FLC Literacy training - Triple e Training
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FLC Literacy training equips your employees with the communication skills that they need to succeed in occupational training. Although extremely competent workers, many employees are unable to attain a National Qualifications Framework qualification. This is simply because their reading and writing skills are not up to standard. Without these basic education skills, they will struggle to read course curricula and write a trade test. 

Therefore, the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations has made FLC a prerequisite for all of its new qualifications. Refer to Overview (qcto.org.za). FLC Literacy training, FLC English or FLC Communication are one of the FLC fundamentals. Another one of the FLC fundamentals is FLC Numeracy or FLC Mathematics. This subject equips your employees with basic numbers skills. These serve as the foundation of the technical or “hard” skills learnt during occupational training. However, basic numeracy skills are also used together with those taught by FLC English to make sense of the world. This facilitates critical, logical and creative thinking to solve problems and innovate. These are among the many “soft” skills that modern artisans need to be successful in their careers. Notably, these are not taught during occupational training, which focuses on imparting technical or “hard” skills. The basis of these proficiencies are learnt at school or during FLC matric.

Competence in these FLC fundamentals are denoted by an FLC Occupational Qualification [IEB – Independent Examinations Board]. Note that only a QCTO-accredited FLC college can offer compulsory FLC training that leads to a recognised FLC Occupational Qualification. Refer to https://www.qcto.org.za/full—part-registered-qualifications.html. This means that the FLC college has met all the QCTO’s stringent requirements to offer FLC Matric. Refer to skills-development-provider-and-assessment-centre-criteria-and-guidelines.pdf (qcto.org.za). This is a way of maintaining the highest possible standards in the provision of relevant English and maths training.

FLC literacy teaches reading skills

FLC Literacy training, FLC English or FLC Communication teaches reading skills to your employees. 

To succeed in studying a trade, employees require a high level of reading comprehension skills. This is considering that they will have to read textbooks, manuals, specifications, regulations, codebooks and handouts on specific topics.

Employees who have demonstrated competence in FLC English will be able to read for different purposes. As one of the FLC fundamentals, FLC Communication teaches employees how to read to locate definitions or specific terms. They also possess the basic education skills needed to skim for overall meaning. Moreover, employees can read complete text to critique and evaluate it. This ability is especially important for apprentices. 

While reading, learners of a trade are required to locate single and multiple pieces of information in complex texts. This is in addition to choosing and integrating information from several parts of a text or various sources. Moreover, employees must be able to identify relevant and irrelevant information and synthesize it from multiple sources. Considered competent in one of the FLC fundamentals, they can also interpret dense and complex texts.

Employees who complete FLC literacy

Employees who complete FLC Literacy training have also been equipped with the reading skills that they need in the workplace. These are proficiencies that they will use extensively long after receiving an FLC Occupational Qualification and passing their trade test.

For example, heavy equipment operators will be required to regularly read Material Safety Data Sheets. This is so that they are aware of safety procedures and hazards when working near explosives or chemicals, for example. 

Meanwhile, insulators will read manuals and handouts that explain procedures and processes. These include the correct use of adhesives and contact cement types. They will also rely on their general background understanding of the trade and its jargon. These abilities are deployed together with those imparted by one of the other FLC fundamentals, namely FLC Numeracy. 

Meanwhile, tilers read technical training manuals to review procedures that are not always regularly addressed on the job. This may include specifications for swimming pool installations and arc cuts for complex circular layouts. 

Boilermakers will often read reference books to review technical procedures; mathematical explanations; first-aid instructions; and safety guidelines. Moreover, they use the reading skills that they learnt at FLC college to synthesise information from various books. 

Lathers or interior systems mechanics may read two- to three-page engineering reports. These detail important or exceptional criteria for a job task or aspect of work. 

Meanwhile, machinists use the reading skills that they learnt during FLC Communication to understand written instructions on work orders. In doing so, they may read several paragraphs of text describing the steps required to machine parts. Notably, they are also critical readers, a very important trait of any successful tradesperson. This is because it ensures that instructions are complete and consistent with other documentation and scale drawings.

FLC Literacy facilitates document use

FLC Literacy training worker pressing buttons

FLC Literacy also facilitates correct document use. 

