Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity (CREID)

Managing progress

Managing Progress is led by Adam Smith College. Realise is one of the projects within Managing Progress and it is a collaborative study with Workers Educational Association (WEA) and Greater Pollok Development Corporation (GPDC). It aims to work with employers and employees in small and medium enterprises to develop literacies skills especially for those that have had limited earlier educational opportunities.


This project is focusing on literacy and numeracy in the work-place because lack of literacy and numeracy skills has a strong effect on people’s lives. Firstly, because people with literacy and numeracy difficulties are likely to be less confident and have lower self-esteem. Secondly, because having good literacy and numeracy skills helps people to gain employment and also to retain and progress in it. Thirdly, it restricts the ability of workers to adapt to new technology and new workplace practices, and leads to safety concerns and costly mistakes.

Internationally improving literacy and numeracy skills are seen as the ‘key’ to unlocking the benefits of globalisation. Levels of attainment in literacy and numeracy interact with factors of age, gender, race ethnicity, religion and disability which in turn impact on the development of individuals, families, communities, and businesses where people have few or no qualifications. Unmet literacy and numeracy needs can impede the development of an inclusive society.

The project has combined development and research objectives.

The development part of the project will be conducted by the Workers Education Association and the Greater Pollok Development Company, who will work with a selected number of employers and employees in small and medium enterprises. First, senior managers and owners will be encouraged and supported to examine the business case for undertaking literacy and numeracy training as it will lead to a more competitive company and increase opportunities within it. Secondly, using an integrated approach and a student-centred curriculum, literacy and numeracy development will take place.

The research part of the project, undertaken by the University of Edinburgh, will explore significant aspects of learning in the present and past lives of those working in small and medium enterprises at different levels. Learning will be defined broadly, encompassing formal, informal and non-formal aspects.

Overall, the project aims to work at two levels:

  • in partnership with employers to explore the needs of the organisation
  • in partnership with employees to develop literacy and numeracy skills


EU, Objective 3

Project team

A Collaborative Project between the Workers Education Association, the Greater Pollok Development Company and the University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh: Sheila Riddell, Lyn Tett, Elisabet Weedon, Linda Ahlgren

Workers Educational Association: Cathy Moncreiff

Greater Pollok Development Corporation: Joe Glen

Start date 1 July 2005
End date 31 December 2007

Research output


Experiences of Workplace Learning in SMEs: Lessons for Good Practice seminar

Wednesday 21 November 2007

Radisson SAS Hotel, 301 Argyle Street, Glasgow

Seminar chair: Leigh Berridge, Director for External Funding, Adam Smith College, Kirkcaldy.