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Information » Education, Employment & Training » Skills » Basic Skills

Basic Skills

Basic skills such as reading, writing and using numbers are really important for most things in life, helping you to live and work.

A lot of people struggle to learn how to read and write, fill in forms and find maths difficult but these are essentials that you need and if you are having problems then you need to do something about it.

From every day situations like working out whether or not you've been given the correct change in a shop, being able to read road signs to find your way around an area you've never been to before, through to gaining qualifications and getting the job you want, these are fundamental skills you need.

  • You may be embarrassed if you have problems with your basic skills, but help is readily available directly at home, in school, colleges, in the community and even while you are working, so don‘t be afraid to ask for help if you need it
  • The worst thing you can do is pretend that you don't have a problem, these skills will help you through every aspect of life
  • If you are having difficulties with basic skills in school or college it‘s worth talking to your teacher or tutor, who will be able to give you practical advice, offer you extra support or refer you to helpful organisations
  • Many training courses and college courses offer basic skills support while you are studying something else
  • Adult Education Centres or community projects now run courses in basic skills. Some offer special schemes for the unemployed, disabled, those made redundant or others who are returning to work after some time
  • Most Basic Skills courses are free and lead to a valuable qualification that may help you to improve your prospects at work, or to change career
  • You will gain a lot of confidence by seeking and getting the support you need


Dyslexia comes from the Greek language and means ‘difficulty with words‘. Some people who have problems with basic skills such as reading and writing don't realise they have Dyslexia.

  • Dyslexia affects the parts of the brain that are responsible for learning to read, write and spell
  • People with dyslexia may find that it affects their speech, memory, reading, spelling, writing and sometimes numeracy (maths) skills
  • Dyslexia affects about 10% of the population
  • If you think you might be dyslexic talk to your parents, a teacher or tutor, there are a number of ways you can be supported in gaining basic skills
  • You can find a range of useful information about dyslexia here: http://www.walesdyslexia.org.uk/about-dyslexia

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