ERSA welcomes the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee report on Adult Literacy and Numeracy, in particular the Committee’s recommendation to launch a high-profile campaign to tackle low levels of adult literacy and numeracy in England.

The Committee found that adults struggling most at English and maths were often not aware of the free training and tuition, offered nationally for any adult who wishes to study English and maths up to and including GCSE level. ERSA fully supports this recommendation and believes in the importance of addressing adult skills needs to better support jobseekers and improve progression in work. 

Key recommendations made in the report by the Committee include:

  • Government investing and promoting family learning schemes—where parents learn, and encourage their children to learn.
  • Government taking a more flexible approach to the way in which skills in adults are measured.
  • Implementing a more uniform assessment of skills when an individual claims for unemployment benefit.
  • There should be appropriate cross-departmental support in developing and implementing adult literacy and numeracy policies and programmes. This should include a civil servant in each relevant Department acting as a champion for adult literacy and numeracy.