Get In Touch
277 Jorissen St, Paardeplaats
177 IQ, Krugersdorp
[email protected]
Ph: +27 11 668 4300

Literacy training for logistics workers

Investing in adult literacy training and numeracy training for your logistics workers will improve business performance.

There is very little scope for mistakes in transport logistics functions which get products to market on time. You may be an owner of a third-party logistics provider that is contracted by manufacturers of leading brands. Alternatively, you prefer keeping your transport logistics functions in-house and only outsource them when required. Nevertheless, transport logistics is a service. And services are based on people. Thus, all members of your team need to constantly perform at their peak. This includes your warehouse workers, general labour, stockers, material handlers, loaders, receivers and forklift operators. Then there are your truckdrivers who also contribute an important role to business success. In the frontline, they will also regularly engage with clients or clients’ customers.

Therefore, enterprising companies operating in the transport logistics industry have long realised the importance of upskill training for unskilled employees.

Adult literacy training programmes

After completing adult literacy training programmes, your employees will possess basic education skills. These are also simply referred to as workplace literacy or functional literacy skills. Refer to,own%20and%20the%20community%27s%20development. These are the absolute basic skills required to perform most jobs at optimal levels.

This includes as a forklift operator, who quickly, efficiently and safely moves shipments to various locations within a warehouse. These have to be transported to the correct location for storage and then relocated to the loading dock. Some forklift operators also participate in inventory organisation; inspect and maintain machinery; identify damaged merchandise; and report stock shortages timeously.

Loaders also need basic education skills to effectively maintain warehouse inventory. They load and unload delivery trucks; operate various machinery; and track loaded and unloaded items from the facility. In addition, they work alongside a team to ensure all warehouse processes run smoothly. Without basic education skills, they cannot provide such an important support function.

Receivers also perform a vital role in the warehouse. They record and verify shipments; sign off on them; and confirm that each shipment was received in good condition. Receivers also unload shipments; check for packing lists; and inspect shipment damages and ensure that contents in packages match orders.

After your employees have completed ABET training, your warehouse supervisors will start receiving more accurate and useful shift handover reports.

Your managers notice that their teams adapt much more quickly to new ways of working and innovative technologies.

Moreover, customers commend your business for marked improvements in the helpfulness and punctuality of your collection drivers. This, in turn, has led to an increase in customer retention and fewer complaints.

Literacy training in the workplace

Since launching adult literacy training and numeracy training in the workplace, you have also noted other improvements in business performance.

There are lower warehouse picking errors and all-round improved communication in and between staff teams. Absenteeism and turnover have also declined, especially on days when training has been scheduled. This, in turn, have significantly improved productivity and efficiency.

Equipped with basic education skills, your staff also learn other proficiencies quickly. This provides a return on investment in all types of additional training that your employees must undergo to remain competitive. In turn, this has improved compliance with regulations and licensing requirements. It has also created a higher awareness of the importance of health, safety and environment training. It shows in a strict adherence to standard operating and safety, health, environment and quality procedures. This has led to a decline “near misses”.

Literacy training for non-skilled employees

Adult literacy training is for your non- and low-skilled employees who have not completed basic education for various reasons.

The literacy training component of adult basic training teaches essential basic education skills such as reading, writing and verbal communication.

Warehouse workers read on a daily basis. They do so to understand instructions on pick lists and shipments and safety instructions and symbols. Moreover, they need to be able to interpret schematic drawings and maps to locate goods. They also read information about goods and shipments marked on goods and pallets daily. In addition, they must comprehend what is being conveyed on posters and signs in the workplace. Usually, these provide important information on how to safeguard health and safety while performing duties. Misinterpretation of these safeguards, such as fire and dangerous chemicals warnings, could result in serious injury.

Warehouse workers will also regularly read work instructions and procedures and tables regarding quality and productivity. Routines and information on the correct handling of goods, such as flammable materials, are also communicated in writing. Staff operating in your warehouse will also be expected to frequently read shift and holiday rosters and general written communication.

On occasion, your warehouse staff will also read routines for waste disposal for environmental hygiene. Team members will also read internal rules and sign them from time to time. This is in addition to instructions on first aid, fire prevention and the correct handling and storage of hazardous goods. Employees will also have to read training material to, for example, correctly use a new forklift, occasionally. In the event of accidents, they need to find information in datasheets to handle these situations correctly. They will also read minutes of a meeting from time to time.

