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Essential Skills in the Workplace

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The ESIW programme offers you the chance to identify and address skills issues in your workplace, such as literacy, communication, numeracy and ICT.
The Essential Skills in the Workplace (ESIW) addresses the high proportion of adults without basic literacy, numeracy and ICT skills within the employed workforce in Wales.

Our definition of essential skills is the ability to read, write and speak in English or Welsh, and to use mathematics, at a level necessary to function and progress both in work and society. This definition equals a strong level 1 in literacy (including English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and numeracy.

As part of an integrated approach to workforce development, the essential skills support available to employers through this programme will be delivered alongside other skills support available to employers through the Workforce Development Programme. This approach will ensure promotion and take-up of the Employer Pledge among employer base.  It will also encourage and enable employers and employees to view the essential skills support available through this project as a progression to further workplace learning.

Working in partnership with training providers and employers the project aims to raise awareness of the benefits of a skilled workforce. It will identify any essential skills needed and provide additional and enhanced support to individuals within the workplace. It will increase and expand the opportunities to access learning in new settings with learning styles suited to them to their workplace.

Programme targets

Between February 2012 and 31 December 2014 the programme will aim to:

  • provide training to employed people in literacy, numeracy and ESOL up to and including level 2 with access to essential skills qualifications. Provision will be suited to individual needs and their workplace. Participants can  gain one or more of the identified Essential Skills Wales qualifications in Communication, Application of Number, ICT  and certificate in ESOL skills for life – speaking & listening up to level 2
  • engage employers in the Employer Pledge programme to raise awareness of the need for a skilled workforce and to commit to supporting essential skills training for their workforce.

For further information please contact:


Telephone: Business Skills Hotline on 0845 60 661 60.

This project is part financed by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.

Welsh European Funding Office logo