Placement assessments ensure training success. This is measured by the almost immediate positive impact that adult literacy training and adult numeracy training have on your business. Undertaken by a skilled and experienced accredited training provider, a placement assessment evaluates the English literacy and basic maths skills of your low skilled employees to determine the level at which they need to start their adult basic education and training or “ABET”. This ensures that your low skilled employees will cope with the course content to acquire the English literacy and numeracy skills that they need to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities within a specified and reasonable timeframe.
Considering the importance of English literacy and basic maths skills in the workplace, companies will want their low skilled employees to acquire them as soon as possible. A placement assessment also helps you to identify which of your low skilled employees require urgent adult literacy training and adult numeracy training intervention to improve their ability to work more productively, efficiently, accurately and safely. This is opposed to randomly selecting employees for participation in adult literacy training and adult numeracy training and hoping that it will have the desired impact on business performance. Importantly, these evaluations also enable the accredited training provider to tailor a unique adult education and training or “AET” programme to suit your specific needs. This is by gaining critical insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your employees, in terms of their English literacy and numeracy proficiencies, and how exactly these skills are deployed in your business. Triple E Training undertakes these placement assessments at your premises at a time that suits you to avoid disrupting your production schedules.
SUCCESSFUL TRAINING STARTS WITH A PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT
Placement assessments start your employees at the correct adult basic education and training or “ABET” level
A sound starting point for any successful adult education and training or “AET” programme is a placement assessment. They are completed before you book your employees for adult literacy training and adult numeracy training. A placement assessment is undertaken by a skilled and experienced accredited training provider to ensure that your low skilled employees start their learning journey at the correct adult education and training or “AET” level. This ensures that they will be able to understand the adult education and training or “AET” content. Enterprising human resources managers want to be reassured that their low skilled employees will succeed in adult education and training or “AET”. This is so that the company will definitely realise a return on its investment in adult literacy training and adult numeracy training. If undertaken correctly by starting the process with a thorough placement assessment, the benefits of formal and structured adult literacy training and adult numeracy training for low skilled employees will be realised almost immediately. This is why Triple E Training has made placement assessments mandatory for all of its adult literacy training and adult numeracy training programmes.
IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT ADULT LITERACY TRAINING AND ADULT NUMERACY TRAINING
These are a few interesting facts about adult literacy training and adult numeracy training:
- Even a modest investment in adult literacy training and adult numeracy training can lead to substantial improvements in the performance of low skilled employees. By investing in quality adult literacy training and adult numeracy training, companies benefit from improved productivity and cost savings from a marked reduction in errors. At the same time, low skilled employees gain from improved employment prospects and earnings. Bear in mind that English literacy and basic maths skills are the absolute minimum that individuals need to participate in the modern economy. This is in addition to the important role that English literacy and basic maths skills play in just about every facet of their lives outside of the workplace in their families, communities and society at large.
- Low skilled employees who have participated in adult literacy training and adult numeracy training usually also report a reduction in their work-related stress. This is simply because they have the basic maths and English literacy skills that they need to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. It is a well-known fact that happier workers are more productive.
- Employees are more loyal and engaged after completing adult literacy training and adult numeracy training, saving employers significantly in recruitment and training costs. This is not to mention the time it takes new employees to become accustomed to your unique processes and culture. During this learning period, employees are not as productive and efficient as they should be.
On average, every about R15 spent on adult literacy training and adult numeracy training yields about a R28 benefit to an employer.
EQUIPPING LOW SKILLED EMPLOYEES WITH BASIC PROFICIENCIES
Adult basic education and training or “ABET” for low skilled employees
The accredited training provider’s clients take their adult basic education and training or “ABET” very seriously. Their adult education and training or “AET” is geared specifically at equipping low skilled employees with essential basic English literacy and maths skills that they need to perform at optimal levels in the workplace. Employees use their English literacy skills to communicate effectively with other team members and their higher-ups. This helps to reduce costly errors and waste in the workplace as a result of miscommunication and misunderstandings. Meanwhile, employees who understand basic maths are able to think critically and logically to solve problems independently without having to constantly rely on their managers for guidance. Certainly, employees who possess sound English literacy and numeracy skills are also able to work efficiently in team environments. Importantly, employees who have a good grasp of English literacy and basic maths are also primed to continue learning in the workplace so that they are able to add more value to your business.