Employees who hold an FLC Occupational Qualification from a reputable FLC college can use a variety of information displays. These include signs, labels, lists, tables, graphs, drawings, diagrams, schematics and maps, to name a few.

Competent tradespeople can read and interpret text and visual elements. They understand colour codes, icons, abbreviations and technical vocabulary.

During technical training, apprentices use documents for different purposes. They will be required to scan drawings, diagrams, schematics, tables and graphs to locate information, such as working load limits. In addition, employees need to be able to read information on drawings; diagrams; schematics; tables; and graphs. This is so that they can, for example, understand how to assemble an item. 

While using documents, apprentices need to locate specific information in drawings, schematics, diagrams, tables, graphs and flowcharts. They use key words and abbreviations when locating multiple pieces of information in drawings, material lists, diagrams and tables. This is in addition to technical terms, icons and colour coding.

They also make low- and high-level inferences using specialised and background knowledge. In addition, learners select and integrate information from multiple sources, such as drawings, schematics, diagrams and tables. They also search through complex and multiple displays of information, such as tables and sets of drawings. Moreover, learners of trades need to be able to identify and distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information.

Skills taught by FLC Literacy

Throughout their working life, artisans will further develop the skills taught by FLC Literacy training, one of the FLC fundamentals.

Most trade workers are expected to interpret sets of drawings to verify measurements and determine the integrity of plans. They also do this to report mistakes and omissions. 

Meanwhile, industrial electricians scan tables for specifications. For example, they may do so to determine the size of wire needed. This in relation to the length of its run and motor size.

Machinists interpret scale drawings at various points throughout machining processes. They study assembly drawings; sectional views; and renders showing parts from various perspectives. Moreover, they review drawings prior to jobs to understand critical dimensions and machining tolerances. They also do so to identify missing information and measurements. Machinists also take measurements from drawings and make related calculations when planning, sequencing and verifying the accuracy of their work. 

Meanwhile, plumbers interpret schematics to trace the circuit along which water can flow when planning to install piping. This involves interpreting symbols for pipe fittings and valves. 

Refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanics use their reading skills to analyse temperature graphs of refrigerated unit sensors over a two-week period. They do this to correctly diagnose equipment problems. This function involves comparing temperature readings to equipment specifications and to that of other units. 

Steamfitters or pipefitters consult their handbooks to obtain information on measurements and types of materials and pipe sizing. This is in addition to the mathematical formulae for required calculations. A key resource for every job, this handbook contains charts and tables with important information.

Practicing reading during FLC Literacy

Practicing reading during FLC Literacy training, employees will master the five aspects to the process of reading. These work together to create a reading experience.

The first is phonemic awareness. Phonemes are the smallest sound units used to form spoken words. For example, in the word bat, there are three specific phonemes or sounds, namely “b”, “a” and “t”. Learners who have phonemic awareness have the ability to focus on and manipulate phonemes in spoken syllables and words. They can also hear and identify similar word patterns and listen for and detect spoken syllables. Phonemic awareness is important because learners need to be able to hear and manipulate oral sound patterns. Only then can they identify these patterns in print.

The other important aspect of reading that receives attention in FLC Communication is phonics. This is an understanding of the relationship between letters in written language and the individual sounds in speech. Phonics instruction teaches learners how to use these relationships to read and spell words. An understanding of the association of sounds to the alphabet enables learners to develop critical word recognition skills. Knowledge of the sound-symbol relationship can then be applied to print.

Fluency is another important competent of the reading process. Employees who have completed FLC matric can read with the appropriate speed, accuracy and proper expression. This is opposed to having to stop and decode each word to make sense of text what is being read.

FLC Literacy classes

FLC Literacy training Worker In a big warehouse

Certainly, employees who attend FLC Literacy training also improve their vocabulary, another critical aspect of the reading process. 

Vocabulary is closely related to comprehension. The larger readers’ vocabulary, the easier it is to make sense of text. Compulsory FLC actively engages employees in instruction that includes learning words before reading, repetition and multiple exposures. 

Compulsory FLC also develops employees’ comprehension skills, another important reading aspect. Comprehension is the complex cognitive process that readers use to understand what they have read. Vocabulary development and instruction play a critical role in comprehension. Employees develop text comprehension via a myriad of techniques. These include answering questions and summarisation. 

