Working together to support unemployed adults with gaps in their basic skills

December 4, 2014

The National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) and the Irish Local Development Network (ILDN) are working together to support unemployed people with literacy and or numeracy difficulties.

On Thursday 4 December, NALA and the ILDN launched guidelines for staff who work with adults who need help getting a job and who have gaps in their basic skills.

The guidelines are based on a joint project between the Southside Partnership Local Employment Service and NALA’s Distance Learning Service. The joint project helped 60 unemployed young people in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown get qualifications, work experience and progress to jobs or further training.

The guidelines show staff how they can use NALA’s e-learning website Write On (Re-launched as in 2022) and other NALA services to help unemployed adults improve their literacy, numeracy, ICT and employability skills, as well as providing qualifications at QQI Levels 2 and 3.

The guidelines recommend using Write On with groups on employment programmes and local training initiatives. The website can also be used, for example, by those on work experience programmes, such as TÚS placements.

Brian Carty, CEO, ILDN, said “Unemployed adults who have gaps in their basic education or no qualifications often find it very difficult to get jobs. These guidelines show how staff supporting these adults can improve their job prospects, help people improve their basic skills and gain national qualifications at the same time”.

Cormac Shaw, CEO, Southside Partnership, said “Different groups supported by Southside Partnership have found NALA’s e-learning website Write On to be a really useful support, including young people who are long term unemployed and women returning to the workforce.”

NALA will support local development companies and other organisations to use Write On (Re-launched as in 2022) within their programmes by providing free training to their staff.

The guidelines were launched by NALA and ILDN in Mullingar Park Hotel on Thursday 4 December.


You download the Guidelines here.


Free online courses – improve your basic skills and get a qualification

NALA’s Distance Learning Service and e-learning website, Write On, helps adults and early school leavers improve their basic skills and get a qualification.

Every year NALA’s tutors support people learn over the phone in Ireland. Thousands more study online by themselves using our website Write On. So far 3,000 people have got a Level 2 or 3 QQI national qualification. QQI is responsible for further education and training awards in Ireland. Level 3 is the equivalent of a Junior Certificate.

“Since 2008, adult learners have been able to improve their literacy, numeracy and IT skills online using Write On. Each learner has a personal learning account with a unique password. They can choose to learn at a time and place that fits their lifestyle and there is no limit to the frequency and duration of online learning sessions. It is user friendly and free,” says Inez Bailey, Director, NALA.

The website can also provide certification for existing sets of skills and knowledge for which a person has no recognised qualification. This is called recognition of prior learning or RPL.

For further information, please contact: Clare McNally, Public Relations Officer, National Adult Literacy Agency, cmcnally@nala.ieor 01 4127909.

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