Adult literacy training for workplaces

Adult literacy training is helping companies to improve productivity, efficiency, accuracy and safety in the workplace. However, it is not only employers who benefit from their investment in basic English literacy and maths training. Low skilled employees attain important skills that they need to sustain their employment when they complete adult basic education and training or “ABET”. They are also presented an opportunity to grow and develop their careers so that they can rise up the ranks, take on more responsibility and earn more. Individuals also use English literacy and numeracy skills in just about every facet of their lives outside of the workplace. For example, we use these skills at home when interacting with our families, in our communities and societies at large. Importantly, adult literacy training and adult numeracy training also helps countries to develop competitive economies. Internationally, there is an acute shortage of skills that companies need to bolster productivity and efficiency. This is so that they are able to compete at a global level. Adult basic education and training or “ABET” prepares your low skilled employees for further learning. This is so that they can continue to hone their existing proficiencies and acquire new skills. Triple E Training’s adult literacy training and adult numeracy training programmes include adult basic education and training or “ABET”; foundational learning competence or “FLC”; and Rapid Effective Lifelong Learning or “REALL”. This is in addition to a range of Learnerships at a National Qualifications Framework Level.

Adult literacy training bolsters productivity

Adult literacy training and adult numeracy training programmes are helping companies to develop a robust pipeline of skills that they need to boost productivity. At the same time, our adult literacy training and adult numeracy training empowers your employees. This is by equipping them with the English literacy and numeracy skills that they need to develop their careers and grow as individuals. Importantly, your investment in adult literacy training is also helping to develop the South African economy. This is by building a strong pipeline of skills that the country needs to improve productivity and innovation. The country needs these skills to compete at a global level. Triple E Training’s workplace training solutions include adult basic education and training or ABET; Foundational Learning Competence or “FLC”; and Rapid Effective Lifelong Learning or “REALL”. This is in addition to a range of learnerships at a National Qualifications Framework or “NQF” Level. Our adult literacy training and adult numeracy training programmes are designed for on-the-job development. They are undertaken at your premises – no matter how remote your location.

The number of South African workers by skills levels, 1994-2014

1994Type of skillsNumber of workers by skill level2014Type of skillsNumber of workers by skill level
 Skilled1,8-million Skilled3,8-million
 Semi-skilled4,2-million Semi-skilled7-million
 Low-skilled2,9-million Low-skilled4,3-million
Total 8,9-million  15-million
www.statssa.gov.za

Breakdown of the South African workforce by skill level, 1994-2014

1994Skill levelPercentage of the workforce by skill level2014Skill levelPercentage of the workforce by skill level
 Skilled21% Skilled25%
 Semi-skilled47% Semi-skilled46%
 Skilled32% Skilled29%
www.statssa.gov.za

Trend of employment structure by occupation and by gender, 2005-2014

 MaleFemaleMaleFemaleTotalTotal
 200520142005201420052014
Highly skilled jobs20.9%24.2%21.8%25.1%21.3%24.6%
Manager8.7%10.7%4.6%5.6%6,9%8.8%
Professional3.3%5.5%3.6%13.1%3,4%5.6%
Technician9.0%8.0%13.6%13.1%11.0%10.2%
Semi-skilled jobs27.3%24.8%21.4%20.4%24.7%22.9%
Clerical5.7%5.9%15.8%17.3%10.1%10.9%
Craft and related trade21.6%18.9%5.5%3.1%14.5%12.0%
Skilled Agriculture0.6%0.6%0.9%0.3%0.8%0.5%
Unskilled jobs51.2%50.4%55.9%54.1%53.3%52.0%
Sales and services12.8%14.1%13.6%16.9%13.2%15.4%
Plant and machine operator13.6%13.0%2.8%2.6%8.9%8.4%
Elementary24.7%23.2%39.5%34.6%31.2%28.2%
Total100%100%100%100%100%100%
www.afdb.org

