Workers in Staffordshire are being encouraged to target their learning ' gremlins' through a groundbreaking computer game developed by Staffordshire Basic Skills Strategy Network and Staffordshire Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

The "virtual adventure" --said to be the first of its type ever designed - formed the focal point of this year's 'Skills for Life' tour when it recently visited Morrisons in Cannock.

The road moved to Asda Stafford at the weekend and will be at Somerfield Rugeley on Fridayand Morrisons Burntwood on Saturday.

"We want to give local employees a unique chance to come and chat to friendly advisers about brushing up their reading, writing or maths skills," said David Roberts, Skills for Life Officer.

"The video game will grab the interest and lets them use learning tools, which are also great fun, to kill the gremlins that are holding them back. Each day, the top scorer will have the chance to win £50 vouchers to spend on clothes, music or even sports equipment."

Last year's tour attracted nearly 1,200 people from the town, with many going on to take part in bite size courses and more sustained learning, such as apprenticeships.

The Network and Staffordshire LSC are hoping that companies in Staffordshire will actively encourage their staff to take time out to chat to local colleges and learning providers outside of the typical educational environment and find ways to brush up their skills as part of a friendly group, at college or even online using a computer.

" Recent research still underlines the fact that over 25 per cent of Staffordshire's adult population still has difficulty with either reading, writing or maths and would benefit from refreshing their knowledge," said David.

"This could be holding them back in their daily jobs and could have a major impact on the bottom line of businesses involved in manufacturing, service or even the public sector."

He added: "The tour, which is being fully supported by colleges and the nextstep service, is an ideal starting point for workers looking to travel down the road of gaining new qualifications or just brushing up on much needed communication skills.

"Better still, the majority of the Roadshows will be held outside traditional working hours, in order to prevent companies from losing staff for any given time."

The 'Skills for Life' tour, which will visit nine towns and cities in total, is especially looking to attract females considering returning to work and young males that are disillusioned with careers offering little promotion prospects and poor pay.

The focus will also fall on men aged between 40 and 50 who may have lost their jobs in manufacturing and want to boost their skills in order to re-enter employment.