Triple E Training, the country’s leading accredited provider of workplace training, continues to receive very favourable feedback fromlow skilled employees who completed the company’s basic English literacy and basic numeracy instruction. Learner experience is always the most accurate means of gauging the success of any adult basic education and training or “ABET” programme.
A case in point is the very favourable feedback that Triple E Training recently received from employees on the quality of the adult basic education and training or “ABET” that they completed.
This leading and the oldest distribution company in the country chooses to outsource its important workplace training, including basic English literacy and basic maths skills, to a specialist in the field. The accredited training provider has been specialising in basic English literacy and basic numeracy instruction for more than 30 years. These basic communication and numeracy training interventions continue to help businesses of all sizes significantly improve productivity and efficiencies in the workplace. This is by equipping low skilled employees with the basic English literacy and maths skills that they need to perform at optimal levels.
To constantly innovate and enhance its workplace training offering to industry, Triple E Training conducts surveys with low skilled employees after they have completed their basic English literacy and basic numeracy training. In this way, the accredited training provider is also able to make its Basic English literacy and maths training engaging and relevant to ensure a high attendance and completion rate.
Adult basic education and training or “ABET” makes all the difference
Low skilled employees have the confidence to communicate in English, the official language of business
By now having the confidence to communicate in English, all the employees who participated in the programme believed that the training had made a marked difference in their work lives. Some said that, after completing their English literacy training, they now had the self-assurance to write formal e-mails in English to their supervisors. Other learners said that they were now able to communicate in English in front of colleagues and even do presentations. This is something these low-skilled employees did not want to do before they completed their workplace training simply because they did not have confidence in their ability to speak, read and write English in front of others. Considering the importance of active communication in any business to improve productivity and efficiency, this is also very positive feedback for the client. Notably, basic English literacy skills also contribute towards improved employee engagement. These are among some of the reasons why companies continues to invest into adult basic education and training or “ABET” and chooses to partner an accredited training provider to instruct low-skilled employees in Basic English literacy and maths skills on its behalf.
English – the language of business
The importance of sound basic English literacy and basic maths skills in the workplace
English illiteracy in the workplace is a challenge as it impedes the performance of low-skilled employees.
The standard definition of English illiteracy is the inability to read and write in what has become the official business language over the years. English’s importance as a language is also demonstrated by its extensive use on the Internet. However, nuanced definitions of English literacy also take into consideration the context and purpose of the reading and writing tasks. This is particularly relevant in the workplace, especially where complex tasks require more than just the ability to recognise printed English words. In these instances, low-skilled employees may have to comprehend words and logic of a substantial piece of English prose to perform their duties.
Worryingly, about 4,4-millon South Africans are illiterate. The lion’s share of this number comprises of older adults who did not complete their basic education for many reasons.
Two years ago, as much as 31% of the illiterate portion of the population in the country consisted of people of between 60 and 64 years of age. South African citizens aged between 55 and 59 made up 25,8% of the illiterate population in the country. Meanwhile, 3,5% of illiterate South Africans consisted of grownups of between 20 and 24 yearsof age.
Of concern is that the share of adults who are illiterate increased significantly over a 10-year period. Illiterate people aged between 60 and 64 increased by 5,6 percentage points between 2009 and 2019. Illiterate South Africans of between 55 and 59 years of age increased by 3,4 percentage points and those between 35 and 39 years of age increased by 0,6 percentage points during this period. 30- to 34-year-old adult South Africans who are unable to read and write increased by 0,4% during this period.
Meanwhile, innumeracy is defined as the inability to perform simple maths equations. Numeracy is also an essential basic skill that is required in the modern workplace, especially considering modern technological advances. Employees who are numerate have been able to adapt to these changes as they are able to think logically and reason. Their basic maths and numbers skills enables them to understand how data are gathered and presented in diagrams, graphs, tables and charts.
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Ways in which English literacy improves business performance
- English literacy increases confidence and work purpose
Workers with basic English literacy skills can perform their daily duties at optimal levels by understanding expectations and instructions to complete tasks accordingly. This also results in a sense of purpose and positive opinion about the workplace.
- English literacy improves team collaboration
Workers with basic English literacy skills can communicate effectively with supervisors and their peers. For example, they can write emails, read and understand business reports, as well as present ideas that will add value to the company. This ensures team collaboration, a vital aspect of any business.
- English literacy bolsters productivity
Workers who can read, write and speak English have the confidence to complete tasks, achieve business goals and interact with other team members.