Literacy training teaches writing skills

Adult literacy training imparts the writing skills that your employees need to do their jobs well. This is one of the most essential basic education skills that warehouse workers need to communicate effectively.

On a daily basis logistics, staff are required to cross off and provide receipts for pick lists. They will also write short messages and instructions to others and even themselves as important reminders. Part of the daily job also entails completing work logs in an accurate manner.

Regularly, staff will complete a variety of forms, including those that relate to damaged goods, leave applications and faults. This is in addition to registering information on damage to goods and shipments.

Occasionally, warehouse workers will write course and information meeting notes. They will also answer questions on courses, certification and surveys and apply for leave of absence in writing. From time to time, they will write answers on training courses and views on how to improve the work environment.

Employees who have completed adult basic education and training have literacy skills at a National Qualifications Framework Level 1. Refer to Therefore, their reading and writing skills are sufficient to identify main points and specific detail in a text. It could be a policy document, for example. They can also summarise information from long documents, such as operating plans.

Employees’ reading and writing skills are at a level that also enables them to use reference materials. Moreover, they can record information in a logical manner that is understood by managers and colleagues. This is also because they have the basic education skills to articulate and structure their thoughts. They can also proofread their writing for accuracy and the correct use of spelling, grammar and punctuation in their correspondence.

Employees who complete literacy training

Moreover, employees who complete adult literacy training have good verbal communication skills. This enables workers to communicate with others to coordinate their work. Another daily task in which verbal communication skills are used is to give and receive messages and instructions. This is in addition to obtaining and conveying information on goods and deliveries and to participate in morning planning meetings. Warehouses workers will also have to inform their managers on progress being made on a daily basis. This is usually done in quick meetings in the morning.

They will also have to regularly respond to customer requests and communicate with transport operators over the telephone. Moreover, employees communicate verbally when participating in regular meetings.

Logistics workers also use verbal communication skills when they participate in training. Moreover, they communicate verbally with health, safety and environment officers about working conditions and environment and training needs. They also use this skill to answer questions during tests and certification processes. This is in addition to when briefing new and temporary workers about work schedules. Verbal communication skills are also used to inform about sickness and absence and provide input on residual functional capacity to work.

When employees have completed training for staff development, their speaking and active listening skills are sufficient to perform their jobs. This is because they can listen and respond to information and instructions. They can also provide and receive constructive criticism and make requests and ask questions to clarify their daily responsibilities. Furthermore, they can clearly express facts, explanations, opinions and descriptions.

More than just literacy training


However, there is more to ABET than just adult literacy training. Adult education programmes also teach basic numeracy skills via numeracy training. These basic education skills are used together with literacy to think logically, critically and creatively. In turn, this facilitates problem solving and decision making.

However, basic numeracy skills are also the basis of “hard” or technical skills needed in the transport logistics industry.

For example, employees use basic numeracy skills to calculate axle loads to ensure compliance with the rules of the road. They also use their basic numbers skills to observe working and driving hours. Moreover, basic numeracy skills are used to calculate the number of items on pallets and available storage area on commercial vehicles. This is in addition to understanding plans and diagrams and ensure that loads are safe, legal and secure.

When employees have completed adult education and training, their basic numeracy skills are sufficient to estimate and measure weight. They can also calculate ratio, proportions and percentages and use decimals. Their basic numeracy skills are also sufficient to correctly measure and record time.

Mathematical and literacy training provider

Partner a reputable mathematical and literacy training provider to launch successful adult education programmes. Such an AET training provider is always accredited with Umalusi Council []. Accreditation is compulsory to provide training that leads to a General Education and Training Certificate. Refer to

A suitable adult education training provider will also make the effort to get to know your business and its processes. In this way, it delivers adult education programmes of lasting benefit.

An appropriate educational accredited training provider supports you in promoting AET learning opportunities to your non-skilled and low-skilled employees.

Moreover, a skilled and experienced ABET provider uses workplace-relevant skills checks and initial assessment methods. A case in point is placement assessments which determine the extent of literacy and numeracy skills gaps in your company. The mathematics and literacy training provider can then determine a sound starting point for your staff. Ideally, employees should transition seamlessly from previous education attainment into English and maths training.

