A successful adult education and training or “AET” programme is based on three critical factors. First and foremost is identifying the problems that you are experiencing in your organisation as a result of limited literacy and numeracy skills. Then determine the specific interventions that are required to address them with the help of an accredited training provider.
The third step entails establishing a set of measurables that can be used to assess the success of your investment into adult literacy training and adult numeracy training that is geared at your low skilled employees. The many benefits of a sound investment into adult education and training or “AET” from a reputable accredited training provider should be realised almost immediately. Companies that continue to invest in raising the English literacy and basic maths proficiencies of their low skilled employees report a marked improvement in their productivity, efficiency, quality and accuracy. This is in addition to a higher awareness of occupational health and safety practices among low skilled employees. These all help to improve the bottom line.
There are three important factors that underpin any successful adult basic education and training or “ABET” programme.
Before appointing an accredited training provider, companies will have clearly identified the challenges that they are experiencing as a result of literacy and numeracy deficiencies in the workplace.
In some instances, they may be concerned that work often has to be redone by low skilled employees because they do not understand clear and precise instructions from their line managers. These mistakes waste time and cause bottlenecks in the production process. The situation also places extraordinary strain on existing managerial resources.
Functional illiteracy and innumeracy also show insubstandard paperwork. Managers, shift supervisors and foremen notice that reports and job costings are often completed incorrectly or left unfinished by low skilled employees. This is because their low skilled employees lack basic literacy and numeracy proficiencies that are needed to communicate effectively in writing.
Because of an inability to understand clear verbal and written instructions, employees also tend to waste raw materials. This is despite the implementation of incentives and penalties to help minimise wastage and save costs.Wastage can also be a result of incorrect measurements and calculations due to substandard basic maths skills.
Low skilled employees who are not functionally literate and numerate are also less engaged than their skilled counterparts. This is because they lack the English literacy and basic maths skills that are needed to comment, as well as provide suggestions and feedback. Moreover, employees who do not have strong English literacy and basic numbers skills avoid making decisions and participating in problem solving to help improve processes.
ABOUT WORKPLACE LITERACY
Workplace literacy and basic skills generally refer to the proficiencies needed by employees to perform their respective tasks, such as:
These skills may be used with other important proficiencies, namely:
- listening and oral communication
- self-direction and self-motivation
- computer skills
Workplace literacy and basic skills requirements vary from one company to the next and are based on the specific needs of workplaces and employees. The scope and variety of skills that are required by low skilled employees depend on the following:
- industry and sector
- company size
- job functions and tasks of staff
- management philosophy, for example flat or hierarchical
- workplace technology
- changing job requirements
LITERACY AND MATHS
Literacy and numeracy skills help people function inside and outside the world of work
Bear in mind the significant social impact of illiteracy. Illiteracy is debilitating and felt in all aspects of daily life. People who cannot read and write English and do not have basic numbers skills are unable to make informed decisions that will help them to empower themselves or engage meaningfully with their communities.
Many people who are unable to read and write English and do basic maths, therefore, have low self-esteem and area shamed and fearful about their circumstances. They may also feel hopelessness about the future. As a result, low skilled employees who struggle to read and write English and understand basic maths will tend to avoid situations that may expose their limitations. This includes meetings with managers and co-workers; team building exercises; and other important company-related events.
- Literacy: Literacy refers to the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Adults need key information-processing skills, such as literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments.
- Functional literacy: Functionally literate people can engage in all activities in which literacy is required for effective functioning of their group and community. They are also able to continue to use reading, writing and calculation for their own and larger society’s development.
- Functional Illiteracy: Functionally illiterate people cannot engage in all those activities in which literacy is required for effective functioning of their group and community. They are also unable to continue to use reading, writing and calculation for their own and larger society’s development.
In South Africa, the level of educational attainment is used to measure functional literacy levels within the country. The Department of Basic Education and Statistics South Africa consider people who have not completed a Grade 7 as being functionally illiterate. They report that as many as 3-million South Africans are functionally illiterate, and most are of a working age. This impedes productivity and the country’s ability to compete at a global level.
FUNCTIONAL LITERACY AND NUMERACY
The application of English literacy and basic maths skills
Another clear indication that low skilled employees are not functionally literate and lack basic numbers skills is a notable increase in customer complaints. These frequent complaints may range from not receiving a response from low skilled employees through to incomplete orders and the provision of incorrect information.It is imperative that employees, especially those who engage with customers and clients on a regular basis, possess sound English literacy and basic numbers skills. This is to avoid misunderstandings and mistakes that could cost business.
There is also a high correlation between literacy and numeracy skills and workplace safety. Low skilled employees tend to make more accidents in the workplace than skilled members of a team. This is despite them regularly undergoing health and safety inductions and participating in occupational health and safety training.
Low skilled employees who do not have basic literacy and basic numeracy skills will also resist starting new initiatives or assuming additional responsibility. This is because they lack the basic proficiencies that are needed to learn new skills.Literacy and numeracy are fundamental skills. Literacy enables people to read, write and interpret thoughts presented in workplace training programmes or courses. Meanwhile, basic numbers skills enable people to reason and apply basic numerical concepts that they encounter in their learning journey. People with basic numbers skills can comprehend rudimentary fundamental arithmetical operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Another important sign that something is amiss is high staff turnover and absenteeism, especially on days when workplace training is being provided. This is also because your low skilled employees do not understand the impact of their actions on the company.
ADULT EDUCATION AND TRAINING OR “AET”
Accredited training providers help determine adult literacy training and adult numeracy training interventions
The next step involves determining the specific interventions that are required to address these concerns.
