Skills for Life,Improving Adult Literacy and Numeracy,Department for Education & Skills: House of Commons Papers 2004-05,20

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9780102931631: Skills for Life,Improving Adult Literacy and Numeracy,Department for Education & Skills: House of Commons Papers 2004-05,20

Twenty-six million people of working age have levels of literacy and numeracy below those expected of school leavers, and many of them experience practical everyday problems. They cannot read and understand signs, notices or labels, and cannot check they have received the correct change when shopping. Moreover, many work in low-skilled jobs, are unemployed, or on benefits, or are offenders in prison or supervised in the community. DfES launched the Skills for Life Strategy in March 2001, which includes programmes for English for Speakers for Other Languages (ESOL). These programmes are beginning to make an impact, despite social and psychological barriers to participation, but further improvement is necessary, for example, people who are 'difficult to reach' could be contacted through family literacy schemes (linked with schools) or through schemes aimed at jobseekers. People over 20, and refugees and asylum seekers, should be increasingly targeted. Greater liaison with employers, unions and public sector agencies (such as Learning and Skills Agencies) should encourage greater participation in shorter (and more flexible) courses, and more research into the reasons for high drop-out rates.

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