- English literacy reduces stress in the workplace for employees
Workers who have completed Triple E Training’s English communication training programs are less stressed in the workplace. This is simply because they can understand, among others, business-related emails, phone calls and queries. Our training has also helped to significantly reduce or eliminate miscommunication between team members.
- English literacy builds interpersonal skills to progress in the workplace
An ability to communicate effectively in English helps employees build positive working relationships with peers and supervisors to develop their careers.
- English literacy improves client or customer satisfaction
Employees who have completed Triple E Training’s English literacy training programs are able to communicate more effectively with customers or clients in person, or via phone or email. By mitigating and even eradicating miscommunication, English literacy training helps to improve customer and client satisfaction.
Basic English literacy skills also improve lives outside of the workplace
Adult basic education and training or ABET instills a love for learning among adults
Importantly, adult basic education and training or “ABET” is intended to instill an appreciation for learning among grownups who never completed their basic schooling. Once they have realised the importance of education, including basic English literacy and maths training, in just about every aspect of their daily lives, many adult learners want to study further.
For example, several employees who completed their adult basic education and training or ABET expressed an interest in also completing our basic Foundational Learning Competence or “FLC” or Rapid Effective Accelerated Life Long Learning or “REALLL”. These are also offered by the accredited training provider as part of its comprehensive offering to develop employees basic maths and English communication skills.
Foundational learning competence prepares employees to succeed in occupational learning programs
Equipping employees with English communications and maths skills for further learning
The accredited training provider’s Foundational Learning Competence or “FLC” training is preparing many employees to succeed in occupational learning programs or qualifications. This is by equipping them with English literacy and maths literacy skills, which are closely connected to success in workplace training.
Our assessments continue to show that many employees do not know how to apply English language and maths literacy concepts in the workplace. This is despite being able to perform their respective tasks in the workplace at an optimal level. As such, they will struggle to understand theoretical concepts presented in occupational training and, therefore, fail to acquire new skills and knowledge to excel in the workplace. This is to the detriment of low-skilled employees who are increasingly being marginalised as South Africa’s economy modernises.
Foundational Learning Competence or “FLC” provides the minimum competence required in each learning area.
Employees only need to complete their Foundational Learning Competence or “FLC” once as it is applicable to NQF levels 2 through to 4.
Meanwhile, the accredited training provider’s Rapid Effective Accelerated Life Long Learning or “REALLL” accelerates workers’ level of competence. This is by using carefully aligned, streamlined content that allows learners to progress more rapidly than by other learning systems.
Effectiveness is achieved by using the unit standards-based education system and carefully integrating course material that helps learners to progress steadily.
The correlation between English literacy and basic numeracy skills
Numeracy skills demands have become greater in modern workplaces. In most industries, employees need to be able to interpret, use and report mathematical information in their respective work roles. There are three phases to numeracy in the workplace and two of these also rely on sound literacy skills:
The first phase of numeracy entails interpreting
Workers must first interpret specific information. This entails relating the content to what they know about the context and information. They then use their literacy skills to read the information and identify keywords or details.
The second phase of numeracy entails using maths skills
Workers then use their basic maths skills, namely their understanding of numbers and the ability to calculate, to understand or answer the question. They will perform this using various techniques, such as “in the head”, on paper, or with a calculator.
The third part of the numeracy phase entails communicating the solution
Workers communicate the solution using language and literacy skills. Their literacy skills enable them to respond in context and use appropriate words or sentences. Their basic literacy skills also enable them to write, speak, or indicate with a diagram the solution.
Adult basic education and training or “ABET” boosts morale and self-esteem
At ease in the classroom and with the workplace training content
The survey also showed that the training has boosted workers’ morale and self-esteem. All the participants were excited to have completed their workplace training and to have received a certificate for their hard-earned efforts.
Many of the participants also reported that they did not experience major difficulties in completing the workplace training course content. Those learners who were initially nervous to partake in the workplace training eventually felt at ease in the classroom and were able to complete their studies. Certainly, there were learners who found the English literacy workplace training content challenging. However, with the help of a skilled and experienced facilitator, they were able to persevere to complete their workplace training.
“Notably, all of the learners stated that they were highly satisfied with the way in which Triple E Training conducted the workplace training. We did not have a single comment from the learners on how we could personally improve the learning experience. It is also reassuring that the learners said that they would recommend our adult basic education and training or “ABET” to others, including family members. This is an indication of the high level of professionalism of our service, which is one of many reasons why Tarsus has chosen us as its preferred training provider,” Maree concludes.