Trends of labour force structure by education level, 2005-2014

 Total (000)Total (000)Total (000)Percent distributionPercent distributionPercent distribution
By Education200520092014200520092014
No schooling8236094494.9%3.3%2.2%
Less than primary completed2,1151,7341,39912.6%9.3%6.9%
Primary completed1,0809648346.4%5.2%4.1%
Secondary not completed5,8836,6547,42535.1%35.8%36.7%
Secondary completed4,7685,5526,46428.4%29.9%32.0%
Tertiary1,9872,8933,44511.9%15.6%17.0%
Other1091912000.7%1.0%1.0%
Total16,76518,59718,333100.0%100.0%100.0%
www.afdb.org

Adult literacy training is an imperative

Adult literacy training and adult numeracy training are helping companies win the competition for skills. For many companies, adult literacy training and adult numeracy training has become a large part of their business strategy. Enterprising companies nurture a culture of learning in the workplace. This includes helping their low skilled employees easily access quality adult literacy training and adult numeracy training. In doing so, companies are preparing their low skilled employees to undergo further learning so that they will be able to add even more value moving forward.

Adult basic education and training

South Africa has identified adult basic education and training or “ABET” as a priority. This adult literacy training and adult numeracy training is equipping adults who did not have the opportunity to complete their school education with basic skills. The knowledge, skills and values that your low skilled employees gain through adult literacy training and adult numeracy training enables them to participate in a modern economy and society. It also helps to build a just and equitable society. This is in addition to promoting and instilling a culture of lifelong learning among participants in adult literacy training and adult numeracy training.

Adults who have completed all four levels of adult basic education and training or “ABET” can pursue the following learning pathways:

  • A vocational route by completing the National Certificate: Vocational Qualifications at Levels 2, 3 and 4. These contain vocational specialisations.
  • Academic learning at a National Qualifications Framework or “NQF” Level 2 and above.
  • Occupational specific qualifications at National Qualifications Framework or “NQF” Level 2. These consist of knowledge, skills and workplace experience and learning.

The adult basic education and training or “ABET” qualification aims to equip learners to:

  • Develop and apply relevant skills, knowledge and attitudes in the chosen Learning Areas.
  • Function better in and contribute to the world of work.
  • Be sensitive and reflective of issues relating to diversity, inclusivity, cultural values, human rights, gender, development and change.
  • Develop an appreciation for lifelong learning.
  • Function better as South African citizens and contribute to cultural, social, environmental and economic development.
  • Make informed judgments about critical ethical issues.

Develop study skills to be able to access further learning. 

Adult literacy training for employees

triple-e-training-adult-literacy-training-for-workplaces-skills-infographic

There are ways of determining whether your low skilled employees need adult basic education and training or “ABET”. You may have noticed, for example, that they do not possess adequate work readiness skills. These proficiencies include the ability to problem solve; think critically; and work efficiently with other team members. They are also unable to work alone, relying extensively on managers, supervisors and other team members to perform their jobs. Your low skilled employees may also struggle to follow clear instructions and do not have good work habits. For example, your low skilled employees are not punctual, diligent and do not communicate efficiently. Adult basic education and training or “ABET” also helps your employees to improve their ability to understand, learn and apply new information in the workplace. Moreover, adult basic education and training or “ABET” helps your low skilled employees to work effectively with new technologies and accompanying processes. This is important to continue implementing innovation that is needed to remain competitive in the market. Another sign that your low skilled employees need adult basic education and training or “ABET” is when you struggle to maintain a good health and safety track record. Also inspect your employee retention and promotion records, as well as productivity and error rates. All of these are important signs that something may be amiss, and that it is time to approach a reputable provider of adult basic education and training or “ABET” for assistance. A placement assessment will be able to determine the extent of the literacy and numeracy gaps in your company.

THREE DOMAINS OF LITERACY

There are three domains of literacy. They are as follows:

  • Prose literacy: This domain consists of the knowledge and skills that are needed to understand and use information from texts. These include editorials, news stories, brochures and instruction manuals, among others.
  • Document literacy: This domain includes the skills required to find and use information contained in various formats. Individuals who possess these skills understand, for example, job applications, payroll forms, transportation schedules, maps, tables and chart.
  • Quantitative literacy: This is the knowledge that is needed to apply maths in real-life situations. Individuals who possess these skills are, for example, able to calculate a tip, complete an order form or determine the amount of interest on a loan from an advertisement.

