Literacy and numeracy training announced for NZ employers

‘NZ needs a population with high-level literacy and numeracy skills to build a high-productivity, high-wage economy’

Literacy and numeracy training announced for NZ employers

A new initiative has been announced by the New Zealand Government to support Kiwis through literacy and numeracy training in the workplace.

The announcement is part of a wider Government commitment to the wellbeing of New Zealanders and to lift productivity, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

 “Automation and artificial intelligence are increasingly affecting jobs meaning New Zealand needs a population with high-level literacy and numeracy skills to build a high-productivity, high-wage economy and an inclusive society where everyone can participate,” said Ardern.

The new funding of $14.5 million over four years means the Government will contribute nearly $45 million to the employer-led workplace literacy and numeracy fund between 2019 and 2022.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins added that it’s important to do a lot more to lift adult literacy and numeracy, particularly in lower-skilled occupations.

“But we also know people have busy lives and that a lack of time is the most common reason they in are not participating in training,” said Hipkins.

He added that increasing resources for on-the-job literacy and numeracy training is a practical way of opening more doors and supporting New Zealand businesses and workers for the future of work.

“We’re making comprehensive changes to vocational education, including ramping up on-the-job training, and the extra funding means we can also look more closely at the benefits of embedding literacy and numeracy in other training,” he said.

“Putting a bigger focus on literacy and numeracy is something employers have told us they want, starting in schools.”

Hipkins said that through the changes the Government are making in the NCEA, it’ll be clearer to employers that a learner has met a standardised benchmark, so they can have confidence that the NCEA literacy and numeracy requirements are credible and reliable.

READ MORE: How to create and foster a learning culture

Moreover, Business Central Chief Executive John Milford said businesses will welcome the extra government funding to boost literacy and numeracy training in the workplace.

Milford added that it’s important to upskill those in the lower-skilled jobs to lift productivity, and the extra $14.5 million will help push that along.

“These people are a vital part of our economy and we need them to be performing as best they can,” said Milford.

“This will be particularly vital as the changing nature of work demands even higher skills into the future.

 “Businesses are constantly telling us that finding people with the skills to do the job is one of the biggest impediments to them moving ahead, and on-the-job training is a great way to help solve that.”

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