Peter McVerry Trust is working with the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) to help those with literacy and numeracy issues to improve their skills and obtain further education.
Molly O’Donnell, who works in our Drogheda office, completed training with NALA to deliver a free online education programme which helps people get their QQI Level 2, 3 and 4 qualifications. She has since worked with staff members across our services to help people use this resource.
She says the scheme has been useful, especially as it is a free programme that participants can complete online and at their own pace.
“During keyworking sessions with my key clients, I would have brought up the programme. [I was working with] people who didn’t have English as a first language and were struggling with CV prep, and others would have expressed that they struggled with literacy and numeracy. I told them the programme was available online, it was free, and I was there to support them,” she explains.
Before anyone can start the programme, there is a skills checker, which Molly completed with those interested in taking part in the Write On initiative. This assessment then offered recommendations based on the client’s ability.
“People could start at Level 1, which isn’t accredited, but once they achieve that they think ‘maybe I can try Level 2 now’ and so on. It’s good that there are stages. It helps to motivate you to keep going. You get your certs after each level too, and it shows how you can move up through working consistently.”
The Write On service provides practical writing information, with guides on language used in formal letters as well as CV writing tips. Molly has noticed a difference in participants who have completed the programme.
“I would have noticed that the conversation skills of people who didn’t have English as their first language has improved under the programme. They’re practicing their English more regularly and when they’re reading and writing they have a better understanding of grammar elements, which is really useful for things like completing a CV or a bank application form. The programme is very practical and helps people in their everyday life.
“If people are thinking about doing it, I would suggest going for it. You have nothing to lose – it’s free and fits in with your schedule. NALA has a distance learning service and can work with you over the phone if you want, which will keep you going or give you a bit of support.”
Learn more about NALA’s Write On programme here.