DO YOUR EMPLOYEES STRUGGLE WITH ENGLISH?
Low skilled employees who struggle to speak, read and write English:
- Rarely admit that they struggle with English. This is because they usually feel ashamed about their English literacy skills limitations and believe that they are alone in the situation.
- Usually have low self-esteem and feel vulnerable when they are in the presence of team members who they consider to be more educated than themselves. They may act submissive, defensive and aggressive when they face a specific situation that they cannot understand because of their limited English literacy skills. These are important signs that usually alert managers and supervisors about potential English literacy skills deficiencies in an organisation. A placement assessment will help indicate the extent of the problem and, importantly, propose solutions.
- Have learnt how to hide their limitations in English literacy. For example, they may find an excuse to read a document at home or prefer to memorise information than to write it down. Low skilled employees may also regularly ask co-workers or higher-ups to write on their behalf. It is important that managers pay attention to these obvious signs that indicate a shortfall in English literacy skills, so that adult literacy training and adult numeracy training can be implemented as soon as possible.
- Often have trouble pronouncing basic English words. This is because they lack the knowledge that is needed to discern syllables in a word. For this very reason, low skilled employees who are not well-versed in English literacy will regularly incorrectly pronounce a word English.
- Often lack the vocabulary that is needed to articulate their thinking. This is another communication barrier that needs to be solved swiftly via structured and formal adult basic education and training or “ABET”.
- Often have difficulty understanding perception of time and space.
- Submit documentation with several spelling and syntax errors. This cannot be left unchecked considering the need to ensure efficient communication throughout an organisation.
- Forget to attend meetings especially when managers have requested it in writing.
- Refuse new promotions. This is because your low skilled employees who do not have sound English literacy skills are fearful of exposing their limitations.
HOW TO ACT AROUND PEOPLE WHO HAVE LIMITED ENGLISH LITERACY SKILLS
There are ways that you can help employees who are not well versed in English literacy to better understand your instructions until such time that they have completed their adult literacy training as follows:
- Use simple vocabulary and short sentences and rephrase your ideas in other English words if you believe that you are not being understood clearly. However, never address a person who has limited English skills as you would a child. Bear in mind that English is often a second or third language for many low skilled employees. In fact, the vast majority of South Africans do not speak English as a first language, despite it being the formal language of business. This means that they only communicate in English in the workplace, as opposed to practicing the language on a continuous basis. Many managers still incorrectly assume that all of their low skilled employees are well versed in English when this is certainly not the case, especially in a country that has such a high illiteracy rate.
- Simplify technical vocabulary by avoiding the use of excessive abbreviations and acronyms. This is because they will make little or no sense at all to people who have limited English literacy skills. Many businesses still make the mistake of using abbreviations and acronyms extensively to communicate to employees. This practice even confuses people who possess sound English literacy skills.
- If your low skilled employees want to read an important work document later, summarise it and highlight the key information to make it easier for them to understand.
- Write information that you want to convey in work documentation legibly.
- Let your low skilled employees know that you have encountered other people who also struggle to read, write and speak English and that you are able to help them overcome this difficulty. This is usually an ideal opportunity to explain the benefits of participating in adult literacy training, starting with a placement assessment to determine the interventions that are required.
Make sure that your low skilled employees understand what you are trying to convey and provide cues wherever possible.
PLACEMENT ASSESSMENTS MAKE A LARGE IMPACT
Placement assessments for adult basic education and training or “ABET” with immediate results
Your low skilled employees will not complete their adult education and training or “AET” if they do not understand the course content. Low skilled employees may then become discouraged and demotivated which is counter productive considering that the ultimate objective of any quality adult education and training or “AET” programme is to instil a passion for learning among employees. Enterprising companies try to create an environment in which all employees value learning and are provided an opportunity to hone existing and acquire new skills that will enable them to grow and develop inside and outside the world of work. Employees who have completed leading accredited training provider, Triple E Training’s, adult literacy training and adult numeracy training gain a newfound respect for education and are, therefore, more willing to participate in other workplace training programmes that are geared at honing and enhancing their proficiencies. Right from the outset of the adult literacy training and adult numeracy training programme, our placement assessments have primed your low skilled employees for learning success. Certainly, employers also want to know how long it should take their low skilled employees to acquire essential English literacy and basic numeracy proficiencies.
