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Entry for 2013 Essential Skills Awards launched

Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry, today announced the launch of the 2013 Essential Skills Awards, along with the help of the BBC’s Sarah Travers
Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Awards are designed to recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements in literacy, numeracy and ICT learning. The competition, which is now in its sixth year, is open to adults studying Essential Skills from across Northern Ireland.

Commenting on the launch, Dr Farry said: “The Essential Skills Awards are a truly inspirational event, which highlight the remarkable stories of the learners, many of whom left school with few or no qualifications and have taken advantage of a second chance at learning to realise their full potential. Last year we had a very high number of entries to the competition and I hope we can do even better this year.”

The competition has six regional award categories, an ICT award and a Trade Union learner award from which an overall Northern Ireland Learner of the Year is chosen. The winners will be presented with their awards in March at a lunchtime event at Hillsborough Castle, compered by Sarah Travers.

The Minister continued: “To date, over 91,000 people have achieved almost 169,000 Essential Skills qualifications. This strategy has delivered outstanding results since it was launched 10 years ago with over 300,000 enrolments on Essential Skills courses, and those adults who have taken part now have the skills to do their job better and have a real chance to progress and improve their lives and career choices.”

Last year’s winner, Peter Williamson said: "Without the qualifications I would not have been promoted with my current employer. My skills, confidence and increased knowledge have allowed me to assist other people both at home and in the workplace.”

Application forms are available from the Department’s website. The closing date for entries is noon on Tuesday, 29 January 2013.

Notes for editors:

  1. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department for Employment and Learning Communications Branch on 028 9025 7466. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.
  2. If you would like to sign up for free Essential Skills classes in literacy, numeracy or ICT, why not contact your local college or visit NI Direct