by Mark Church.

Studies have found that as many as one in 10 adults in Wales have a literacy level below Level 1. Many still feel a sense of stigma around this issue and are reluctant to talk about it.

I left school unable to read or write confidently, and have spent most of my adult life ‘getting by’ or avoiding situations where I could be exposed. I couldn’t pick up and read a book or a newspaper like other people could. Things began to change when I was redeployed from my manual role into a more technical one and I realised I had to confront the problem. I realised I would no longer be able to get by with the skills levels I had. I panicked!

“I know I can do it if I try, and I won’t give up. My experience is proof that it really is never too late to learn new skills!”

Never Too Late

The GMB union arranged one-to-one training with ADT to help me improve my Essential Skills, and I have now gained recognised qualifications. Thanks to the help I’ve received, I’ve also become a more confident public speaker and I’ve been giving talks, trying to spread my enthusiasm for learning.

I feel like a new person – it is just one of the best things I’ve ever done. It has made such a difference that I am now able to read and understand text clearly. I am now able to complete the forms I need to do at work without a second thought when previously I would have struggled.

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