A quality adult education and training or “AET” programme aims to equip your low skilled employees with English literacy and basic maths skills in a quick and efficient manner. A placement assessment enables us to provide an indication as to how long it should take your employees to progress by better understanding their abilities before they commence their adult literacy training and adult numeracy training. There are four adult education and training or “AET” levels. This excludes pre-adult education and training or “AET”, which some low skilled employees will need to complete to better prepare them for their learning journey. By the time your low skilled employees have completed the fourth adult education and training or “AET” level, they will be functionally literate, or possess workplace literacy skills. In order to place your low skilled employees at the correct adult education and training or “AET” level, it is vital that the accredited training provider has a sound understanding of their existing English literacy and basic maths proficiency abilities. Ideally, your employees should be able to seamlessly transition from their previous education experience into the adult education and training or “AET” programme. A placement assessment, therefore, also ensures that your low skilled employees do not regress and have a sound opportunity to enhance their English literacy and basic maths proficiencies. This ensures that you derive the maximum benefit from your ongoing investment in adult literacy training and adult numeracy training.
SOME IMPORTANT OBSERVATIONS ABOUT MATHS IN THE WORKPLACE
Research into numeracy in the workplace have revealed the following important observations that need to be considered by managers:
- Most employees do not always recognise the role of basic maths in the various tasks that they perform. Their focus is usually on completing the task at hand, which normally involves an integration of various skills, including basic maths.
- Data analysis is often used by employees simply because it is available, with computers able to track and report in just about every conceivable work setting.
- Measurements undertaken by employees range from the rudimentary to advanced. These tasks usually involve a wide range of tools and equipment.
- An understanding of basic maths helps to improve accuracy in the workplace. This bolsters productivity, efficiency and safety.
- Employees are not only required to calculate correctly; they have to achieve this within a specific timeframe. The efficiency of the methods they use to arrive at the correct answer are, therefore, also of utmost importance. This is considering the continued focus of companies to produce more with increasing attention to quality.
- Employees will often incorporate mechanisms, such as job aids, and estimate to avoid calculating. This is in response to time and accuracy demands in the workplace.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MATHS
People use maths in a number of ways in their daily lives. The different types of maths are as follows:
- Money maths: This entails all tasks that involve financial transactions, including handling cash, preparing bills and making payments.
- Scheduling or budgeting and accounting maths: This entails managing time and money as important resources; planning and monitoring their use; and assessing best value or reducing waste.
- Measurement and Calculation Maths: These tasks involve measuring and describing the physical world.
- Data analysis maths: This entails the analysis of numerical data.
PLACEMENT ASSESSMENTS FOR TARGETED TRAINING
Placement assessments for tailored adult basic education and training or “ABET”
Importantly, by first undertaking a placement assessment, the accredited training provider is able to design an adult numeracy training and adult literacy training programme that meets your specific needs. This is important as the English literacy and basic maths needs of companies vary significantly from one to the next. English literacy and basic maths skills are also constantly evolving considering the increased uptake of technologies by most industries to improve productivity and efficiency. While functional illiteracy is easier to identify, innumeracy can go largely undetected by managers for protracted periods at the expense of productivity and efficiency. This is because basic maths skills are usually firmly entrenched in work processes and differ significantly to numeracy that is taught at school. Placement assessments are able to precisely determine the extent of the English literacy and basic maths skills deficiencies in your company and how to solve this problem in the most effective manner.
A placement assessment also enables managers to better plan their adult education and training or “AET”. This by prioritising which low skilled employees require urgent adult literacy training and adult numeracy training as opposed to merely randomly selecting workers for participation with the hope of achieving the desired outcome. Bear in mind the dire impact that poor English literacy and basic maths skills can have on any business, including losses in productivity and profits. Time and money are also lost on ineffective workplace training programmes because low skilled employees simply do not have the basic maths and English proficiencies that they need to understand the course content. This is also very relevant to occupational health and safety training programmes, and why there is a strong link between functional illiteracy and high rates of accidents and “near misses”. Low skilled employees who are unable to read and interpret basic instructions will make mistakes that result in waste and missed deadlines, which could even cost a company a contract. Low skilled employees may also rely extensively on other team members and their managers to perform their respective tasks, placing unnecessary strain on existing resources that cause bottlenecks in processes. Many companies are also aware that illiteracy and innumeracy in the workplace can negatively impact compliance with laws and regulatory requirements. This is a significant concern especially in highly regulated industries where the smallest contraventions can result in stiff penalties, compromised reputations and lost contracts.