An accredited training provider can also plan and deliver education development for employees that is based on their clients’ needs.

When engaging an adult education training provider, ask the company to show evidence of quality and experience in its field. This includes an ability to provide imaginative, innovative and enjoyable training for staff development. You do not want run-of-the-mill adult education and training for your employees.

Importantly, an AET provider must be able to provide onsite-based training for employees. An accredited training provider should also be able to accommodate the hectic production schedules of the transport logistics function. There is scant time for ABET training in this industry. Therefore, basic education for employees must be done properly from the get-go. Every English and maths training session must be worth the time and money invested into AET.

Planning adult literacy training


An adult education provider will undertake the planning of adult literacy training and numeracy training around your production schedule. This is to minimise interruptions to operations.

Transport logistics staff can participate in onsite-based training for employees at any time that is convenient for the company. Adult basic education and training classes can, therefore, be at any time and day of the week, including weekends. Staff can also attend English and maths training at regular or infrequent times in a week. Allowance is also made for drop-in sessions for staff that could not attend classes because of onerous work responsibilities.

Upskill training for unskilled employees can take place before or at the end of shifts. This is to accommodate workers who work fixed shifts. However, such an arrangement will not be suitable for most drivers where work patterns are more unpredictable and varied. Therefore, it is important that your Mathematical and literacy training provider is flexible and open to suggestions. This is so that it can accommodate different options that cater to various roles in the transport logistics value chain.

Most employers release staff during work time to attend adult basic training. It is very important that there is a strong commitment to adult basic education and training from employers and employees. This will ensure that the training, which is geared at imparting basic education skills quickly and efficiently, will be successful.

Evaluating literacy training

A competent ABET provider will also share ways of evaluating the success of your adult literacy training and numeracy training.

It is imperative that adult education programmes are monitored and evaluated continuously. This will ensure that AET training is meeting the needs of your company.

If you are working with a new accredited training provider, run a pilot education development for employees programme first. The results can be reviewed before more English and maths training is rolled out. You do not want to be tied to an AET provider that cannot deliver a service that meets your standard.

What are the success indicators?

There are a few success indicators that you can use to evaluate upskill training for unskilled employees. For example, are supervisors and colleagues seeing an improvement in performance of employees after they completed the various AET levels? Moreover, has there then been an overall improvement in customer experience since upskill training for unskilled employees was introduced? Also, find out from employees whether they are enjoying adult basic training.

Importantly, have they also found it relevant and stimulating and, thus, look forward to adult basic training classes? Ask your employees how they are using their newfound basic education skills to work better. Another measure of the success of adult basic education and training is if employees attend classes regularly. Lastly, have you received positive feedback from the accredited training provider about the adult education and training? An expert mathematics and literacy training provider will keep you updated regularly. This includes alerting you to problems that could potentially thwart the outcome of basic education for employees timeously.

Ensure that time for evaluation has been built into education development for employees by your ABET provider. This must be done in collaboration with AET training participants; other staff; and your human resources team. Therefore, these regular meetings need to be scheduled as early as possible to ensure stakeholder participation.

Impact of literacy training

There are many ways of measuring the impact of adult literacy training and numeracy training. These should be put in place at the start of basic education for employees programmes. However, these will vary from one company and industry to the next. Therefore, ask your mathematics and literacy training provider to assist. A reputable accredited training provider has worked with many different companies and across industries that employ non- and low-skilled labour. It can, therefore, share very useful insights to better manage your upskill training for unskilled employees.

Monitor if there has been a reduction in absenteeism and an improvement in the retention of your “blue collar” workers. Despite popular opinion, these workers are not expendable. They may not be highly skilled, but they know how to do their jobs well to keep the wheels turning. A general improvement in customer satisfaction is also an important measurable. Have employees been more than willing to accept additional responsibility after learning basic education skills? Do they learn new skill quicker than before because they have basic education skills? Importantly, monitor the progression of employees into other roles with more responsibility.

ABET training should be accompanies with a career progress plan for employees. Take note of improvements in productivity, efficiency and accuracy of work performed by employees after completing an ABET level. This should reflect on the bottom line.

Learn more about Triple E Training and how we are establishing the benchmark in adult literacy training and numeracy training.

Book a Call

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.

Book a Call

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.