A National Audit Office report on improving adult literacy, numeracy and language has confirmed estimated figures that the Government has achieved its Public Service Agreement target to increase the skills of 750,000 adults by 2004
Achievement of the next target will require a further 1.5 million learners to achieve a first qualification by 2010.
Key recommendations in the report include:
- the need for Local learning and Skills Councils (LLSC’s) to develop a clear picture of local needs for literacy, numeracy and language learning, and to help a range of providers to develop their capacity to meet the assessed local needs
- the need for LLSC’s to use the enthusiasm, commitment and local knowledge of existing and recent learners to attract others into learning
- the need for the DfES to establish and disseminate examples of embedded and personalised learning, drawing on good practice in the voluntary and community sector
- a focus on working with employers to help them overcome the barriers that they may perceive in providing their employees with improved skills, and on working with providers to help develop flexible learning programmes to meet the needs of employers and employees
- the need for the DfES to develop ways of following up learners, encouraging them to persevere with their skills and to take up further opportunities – particularly with regard to telephone helplines
- a focus on the DfES, LSC and DWP to work together to ensure that customers on Jobcentre Plus funded courses are encouraged to continue their learning if they take up employment
- developing ways of ensuring that programmes for literacy, language and numeracy assess progress at frequent intervals
- the need for LLSC’s to work with providers to ensure that there are sufficient appropriately trained teachers in their areas and that existing teachers are supported to develop their skills
- for the LSC to assist local LSC’s to share approaches and experience of what does/doesn’t work in increasing participation in learning and achievement of the national target.