300 East Midlands members take the Skills Challenge

The region is celebrating helping 300 members take the skills challenge to test their Maths and English skills with 150 signing up for online Functional Skills courses.


With Lockdown, our ‘Get On At Work’ project to go into workplaces and offer skills checks had to stop.  The trial of offering these online, one county at a time, has had sensational results.  All members in a county were invited to take the test over a two-day period.  Then with the support of UNISON project lead, Chris Donkin, were given their results and confidential advice about next steps.  If requested they were enrolled on an online maths or English course with either Nottingham College or the University of Lincoln.

Many just wanted to challenge themselves and check their level. 150 however have now begun their training in Maths or English (many will be doing both).

Functional Skills (Maths and English) are the ‘essential skills’ we all need to progress.  Many jobs require them and without the qualification it is difficult to find new work or get promoted.  As a union we recognise how essential Maths and English is to our members and are delighted by the response.

The project was funded by the Union Learning Fund which ends on 31 March 2021.  Please check your county-learning page for details of local courses. https://eastmidlands.unison.org.uk/county-forums/


“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the UNISON team in availing this online project to me. This has been one of the best things done by UNISON to its members in empowering us with educational opportunities during the very difficult Covid -19 pandemic.” Hilary

“When I complete the course and get my certificate I’ll be able to enrol on the course I need for work” Erika

“It is brilliant.  UNISON are to be highly commended for the support provided for people to further progress career direction.  Thank you.” Valerie

“I think UNISON providing this course is marvellous.” Shakila

“It’s great that UNISON has given me the opportunity to do my English and maths. Everyone’s circumstances are different and not everyone (including myself) had the chance to do them in school years.” Cassie