none

LOW LITERACY AND NUMERACY SKILLS HURTING BUSINESS

19-01-2016
by 
in 

Low levels of workforce literacy and numeracy skills are having a significant impact on business, according to a new study.

The report, Tackling Foundation Skills in the Workforce, released by the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) found 93 per cent of employers surveyed identified literacy and numeracy as a major issue that negatively impacted on their business.

Of the 300 employers surveyed, 42 percent of employers said poor completion of workplace documents was the greatest frustration as a result of low literacy and numeracy.

This was followed by material errors and wastage (32%) and teamwork and communication problems (28%).

This supports recent international data – Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) – which found 44 percent of Australians have literacy proficiency skills levels below Level 3 – considered to be the minimum to operate effectively in the workplace and society. 

Worse still was Australia’s ranking in regards to numeracy proficiency, with 55 percent of adults below Level 3.

“These results indicate a deepening concern about the level of foundation skills in the workforce and a continuing drag on the nation’s productivity,” Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said.

“As Australia continues to evolve towards the digital economy, increasingly more sophisticated skills within the workforce are required,” he said.

Mr Willox said the rapid expansion of ICT skills and technological advancement is changing the nature of employment.

“Occupations with highly-educated workers are expanding much more rapidly than other occupations, he said. So the mastery of literacy and numeracy is increasingly more important to meet the challenges of this evolving economy.”

According to the research, skill development support from supervisors or mentors was the largest response to the skills challenge from large (31.6%) and medium size businesses (28.2%). 

The AiGroup has recommended:

·       Implementing a national foundation skills strategy to boost workforce foundation skills

·       Developing a new national foundation skills program targeted at workplaces

·       Implementing a new national foundation skills program on a pilot basis in consultation with industry

·       Developing employer networks like the Employer Champions Network

·       Expanding the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practitioner Scholarships Programme to lift the number of qualified practitioners in the LLN teaching workforce and

·       Raising awareness about the return on investment benefits for employers who support their employees LLN training.

 

“We need a renewed focus on literacy and numeracy skills to deal with the way the economy is changing,” Mr Willox said. “We need leadership from the Government in this area and a commitment to develop a new national program would be an important step to tackle these issues.”

 

Full report:  http://pdf.aigroup.asn.au/reports/AIG9675_EMAIL.pdf

Related news & editorials

  1. worker
    07.05.2021
    07.05.2021
    by      In , In , In
    A $325,000 government grant has helped regional Victoria’s largest co-packing business increase its productivity through the introduction of an innovative product line and new automated equipment. 
    The grant, from the Agriculture Workforce Plan, has also enabled the Australian Disability Enterprise... Read More
  2. Cleanspace technology Dr Birrell
    09.03.2021
    09.03.2021
    by      In , In
    The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre's research shows that Australia is not taking full advantage of the industry’s potential and that is the full participation of the female labour force in the manufacturing sector.
    The study indicates that one of the key factors contributing to low... Read More
  3. 07.03.2021
    07.03.2021
    by      In , In
    If shopping for the latest items on the shelves excites you, then you have something in common with one of Australia’s leading manufacturing advocates.
    Dr Kymberley Talbot says she has a “blackbelt in shopping” but she is also Managing Director of the lithium-ion battery developer company, FELINE,... Read More
  4. 03.11.2020
    03.11.2020
    by      In
    The federal government has launched a new initiative to inspire girls to see their future in a range of jobs using science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.
    Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the Future You initiative would help raise awareness of... Read More
Products
Suppliers