The Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (23) found that around half of the Tasmanian population aged 15-74 lacked the literacy skills to cope with the demands of everyday life and work in a knowledge-based economy. Increased potential for further skill development and employment opportunities arises from improving adult literacy skills.
Identifying and acting on low levels of literacy skills and the provision of appropriate training and support to improve literacy skills are vital elements for those Tasmanians of working age that fall into the high proportion of those not considered to be functionally literate. Improving adult literacy is not solely the responsibility of education and training providers, but is inherent in the interests of governments, business and industry, communities, families and individuals.
The term literacy is used generally and intends to include document and prose literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology literacy.
While the intention of this Action Area is to improve the literacy skills of adults, it is essential to recognise the importance of (and actions intended to improve) the literacy skills of pre-school and school aged children. Launching into Learning (Department of Education) offers a range of strategies, resources and programs that support early literacy and school readiness.
The Social Inclusion Unit (Department of Premier and Cabinet) will particularly focus on adult literacy and will launch a framework for action in 2009.
The Community Knowledge Network actively responds to the need of Tasmanians to have the opportunity to acquire and maintain essential literacy skills through the network of over 100 service outlets including adult education, libraries and online access centres. The Community Knowledge Network is establishing a network of adult and family literacy coordinators to support the literacy needs of Tasmanians. The literacy coordinators will be supported by volunteer tutors and work in both urban and regional areas of Tasmania. The coordination of literacy support for people across the prison and community corrections system will also be supported under this program.
Actions such as the Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s Workforce Participation Program and the Community Knowledge Network’s Learning and Information Network Centre (LINC) project specifically target greater participation and access to services that promote active participation in work and community.
The Learning and Information Network Centre is at present, operating at Huonville but there are plans for LINCs to extend across Tasmania. The LINC brings together a number of government and community organisations such as the Library and Online Access Centre, Centrelink, Service Tasmania and the Magistrates Court under the one roof. Training providers deliver education and training programs, including Year 11 and 12 courses and Vocational Education and Training courses, Adult Literacy and Basic Education and the Language Literacy and Numeracy Program.
(23) ABS 4228.0 - Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey, Summary Results, Australia, 2006
“Assisting people to improve their literacy skills has an enormous impact on social well being, skill development and job prospects. Concentrating our efforts on improving adult literacy is vital to greater participation and productivity in Tasmania.”
Performance Measures & Targets:
|Current (2008):||Baseline to be established|
|2010:||Targets to be set|
|Current (2006):||51% prose literacy & 49.3% document literacy|
|2010:||53.3% prose and document literacy|
|2015:||56% prose and document literacy|
Activity in this area: