different education programmes as well as the PFAs younger members.

SkillCheck is an online tool and, for the moment, as three areas – IT, maths and English.

So far the Union Learn Fund project has visited Portsmouth, Millwall, Plymouth, Exeter, Bristol City, Brighton and Reading football clubs – with more being planned.

PFA Project Officer Riz Rehman explains how the union has been making use of the tool:

When participants have registered onto skillcheck we have encouraged them to complete all 3 assessments which they have been happy to do. Some have been hesitant in starting assessments they are not strong in but overall we’ve had a high completion rate across all 3.”

Riz has spoken to students taking the assessments, he said:

They have found them relatively challenging but have commented on the ease of registration and working through questions. I have had no complaints, and everyone has been happy to participate and complete assessments.”

The PFA has been working with several clubs across the country setting up learner events through the football season. The events give the participants an overview of the union and their work via the PFA/ULF ‘Achievement Through Sport’ programme.

This is a busy time of year for project workers as Riz explains:

A lot of the planning is done during the summer where we work closely with club staff to identify learners who may need support with Maths/English retakes as well as digital skills.”

During these events all participants are supported with registering onto an online level 2 Excel course which is completed during their tutorials. We also involve our ULRs during these events to support participants during their time at the club and disseminate any PFA education updates.”

The learning carried out during the events aim to stress to learners the importance on having the skill sets on using software like excel as it will help with their future job prospects.

However as Riz points out though that:

However, we are also aware that all learners have different abilities and we work closely with education tutors and ULRs to ensure these learners get that extra support if needed.”

All our ULRs are also happy to offer ongoing advice, guidance and support on a one-to-one basis away from the learner centre.”

After trying SkillCheck the tutors have expressed an interest to get students to sit these assessments again in the new year to track progress.

Riz has been pleased with the way SkillCheck can support their learners and said: 

Overall I have been impressed with the system and everyone has commented on the simplicity of registering.”

For the PFA it’s been excellent as (unionlearn Communication’s Officer) Yusuf has created sub-menus where participants can select the club they represent which makes it easier for us and the club tutors to track progress.”

If you would like to try out SkillCheck just go to the unionlearn website.