It is of utmost importance to ensure that employees are placed at the correct adult education and training or “AET” level. Bear in mind that there are four adult education and training or “AET” levels. They are equivalent to Grades R through to 9 at school. The placement of your low skilled employees at the correct adult education and training or “AET” level will ensure that they progress and do not regress in their learning journey. Importantly, a placement assessment also ensures that your low skilled employees will be able to cope with the adult literacy training and adult numeracy training and, thus, succeed. If they struggle to grasp the training content, they will not complete their instruction in basic numbers skills and English literacy.The ultimate objective of any well-planned and structured adult literacy training and adult numeracy training programme is to ensure that employees are able to acquire the skills that they need to be productive and efficient as swiftly and effectively as possible.
Accredited training providers, such as Triple E Training, will undertake a placement assessment before embarking on adult basic education and training or “ABET” to assist with the process. A placement assessment is, therefore, an important first step in any adult literacy training and adult numeracy training programme. A placement assessment also enables the accredited training provider to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of your low skilled employees. Time spent with your employees also enables us to gain further insight into your specific maths and English literacy skills. This is important information that the accredited training provider will use to help devise a bespoke training solution to meet your specific needs.
Moreover, facilitators use this information to help better prepare their training sessions because they know where to focus their efforts. By accurately placing employees at the correct adult education and training or “AET” level, the accredited training provider is also able to inform its clients on how long it will take their low skilled employees to gain important English literacy and basic numbers skills. This is critical information that will help to inform your workplace training programmes.
A reputable accredited training provider will have a long and impressive track record providing quality adult literacy training and adult numeracy training to industry. Triple E Training, for example, has been supplying quality adult literacy training and adult numeracy training to all sectors of the economy for more than 30 years. The accredited training provider also has a large national footprint that enables it to deliver quality adult literacy training and adult numeracy training to clients’ operations in the most remote areas of the country. It is also important to request references from your potential adult literacy training and adult numeracy training service provider as part of the selection process.
As one of the country’s foremost accredited training providers, Triple E Training continues to work with companies of different sizes in all economic sectors with varying literacy and numeracy skills requirements. The company is also flexible and able to adapt its adult literacy training and adult numeracy training to suit your production schedules. This is a strategic competitive edge considering that many companies struggle to accommodate training in their very busy schedules.
APPOINTING AN ACCREDITED TRAINING PROVIDER
When sourcing an accredited training provider, it is important to consider the following:
- The accredited training provider’s experience in working with adults in a learning situation. Teaching adult’s English literacy and basic numbers skills is an extremely specialised field. This is considering adults’ unique needs that differ significantly from those of children.
- The accredited training provider’s understanding of your industry and specific issues in the workplace that relate to English literacy and maths skills. Every adult basic education and training or “ABET” programme differs from one company to the next. No two adult basic education and training or “ABET” programmes are alike. It is imperative that your accredited training provider is able to tailor a unique solution to suit your English and maths skills needs.
- The accredited training provider’s ability to gain the confidence of management and employees. Buy-in from the entire team will help ensure a successful adult literacy training and adult numeracy training outcome. Employees are motivated to achieve and their managers invested in their adult literacy training and adult numeracy training success.
- The accredited training provider’s ability to design tailor-made programmes based on identified needs and its innovation in the field of English literacy and maths training. Your adult basic education and training or “ABET” partner should be at the cutting-edge of industry practice. This is rate of change in industry and the demand that it is placing on skills, including English literacy and maths.
- The accredited training provider’s ability to provide a flexible adult literacy training and adult numeracy training solution, taking into consideration your location and production schedule. Assess the company’s national footprint, including training facilitators and infrastructure, as well as the accredited training provider’s willingness to travel to your premises to undertake adult literacy training and adult numeracy training. Triple E Training services the engineering and infrastructure, mining and agricultural sectors which have operations that are located in very remote areas.
ADULT EDUCATION AND TRAINING OR “AET” SUCCESS
Measuring the impact of your adult literacy training and adult numeracy training interventions
The next step entails determining the indicators that will help you effectively measure the impact of your English literacy and basic maths training. You want to see a large return on your investment into adult literacy training and adult numeracy training almost immediately.
Low skilled employees who have completed Triple E Training’s adult education and training or “AET” programmes have the skills that they need to perform their jobs productively, accurately, efficiently and safely. This is because they have been equipped with verbal and written communication skills. They are also able to perform functions that involve basic maths, such as counting money, taking measurements and inventorying stock. Because they possess basic literacy and maths skills, they understand company policies and procedures. They are also able to use technology, solve problems and make decisions.
The accredited training provider’s clients report that they have seen a marked improvement in their employees’ oral communication skills after they have completed their adult education and training or “AET”. Employees’ English reading and writing skills enable them to complete forms correctly and understand workplace documentation. Companies that continue to invest in the accredited training provider’s quality basic English literacy and basic maths instruction also report fewer accidents in the workplace and a stronger awarenessof safety among low skilled employees. Their employees are also better able to use technology, such as keying in information on a computer. Low skilled employees also have an increased understanding of processes, such as standard operating procedures and quality assurance.
Learn more about Triple E Training and our quality adult literacy training and adult numeracy training programmes. www.eee.co.za.
Adult education and training or “AET”
|Grade||Adult basic education and training or “ABET”||National Qualifications Framework or “NQF”|
|3||Adult education and training or “AET” Level 1|
|5||Adult education and training or “AET” Level 2|
|7||Adult education and training or “AET” Level 3|
|9||Adult education and training or “AET” Level 4||National Qualifications Framework or “NQF”1|
|10||National Qualifications Framework or “NQF”2|
|11||National Qualifications Framework or “NQF”3|
|12||National Qualifications Framework or “NQF”4|