THE FOUR LEVELS OF ADULT BASIC EDUCATION AND TRAINING OR “ABET”
Adult basic education and training or “ABET” consists of four levels. Each level adds more adult literacy training and adult numeracy training and are equivalent to the General Education and Training or “GET” that is taught at school.
General Education and Training or “GET” is based on Grade R through to Grade 9. Adult basic education and training or “ABET” is equivalent to a National Qualifications Framework or “NQF” Level 1. These National Qualifications Framework or “NQF” levels are provided by the South African Qualifications Authority or “SAQA”.
|National Qualifications Framework or “NQF” Level 1||General Education and Training or “GET”||Adult basic education and training or “ABET”|
|Grade 9||Level 4|
|Grade 7||Level 3|
|Grade 5||Level 2|
|Grade 3||Level 1|
In order to participate in adult basic education and training or “ABET”, individuals need to be older than 21 years of age. They must also not have completed any education past a Grade 9 level, although most participants in adult basic education and training or “ABET” generally have no or very little formal schooling. Moreover, employees need to be possession of a valid identity document or birth certificate.
ABOUT ADULT BASIC EDUCATION AND TRAINING OR “ABET” LEVEL 4
Adult basic education and training or “ABET” Level 4 consists of Fundamental, Core and Elective Unit Standards.
The Fundamental component consists of:
- Language, Literacy and Communication or “LLC” Unit Standards, totalling 23 credits.
- Employers or low skilled employees must also choose between Mathematical Literacy or Mathematics and may not select a combination of both courses.
Employers or low skilled employees must also choose between Mathematical Literacy or Mathematics and may not select a combination of both courses.
Learners must complete all the Language, Literacy and Communication or “LLC” Unit Standards, totalling 23 credits, and either Mathematical Literacy Unit Standards or the Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences Unit Standards, totalling a minimum of 14 credits. This will contribute a total of 37 credits to the Fundamental Component of the adult literacy training and adult numeracy training.
Employees who have completed the Language, Literacy and Communication or “LLC” component will be able to use a range of English communication, language and learning strategies in a variety of contexts.
The Maths and Mathematical Sciences component teaches low skilled employees how to explain and use basic maths strategies, techniques and patterns to solve problems. Employees who have completed the Mathematical Literacy component of their training will be able to select and use numbers, data and objects in everyday life situations.
PLACEMENT ASSESSMENTS FOR TAILORED TRAINING
Placement assessments deliver a better adult basic education and training or “ABET” experience
A placement assessment also provides a wealth of information that can be used by the accredited training provider’s facilitators to deliver a better learning experience. This is by having a better understanding of your employees’ strengths and weaknesses in terms of their English literacy and basic maths skills, as well as learning capacity. They, therefore, know exactly where to focus their efforts to motivate your low skilled employees to complete their adult education and training or “AET” with flying colours.
A placement assessment also enables the accredited training provider to gain greater insights into the way in which English literacy and numeracy skills are deployed in your business by low skilled employees.
This leading accredited training provider undertakes these placement assessments at its clients’ premises and at a time that suits their production schedules. This is to mitigate interruptions to business during the placement assessments and later when adult literacy training and adult numeracy training is undertaken. The accredited training provider also leverages its large national footprint to enable it to undertake placement assessments and adult literacy training and adult numeracy training in the most outlying areas of the country. This is a significant advantage for the mining, construction and agricultural industries, which all use the company’s quality adult literacy training and adult numeracy training services.
Triple E Training has been providing quality education and training or “AET’ to companies operating across a broad spectrum of industries for more than 30 years. The accredited training provider’s close affiliation with industry means that it has been able to stay abreast of companies’ unique adult literacy training and adult numeracy training requirements. Learn more about Triple E Training. www.eee.co.za.