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Skills for Life

Basic skills is defined by the Basic Skills Agency as :

“the ability to read, write and speak in English / Welsh and use mathematics at a level necessary to function and progress at work and in society in general”.
(Basic Skills Agency, 2004).

In 2001 the Government launched Skills for Life: the national strategy for improving adult literacy and numeracy skills, in order to address the needs of the estimated seven million people with literacy, numeracy and language problems needs in the UK. Many now use the more positive term ‘skills for life’ instead of the term ‘basic skills’.

Museums, archives and libraries provide many opportunities for skills development:

  • they offer inspiring and accessible places to learn
  • they have diverse collections which engage and motivate learners
  • they provide learners with a relaxed and safe atmosphere
  • some offer individual support and tuition
  • public libraries offer free online learning opportunities.

MLA North West works in partnership with museums, libraries and archives to provide Skills for Life training and support for staff.

For more information, see MLA North West’s Need to Read project .

Related Links:

Basic Skills Agency 

DfES lifelong learning pages 

Mapping the Territory 

Reading The Museum - a Canadian Museums Association project 

Skills for Life website 

The Vital Link - a reader development programme in libraries 
Related Documents:

Skills for Life case studies
SkillsforLifecasestudies.pdf (59 KB)  

Stockton Heath Library Bolton Museums and Art Gallery
Stockton Heath Library

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