Source: www.oecd.org

The four stages of literacy

There are four stages of literacy. They include:

  • Stage 1: Individuals who are at this stage have very poor literacy and numeracy skills. They may, for example, be unable to determine the correct amount of medicine to give a child because they do not understand the guidelines included in the packaging. These individuals are, therefore, in dire need of adult literacy training and adult numeracy training.
  • Stage 2: Individuals who are at this stage of literacy can only understand materials that are simple and clearly laid out. While these people may be able to read, they test poorly. In some instances, they may have learnt skills to cope with their limited literacy skills, but they are unable to deal with unique demands in life, including in the workplace. They, therefore, still need to develop their literacy skills through adult basic education and training or “ABET”.
  • Stage 3: Individuals who are at this stage of literacy have sufficient literacy skills to cope with the demands of everyday life. This includes functioning in a complex and sophisticated society. Generally, their literacy skills are at a level that is required to complete secondary school and learn further.
  • Stage 4: Individuals at this stage demonstrate a command of higher-order information and processing skills.

Source: www.oecd.org

Adult literacy training focus

Adult literacy training programmes start with a placement assessment. A placement assessment evaluates the English literacy and numeracy skills of your low skilled employees. We are then able to correctly place them at the correct adult basic education and training or “ABET” level. Accredited training provider, Triple E Training’s adult basic education and training or “ABET” programmes are geared specifically at employees with very low skills working across many different industries. This means that some of your low skilled employees may have to complete pre-adult basic education and training or “ABET”. They will, thus, be able to cope with the course content advancing to the fourth level of their adult literacy training and adult numeracy training. By this time, they will be functionally literate. Functional literacy is also referred to as “workplace literacy”. Employees who are functionally literate can deploy their English literacy and numeracy skills to do their jobs correctly.

Adult basic education and training or “ABET”

Adult basic education and training or “ABET” consists of:

  • Language, Literacy and Communication or “LLC”, which involves:
  • Engaging in a range of speaking/signing and listening interactions for a variety of purposes: 6 credits.
  • Exploring and using a variety of strategies to learn: 5 credits.
  • Reading/viewing and responding to a range of text types: 6 credits.
  • Writing/signing for a variety of different purposes: 6 credits.
  • Mathematical Literacy or “ML”, which involves:
  • Describing and representing objects in terms of shape, space and measurement: 5 credits.
  • Evaluating and solving data handling and probability problems within given contexts: 5 credits.
  • Working with numbers, operations and relationships between numbers: 4 credits.
  • Working with measurements in a variety of contexts: 2 credits.
  • Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences or “MMS”:
  • Working with patterns in various contexts: 4 credits.
  • Describing, representing and interpreting mathematical models in different contexts: 6 credits.
  • Critically analysing how mathematics is used in social, political and economic relations: 2 credits.
  • Analysing cultural products and processes as representations of shape, space and time: 2 credits.

Adult basic education and training or “ABET”

Adult literacy training prepares your low skilled employees for success. Our adult basic education and training or “ABET” is not just about teaching your employees how to read and write English. Low skilled employees who have completed our adult basic education and training or “ABET” are able to use a combination of proficiencies that they need to function effectively in the workplace. They are able to make decisions and think critically and logically to find solutions to problems. Moreover, they are able to set goals; communicate effectively in English, the formal language of business; and use basic numeracy skills. These are also skills that enable your low skilled employees to work with computers and other technologies. Therefore, by investing in adult basic education and training or “ABET, companies achieve cost savings and productivity gains. This is in addition to a marked increase in customer satisfaction and loyalty. Your employees benefit by being able to perform their jobs accurately and efficiently. This helps to improve their employability and keep their jobs. They are also able to continue learning to develop their careers so that they can earn more and improve their lives.

