Office of Fair Trading
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OFT launches new education tools to help adult learners be confident consumers

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched two new modules as part of its successful Skilled to go consumer education programme.

The modules provide the tools and resources needed to educate adult learners about buying cars and to protect themselves against scams. They will be available from 1 July 2010 and include games, quizzes, role plays, listening activities and delivery suggestions for teachers.

The Skilled to go web-based toolkit is developed by education specialists for teachers working with adult learners. The programme is designed to develop literacy and numeracy skills alongside consumer skills on issues such as buying a mobile or shopping online. 50 per cent of further education institutions in the UK are registered with online access to the existing Skilled to go learning resources.

Evaluation of the Skilled to go pilot last year found that learners made significant progress, with 64 per cent of course participants feeling very or quite confident in knowing their consumer rights, compared to 20 per cent at the beginning of the course.

Skilled to go uses real-life examples to give students the skills and knowledge to deal confidently with these consumer issues and the teachers' toolkit includes:

  • comprehensive downloadable teaching materials
  • free on-site training workshops for adult education providers
  • free materials for teachers willing to train other colleagues.

Sam Brew, OFT Consumer Education Manager said:

'We all need to be equipped with the skills and know-how to be savvy consumers and the Skilled to go toolkit can play an essential part in helping to protect consumers who may be vulnerable.

'These new modules aim to give adult learners the skills and confidence they need to make better consumer decisions. The development of consumer skills is a long term process but we've had excellent feedback from teachers and students who have told us how they've put their learning into practice in the real world.'

Teachers wishing to register, download materials and to book a free training workshop can visit the OFT website at www.oft.gov.uk/skilledtogo

NOTES

1. The Skilled to go resources are designed for learners preparing for literacy and numeracy qualifications at the following levels:

  • Access 2 and 3 
  • Intermediate 1 and 2 
  • Entry 3, Level 1, Level 2, and 
  • includes suggestions for use with ESOL/ language learners.

2. Success of Skilled to go since launch (June 2008):

  • around 50 per cent of further education institutions in the UK have registered on the OFT website to access Skilled to go learning resources 
  • over 3750 teachers in FE have registered to use Skilled to go
  • approximately 20 new people are registering each week.

3. All the materials, developed in association with LLU+ at London South Bank University, are editable and fully referenced to the adult literacy, numeracy, language (ESOL), Essential Skills curricula, Functional Skills standards and three modules are referenced to, the Adult Financial Capability Framework.

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