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Do you feel that you’re behind when it comes to certain life skills you need? You’re not alone!

A recent study by the Learning and Work Institute revealed that many UK adults are lacking overall basic skills, such as maths and English.

The report also showed that, based on learning patterns, it would take roughly 20 years for adults with low literacy or numeracy skills to participate in learning. The study estimates that 9 million adults based in England and of working age alone lack basic skills in literacy or numeracy. 5 million of these adults lack skills in both subject areas.

A woman sits at her laptop looking fed up and unmotivated.

The Stats Speak for Themselves

18% of 19 to 64-year-old adults do not possess level 2 qualifications. These qualifications are likely to help boost employability, as well as job prospects, such as pay options and job security. They are also considered necessary for those looking to progress in further education, such as completing A-levels and going to university.

It’s estimated that by 2030, 5 million workers may not have basic digital skills. Together with numeracy and literacy, these are skills that are needed in most workplaces. This adds to their importance. 

Low participation in accumulating basic skills is something that the education industry is keen to change. It’s highly recommended that adults ensure they have the key maths and English skills needed for everyday life and work tasks.

The Solution to the Problem

When it comes to studying, finding the time and motivation can be tricky. We spoke to Tom Hollins, Head of Department for English and social sciences at distance learning education provider, Oxbridge, to get some tips. Tom is also the published author of two revision guides for English students, so he’s helped many individuals on their path to upskilling.

You’ve heard the saying nothing ventured, nothing gained. Well, gaining these skills will require effort and studying. However, when you think of how much it could improve your job prospects, it’s worth it.

A woman at her laptop looking motivated and taking notes.

How to Stay Motivated

So, how can you stay motivated in order to gain these qualifications? Here’s Tom’s 10 tips:

  1. Do you know when you work best? Find the times that you're more productive and try and keep to a routine of working during those hours.
  2. When it comes to memory, try different techniques until you find the right one for you. Are you a mind map person? Do you like lists? Perhaps you have to write and re-write something over and over again to remember it?
  3. Set yourself various task deadlines before the deadline to stay on track.
  4. Take regular working breaks and do something you enjoy in them.
  5. Don’t try to cram too much in the night before an exam, meeting or presentation: just recap the key points.
  6. Set yourself ambitious goals and work hard to aspire to them.
  7. It's important to stay energised: whether that’s grabbing a cup of tea or taking a few minutes to watch a programme on your break.
  8. Rewarding yourself for hitting goals is just as important as hitting them. The sense of completion from completing a module or crossing a task off your list is a positive feeling.
  9. Don't stress about trying to take everything in at once - small and manageable sections of information or tasks can be far more digestible.
  10. Make your workspace comfortable.  If you’re cold and your workspace lacks light, you’re focused on that as opposed to the task at hand.

Are you looking to gain GCSE or functional skills qualifications? Or perhaps you’d like to upskill with another course. Browse our full range of courses or speak to one of our experienced learning advisers on 0121 630 3000.