Skills Development News & Updates
Welcome to Skills Matter, a new quarterly newsletter focused on skills and training opportunities for the nonprofit community. If you are passionate about training and staff development, or curious about how upskilling your staff or volunteers could help you achieve your mission, then this newsletter is for you!
Each quarter we will share upcoming training opportunities, feature training providers from across the country, and spotlight new and innovative solutions in the field of skills development.In this issue, you’ll find information on:
The Importance of Plain English
The National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) is committed to making sure that people with literacy and numeracy difficulties can fully take part in society. One of the ways that NALA does this is by promoting and advocating for the use of plain English.Plain English means presenting information in a way that allows you to understand and act on the information the first time you hear or read it. This is a reasonable ambition, yet we often make the mistake of using jargon, technical language and small print. In an episode of The Good Stuffpodcast, Sean Driver, Plain English Editor and Trainer for NALA, shared some invaluable advice on why and how we should use plain English. We can remain professional and informative, without using complicated language. In order to meaningfully connect with our community, Sean encourages us to ‘talk to people in language they understand and then you’ll effect meaningful change’.
The National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA)provides a variety of training and literacy support programmes. Visit www.nala.ie for more information. Don’t miss their half-day workshop, Plain English Training, on 10 March or their one-hour How to Write in Plain English webinar, on 16 April with The Wheel.
The Right Course
The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science recently launched an online portal that provides information and guidance for people looking to upskill or retrain. The Right Course is for everyone; those looking to gain new skills, sharpen existing skills or find a new direction entirely. The Right Course website has information on everything from free online courses to career guidance to education grants.
Skills to Advance
Did you know that by the end of 2021, the Skills to Advance programme wants to support 40,000 employees with their training needs? Skills to Advance is a national initiative that provides subsidised upskilling and reskilling opportunities to employees in jobs undergoing change, and to those currently employed in vulnerable sectors.There are three entry routes into the Skills to Advance programme.
Training can be delivered directly to employees, through engagement with employers in order to address the particular needs of their workforce, and through regional development. If your employees are aged 50+, work in lower-skilled jobs or roles which are experiencing significant change, contact your local Education and Training Board (ETB) to find out more about subsidised Skills to Advance training opportunities.Skills to Advance is managed by SOLASand delivered nationwide through Education and Training Boards (ETBs).
The Lowdown on Micro-credentials
Interested in expanding your skillset or demonstrating your knowledge in a particular specialisation? Then the brand new world of micro-credentials could be for you!So, what exactly is a micro-credential? A micro-credential is a mini-qualification that demonstrates skills, knowledge and experience. A micro-credential is achieved upon completion of a short course or module. As a result of their flexible and short-term nature, micro-credentials are increasingly appealing to learners at all levels. In fact they could make education and training more accessible, allowing you to demonstrate your learning and achievements as you develop your skills and knowledge over time, building towards more comprehensive qualifications at your own pace.The application of micro-credentials is growing in popularity across all kinds of education providers internationally, from community education projects to universities.
The European Commission recently announced, in the European Skills Agenda, that supporting the uptake of micro-credentials across the EU will be ‘one of its 12 flagship actions’.To earn your own micro-credentials, visit SCOPE. SCOPE is an eLearning tool recently launched by The Wheel. The SCOPE eLearning programme offers five introductory modules in the basics of governance,financial management, risk management, fundraising and communications.
Upon completion of each module, you have the option to apply for your digital badge (type of micro-credential) – a first for the nonprofit sector! These digital badges can be shared on social media and used to communicate your learning with colleagues, educators and employers. The development of SCOPE was funded by Erasmus+ and supported by Léargas, the Irish national agency for Erasmus+.For further reading on micro-credentials, check out ‘European approach to micro-credentials‘.
AONTAS Adult Learners’ Festival 2021
AONTAS is celebrating its 15th Adult Learners’ Festival from the 1 – 5 March 2021. The theme of this year’s festival is Building Back Better Together – #BetterTogether.
You can get involved by attending an event. Aontas have a bumper calendar of free online events running over the festival, looking at themes like Sustainable Development through Education, Social Inclusion and the Learners Voice.
The Wheel’s Summit 2021
The Wheel’s Summit 2021 is staying online for a second year running. This year, the summit series will run over two days, 19 & 20 May. We are hosting two morning sessions focusing on big ticket topics; lessons learned from the pandemic and the role of the nonprofit sector in shaping the future of Ireland.We will also host two afternoon sessions per day. These sessions will focus on four themes; European funding opportunities, the importance of social economy, digital transformation of the workplace, and the importance of ensuring that we, the nonprofit workforce, have the necessary skills to adapt to a constantly shifting technological, social and cultural landscape.Summit 2021 is free to attend, and open to all. We’d love to see you there!
Get in touch.
I would especially like to hear about your courses, conferences, networks and upskilling opportunities.
Connect with us online using #SkillsMatter, and follow @The_Wheel_IRL for regular updates.
All the best, Lauren Carroll