Literacy in the Workforce Debate

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Department: Department for Education
Tuesday 25th April 2017

(7 years, 3 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Nash Portrait Lord Nash
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On the last point, I entirely agree with my noble friend about the benefits of précis. I remember spending a lot of time at school studying précis and I am sure that many people, including civil servants, could benefit from some training on that. But I pay tribute to our hard-working teachers who have supported with enthusiasm our phonics programme, which has resulted in many more children being on track to be confident young readers, and of course we now emphasise the importance of grammar in our curriculum.

Lord Storey Portrait Lord Storey (LD)
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My Lords, the Minister will confirm that literacy levels are the highest they have ever been, and that is thanks to the dedication of our teachers. However, a small number of young people slip through the net and there are some enlightened employers who help their workforces to develop their literacy skills while they are at work. That not only gives them greater employability but helps with their personal confidence. Sainsbury’s is an example of a company which does that. Will the Minister look at how other companies might be involved in similar schemes?

Lord Nash Portrait Lord Nash
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The noble Lord is quite right and is always well informed on this. We now have a higher proportion of young people than ever leaving compulsory education with a C or equivalent in English. We also work with organisations such as Unionlearn and the Learning and Work Institute to promote literacy training for people in the workplace. But I shall certainly look at the points he has made and I would be delighted to discuss them with him further.