About workplace literacy

Workplace literacy or “functional literacy” includes:

  • An understanding of basic literacy in reading and writing. This is in addition to an ability to perform basic math.
  • An understanding of topics specific to a company, trade or industry.
  • An understanding of content directly relevant to employment and occupational goals.
  • An understanding of vocational English that is relevant to specific jobs and key performance indicators.
  • Sound digital literacy skills to work effectively with computers and other technologies.
  • A grasp of the importance of basic on-the-job conduct. This includes punctuality and attendance, as well as efficient communication with peers and supervisors. Other aspects include knowledge of wages and benefits, as well as worker protection and rights.

Adult literacy outside the workplace

Adult literacy training also improves your low skilled employees’ lives outside the world of work. They use their English literacy and numeracy skills that they have acquired from adult basic education and training or “ABET” at home, as well as in their communities and society at large. They will, for example, be able to use computers and the internet to understand and critically evaluate digital media. This is in addition to being able to communicate effectively via these digital technologies. Moreover, they will have the ability to make informed judgement and effective decisions regarding their finances. Adult literacy training also empowers your employees with the knowledge that they need to access and understand basic health information to improve their lives. These are just some examples of how adult literacy training and adult numeracy training improve the lives of individuals. These are among some of the reasons why adult basic education and training or “ABET” is still considered an important driver of transformation. It, therefore, makes a substantial contribution towards companies’ broad-based black economic empowerment score cards.

Adult literacy as the start

Adult literacy training and adult numeracy training are also used to prime low skilled employees for on-the-job learning at a National Qualifications Framework or “NQF” level. This type of adult literacy training and adult numeracy training is known as Foundational Learning Competence or FLC. It aims to equip your employees with English literacy and numeracy skills quickly and efficiently. These are the basic skills that they need to understand the course content presented to them and to write their trade test in the formal language of learning and business. Employees who have completed this type of adult literacy training are able to use their reading, writing and speaking skills to convey meaning in a logical and orderly fashion. Moreover, they will be able to extract relevant information from text, infer meaning, make deductions, develop logical arguments, organise thinking and extract key messages from an extended piece of writing.

The numeracy component of this adult numeracy training equips your employees with minimum, generic mathematical literacy skills. This is to provide them with a sound basis upon which to cope with the basic numeracy demands of occupational training. They will also be able to engage meaningfully in real-life situations that depend on these skills.

Key education statistics

  • Youth literacy rate (aged 15-34): 93,9%
  • Adult literacy rate (aged 35-64): 79,3%
  • Upper secondary completion rate (aged 15 and older): 55,1%
  • Secondary school completion rate (age 25): 30,7%
  • Post-completion rate (age 25): 11,4%
  • Tertiary education income covered by tuition fees: 34,1%
  • Average rise in the cost of education: 2016: 4,6%

Literacy and numeracy in daily life outside the workplace

Literacy is the ability to read, view, write, design, speak and listen in a way that allows us to communicate effectively and to make sense of the world.

We use our literacy skills to understand a range of written, visual and spoken texts. These include, among others, books, newspapers, magazines, posts on digital platforms, television and radio programs, signs, maps, conversations and instructions.

To be numerate is to be able to confidently and effectively use numeracy to meet the everyday demands of life. Numeracy enables us to develop logical thinking and reasoning strategies in our daily life. Numeracy skills enable us to develop logical thinking and reasoning strategies. This is to solve problems and make sense of time, numbers, patterns and shapes for a range of activities. These include reading a map, bills and instructions.

Adult literacy training fast-tracked

Adult literacy training can also be accelerated by Triple E Training through Rapid Effective Lifelong Learning or “REALL”. Rapid Effective Lifelong Learning or “REALL” uses carefully aligned, streamlined content that enables employees to progress more rapidly. This is by carefully integrating training material that enables your employees to progress steadily.

Triple E Training is a leading provider of adult literacy and numeracy training that is geared specifically at the workplace. For more than 30 years, we helped many employees reach their full potential by acquiring workplace literacy skills through our quality adult literacy training and adult numeracy training programmes. Learn more about Triple E Training and our innovative approach to adult literacy training and adult numeracy training. www.eee.co.za.

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