Complementing FLC Literacy

Complementing the skills learnt during FLC Literacy training are those imparted by FLC Numeracy or FLC Mathematics. 

There are very few – if any – trades that do not require basic numbers skills.

For example, carpenters use their basic numeracy skills to calculate stringers, treads and risers to build stairs. 

Meanwhile, heavy equipment operators use them to estimate weight distribution.

Glaziers use their basic numbers skills to accurately calculate radius, circumference and angles to construct curved curtain walls. They also rely on their basic numeracy skills for other applications. For example, when they use transits to lay out points of a segment or curved or unusual shapes.

Welders calculate “offsets” using their basic numbers skills, such as trigonometry, to determine the length of the hypotenuse. 

Using their basic numeracy skills, bricklayers precisely calculate the angles of arches to construct doorways or window openings.

Industrial electricians use formulae from the electrical code for an array of applications. This includes determining the size of cable required when its length and size of motor is unknown.

Irrigation technicians take and analyse several pressure and flow measurements when testing new systems or investigating obstructions in old ones. In doing so, they ensure that existing and new systems achieve desired design flow rates and head pressures.

Refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanics calculate averages across sets of readings on energy consumption. This is so that they can compare the performance of different systems.

Making FLC Literacy a requisite

The motivation for making FLC, including FLC Literacy and FLC Numeracy, a requisite for all new QCTO courses is clear. 

Employees who have found to be competent in both FLC fundamentals possess the ability to learn. This is in addition to sharpened workplace literacy and basic numeracy skills to operate at optimal levels.

Apprentices who have weak reading text skills will find it difficult to locate single and multiple pieces of information. They will also battle to recall and apply information that they have just read. Identifying main ideas and supporting details and summarising a piece of writing will also be a struggle. Apprentices who have poor reading comprehension skills also cannot distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information. They will also battle to integrate and synthesize information from several parts of a text or several sources. Meanwhile, they will also not be able to make inferences using background and specialised knowledge.

Lack of suitable literacy and basic numbers skills will also impede employees’ performance in the workplace. This is irrespective of whether or not they hold a NQF qualification. 

Artisans who cannot read well will not be able to use documents correctly. They will struggle to locate, use and apply single and multiple pieces of information presented in a variety of formats. These include drawings, schematics, diagrams, tables, graphs and flow charts that use abbreviations, symbols, icons and colour coding. This is over-and-above other organisational features. Tradespeople will also struggle to identify the purpose of documents. Integrating and synthesising information from different documents that combine text and other informational displays will also be a challenge. Without good reading skills, it will also be difficult to make inferences using background and specialised knowledge. Interpreting information from drawings, schematics, diagrams, tables, graphs and flowcharts will also be an immense challenge.

FLC Literacy and FLC Numeracy

The FLC fundamentals of FLC Literacy and FLC numeracy are complimentary. 

However, employees with poor basic numbers skills will also find it difficult to choose the correct formulae. Moreover, they will struggle to locate numbers to perform specific calculations. It is also unlikely that they will be able to use a sequence of steps to derive at an answer. Without basic numbers skills, it will also be impossible to translate a problem into a set of mathematical functions. This will stifle their ability to learn very technical concepts during occupational training. It will also be a major hindrance in the workplace.

Ensure that your employees attend FLC matric classes at a reputable FLC college.

Notably, such a FLC college will facilitate FLC English and FLC Mathematics classes at your premises. Therefore, specifically ask for the provision of workplace FLC when you first engage a prospective FLC college. 

Such a FLC college will also tailor compulsory FLC training to suit the career paths of learners. This is by incorporating typical jargon that they will encounter in technical training in FLC English and FLC Mathematics classes. Moreover, typical mathematical problems that they will face in their profession will be used in FLC Mathematics lessons.
Learn more about Triple E Training, one of the first FLC college’s to have its compulsory FLC accredited by QCTO. Therefore, employees prefer to enrol their employees in our FLC matric programme to learn FLC fundamentals. www.eee.co.za

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Unlock the Full Potential of Your Employees. Leave your details & our team get back to you.

Note: Please be assured that all personal data submitted is handled with the utmost confidentiality & will only be used for the purpose of addressing your inquiries.