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Home » News » ALI survey report: Numeracy skills add up for employers

ALI survey report: Numeracy skills add up for employers

Inspection & Quality
Skills for Life Network

A report on adult numeracy that provides a picture of what’s happening in the workplace and of the motivating factors and barriers to improving numeracy skills

‘In recent years there have been numerous headline-grabbing statements about the apparently low level of literacy and numeracy skills in our adult population. The problem was examined in the 1999 Moser report, A Fresh Start. This led to the government’s significant investment in a range of programmes as part of its new Skills for Life strategy.

The ALI has been inspecting aspects of Skills for Life programmes for some years. We have published findings in reports on individual training providers and have carried out more detailed surveys for the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). Initially the emphasis in skills for life was on literacy, but there now seems to be an increasing interest in numeracy and a continuing debate on the need for numeracy training in the workplace. To help that debate, this ALI survey examines the acquisition of numeracy skills among adults in the workplace.

The survey uses our inspection findings and results from previous general surveys. We also sought views directly from some employers through a questionnaire, follow-up visits and phone calls. We visited and talked to training providers, trade union representatives, employers and employees. The results allow us to reflect on what exactly is happening in the workplace and, more particularly, what are the motivating factors and the barriers to improving numeracy skills. We use case studies to show some of the more successful approaches to numeracy development in the workplace.

A person could be £50,000 worse off over their
working life if they have poor literacy, language
and numeracy skills.’

Visit the ALI website to view the Survey report.


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