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About us > News > Press Release: Minister launches new award for learners
Press Release: Minister launches new award for learners

Jane Davidson, Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning will be congratulating adult learners from across Wales at an award ceremony on Tuesday 8th February. The event will take place at the Millennium Centre, Cardiff.

Students will be presented with the award for completing the Basic Skills Agency’s new Tripartite Course. Thirty two learners achieved the award, aged between 16 and 72 years old. The learners will have a guided tour of the Assembly before the presentation by the Minister. The course has been developed as part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s commitment to meeting the needs of adult learners in Wales.

Research shows that around a quarter of adults in Wales have poor literacy skills and around a half have poor numeracy skills. About half of these adults are already in the workforce and it is estimated that this skills deficit costs the Welsh economy almost £600 million a year.

The course has core modules of literacy, numeracy and ICT plus a variety of options including citizenship, sport and job searching. Learners also have to complete a 'personal study' to achieve the award. The course has been piloted in seven organisations: Cardiff Basic Skills Service, Deeside College, Swansea College, Coleg Morgannwg, Cardiff Iitec, Neath and Port Talbot Skills Unit and HMP Parc.

Rhiannedd Pratley, Executive Director for Wales at the Basic Skills Agency said,

“The Tripartite course is a really exciting new development for Wales. It’s a substantial programme of training in literacy, numeracy and ICT leading to a Tripartite Award. It gives adults and young people who were not successful in school the chance to catch up and gain an award which will be valued by employers and is also a route for further qualifications.

“The Tripartite Award can be compared with the General Educational Diploma in the USA – providing the evidence that people can read, write and use numbers and ICT at a level which allows them to function effectively at work, in training and everyday life. It is a truly “made in Wales” product.

”We have piloted the course very successfully with adults and now we are piloting it in secondary schools as a way of engaging those young people who are in danger of opting out of education. “We look forward to developing the Tripartite course further and increasing its profile across Wales.”

Jane Davidson, Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning said,

“Our all-age National Basic Skills Strategy aims to support educational achievement by ensuring that everyone has the literacy and numeracy skills that are the essential foundations for learning. The development of the Tripartite course makes an important contribution to that aim”.

----------------------------------------ENDS-------------------------------------- Notes to Editors

  1. The first phase of the National Basic Skills Strategy for Wales was launched in April 2001. Since that time the Welsh Assembly Government has allocated £40 million for the Strategy. The Basic Skills Agency has been overseeing the implementation of the National Strategy on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government. Phase 2 will be launched in April 2005.
  2. The Strategy aims to provide a coherent approach to raising standards of literacy and numeracy in children, young people and adults. It involves a number of specific measures and partnership with a range of organisations.
  3. The Tripartite course has been written by experienced teachers and is grounded in practical knowledge and a range of recent educational developments, especially the Welsh Baccalaureate’s use of ‘individual investigations’ as an assessment tool.
  4. The personal study, assessed by the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC), requires an ability to apply skills as written and oral communication in literacy, numeracy, and through ICT.
  5. The Basic Skills Agency is the national development agency for literacy and numeracy in England and Wales. We are funded primarily by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and the Welsh Assembly Government. Our mission is to contribute to raising standards of basic skills in England and Wales. Our aims are to develop approaches that most effectively improve standards of basic skills and disseminate good practice. Our Patron is HRH The Princess Royal, the Chairman is Garry Hawkes CBE, and the Director of the Basic Skills Agency is Alan Wells OBE. We define basic skills as ‘the ability to read, write, and speak in English or Welsh and use mathematics at a level necessary to function and progress at work and in society in general’.
  6. Members of the media are invited, please inform Rhian Hortin on the number below if you wish to attend.
  7. For further information, or to register your attendance at the ceremony please contact Dilys Alam at the Basic Skills Agency on 020 7440 6618 or out of hours on 07776 132 226 or email
Article published on: 7 February 2005
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