English, maths and digital skills

English and maths are basic skills that people use to be able to do their jobs, run a home, manage money and enjoy a social life. That includes the ability to read, write and 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. English and maths learning is often the first step to taking other courses and training too.

Some existing (and still very useful) unionlearn documents still use the term Skills for Life which hails back to qualifications which have since been replaced by Functional Skills.

In this section, there are separate pages for English, maths, digital skills, 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. There are also useful examples and case studies showing how union projects and Union Learning Reps (ULRs) have supported workers with English, maths and digital skills learning. We've also compiled links to useful websites that can help further.