Permanent URL for this page: http://hdl.voced.edu.au/10707/605626.
Corporate author:Australia. Parliament. House of Representatives. Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training
On 3 February 2021, the House or Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training adopted an inquiry referred by the Minister for Education and Youth, Alan Tudge, to inquire into and report on adult literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills in Australia. The Committee presented its report on 22 March 2022. The terms of reference included but were not limited to: (1) the relationship between adult literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills and socio-demographic characteristics, particularly migrant status, First Nations status and individuals living in... [+] Show more
On 3 February 2021, the House or Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training adopted an inquiry referred by the Minister for Education and Youth, Alan Tudge, to inquire into and report on adult literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills in Australia. The Committee presented its report on 22 March 2022. The terms of reference included but were not limited to: (1) the relationship between adult literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills and socio-demographic characteristics, particularly migrant status, First Nations status and individuals living in households that have experienced intergenerational unemployment; (2) the effect that literacy and numeracy skills have on an individual's labour force participation and wages; (3) links between literacy and social outcomes such as health, poverty, ability to care for other family members and participation in civic life; (4) the relationship between parents' literacy skills and their children's education and literacy skill development from birth to post-secondary education; (5) whether changes to schooling in 2020 as a result of [Coronavirus Disease 2019] COVID-19 will have a disproportionate impact on the skill development of those children of parents with lower literacy and numeracy levels, and, if yes, consideration of appropriate remediation programs which might address this; (6) the availability, impact and effectiveness of adult literacy and numeracy educational programs in Australia and internationally; and (7) international comparisons of government policies and programs that may be adapted to the Australian experience.
The Committee's report notes that too many Australians leave school with language, literacy, numeracy, and digital literacy (LLND) skills gaps that limit opportunities and life choices. At the same time, many older Australians are finding that the skills they have relied on in the past are not keeping pace with technology. This inquiry examined the importance of developing strong LLND skills, overcoming barriers to learning, and the ability of existing adult education programs and providers to meet demand. The Committee found that poor education outcomes are strongly correlated with poverty and geographic isolation. There is a need to address factors that contribute to low LLND skills across all educational systems, at every stage of a person's life journey.
The inquiry found that there are currently a range of accredited programs available for adults to improve their LLND skills, including Australian Government programs focussed on employment readiness and vocational education and training. However, adults with low LLND do not necessarily want to sign up for accredited courses. Instead, working with a volunteer tutor or attending a small class at a neighbourhood centre can help build their skills and confidence, which may then lead to employment and further education and training opportunities. However, the adult and community education sector is significantly under-resourced and is currently unable to meet the high demand for adult LLND education. There is also a critical shortage of qualified adult literacy teachers in Australia. The Committee agreed with the Productivity Commission [report available in VOCEDplus at TD/TNC 143.201] that there needs to be a holistic national LLND strategy, which provides a broad range of adult educational offerings to meet varied needs and which clarifies jurisdictional responsibilities across the range of programs on offer. The Committee has made 15 recommendations which address key areas of reform to improve adult LLND skills.
Edited excerpts from publication and publisher's website.[-] Show less
Keywords: Digital literacy; Technological change; Family; Socioeconomic background; Ethnicity; Educational background; Schooling; Institutional role; Access to education and training; Employment outcomes; Labour force participation; Employment status; Return on education and training; Wage; Wellbeing; Standard of living; Skill needs; Skill development; Adult basic education; Adult education; Educational program; Education and training needs; Adult educators; Barrier; Government role; Federal government; State government; Capacity building; Recommendations; Policy implications; Education and training system; Education and training reform
Published: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory: Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, 2022
Physical description: xxviii, 184 p.