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Wales TUC Cymru Building Basic Skills Provision through Union-led Learning Wales Employer Pledge The Employer Pledge is managed by a team of officers in Welsh Government (WG). An employer no longer has to sign the pledge to access pledge funding. They do, however, need to submit a learning plan to WG for approval. Funding is available for two years and the learning plan lasts for 12 months with an option to review and refresh for a further year. It is written by the learning provider with input from HR/Training managers and ULRs. The Wales TUC project workers are available for support as required.

If a provider starts ‘selling’ the pledge to an employer in an organised workplace, they must contact the Wales TUC project workers and include the ULR in discussions and actions.

The Pledge offers a level 1 qualification in literacy and numeracy under the badge of Essential Skills Wales (ESW). Courses are contextualised to workplaces and employers’ own forms are used whenever possible. Learners can opt for just one subject or can now be funded for both if a need is shown and documented on the learning plan. Employers do not have to complete applications for funding or deal with payment to providers as providers are funded directly from WG. ESW is a suite of qualifications from level 1 to level 4. There are 3 core subjects: 1. Literacy – now has the new name of ‘Communication’ 2. Numeracy – now has the new name of ‘Application of Number’ (AoN) 3. ICT –not funded under the pledge but can be funded through WULF at any level.

(WULF can also fund Communication and AoN at levels 2 – 4) Level 1 is equivalent to GCSE grade D-E and level 2 to GCSE grade A*-C. Each subject a stand-alone subject and is delivered as one course so if a person completed Communication and AoN courses they would have 2 qualifications and 2 certificates. The ESW qualifications of Communication and AON are: o Free to employers o Contextualised to individual workplaces o Delivered through approved providers

Not all who start the course have to complete it; learners can drop in on sessions to brush up on specific skills. However a minimum number are expected to complete each course and gain the qualification. This is dependent upon employer size and the figures are: o 0 – 49 employees: 3 to gain qualification o 50 – 249 employees: 4 to gain qualification o 250+ employees: 5 to gain qualification

How ESW can work in practice: 1. Run short taster sessions 2. From taster sessions develop a course based around workforce needs 3. Taster sessions and short courses that are mapped to ESW standards count towards the hours required to achieve the ESW qualification Communication and AON are each offered as up to 36 hour courses and are assessed through a portfolio of work in a similar way to an NVQ. Volunteers and those employees who are already in receipt of funding from Welsh Assembly are not eligible to attend classes funded by Employer Pledge. The Employer Pledge Process Once an employer has decided they wish to progress with Employer Pledge they will select a training provider to work with who must be on the Employer Pledge Approved list. A meeting will take place to discuss requirements and learning needs and this is where ULR contribution is vital. ULRs may have already conducted a TNA which has highlighted some issues. The next step is to develop a learning plan. The training provider will work alongside the employer and ULR to ensure the plan takes account of particular needs. The completed plan will then be submitted for approval. The plan must be approved by the Employer Pledge team before any training activity can start. Initial Assessments may be done with the learners to ensure the level of need. It’s good practice to hold mini learning or awareness events to stimulate interest and give people the chance to ask questions. WTUC project workers, your WULF project manager and provider representatives can all play a part in making this a success and learners at previous events have completed initial assessments out of curiousity!

For more information please contact the project workers: South & West Wales Anne Jenkins – Tel: 07827 321725

North & Mid Wales Angela Baugh – Tel: 07717 307265

Building Basic Skills Provision  

Employer Pledge Update