Unions give unionlearn #SkillCheck the thumbs up

Unionlearn has launched its new online initial assessment tool to help unions support members identify skills gaps and signpost them to possible learning opportunities.

As part of the development of the new resource a number of unions volunteered to trial SkillCheck so it would be in the best position to support members. One of these unions was ASLEF, and Learning Project Co-ordinator Shirley Handsley

Shirley said:

We were involved in the testing of SkillCheck and we tested the IOS side of it. We thought downloading the app from the Apple store was so much easier, updating software is also easier.

The content of the assessments we felt was more relevant to the subject and more challenging.”

Shirley did feel a bit disappointed that there were only three assessments as they were looking for more subjects similar to the older Use-IT tool – however unionlearn was keen to reassure unions that the maths, English and ICT assessments available for the launch are just the start – and more will be following soon.

When asked about what aspects of SkillCheck they felt would be the most useful, Shirley said:

The fact that it is easy to use and can be accessed anywhere. We work in areas where we can’t get a phone signal let alone wifi so we really like the fact that you have the option of working offline.”

ASLEF and the other unions involved in the trial are looking forward to working with SkillCheck and feel it will be a very useful addition to the tools that Union Learning Reps have at their disposal.

Shirley added:

An issue of ours is that we don’t know what levels of courses to set up. We always have people saying “I want to do an ICT course”. What we need is a tool that will allow us to gauge the level and content for future courses. Up until now we have been doing this paper based.

SkillCheck will allow us to do this in a far more professional manner, plus allow us to see how learners engage with the handheld device they will be doing it on as well as seeing instant results.”

ASLEF also plan to use SkillCheck beyond the workplace and in the wider community. The union has a partnership with the Doddridge Centre in Northampton where they work with individuals that are seeking employment and come to the centre to better their English, maths and ICT skills. They see SkillCheck as a good way of quickly assessing what their level of need is.

If you would like to find out more about unionlearn SkillCheck go to https://www.unionlearn.org.uk/skillcheck and have a go.