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More work needed to become knowledge economy

Media release
10 December 2007

More work needed to become knowledge economy

Concerted effort will be needed to address low adult literacy and numeracy levels if New Zealand is to become a true knowledge economy, says Business NZ.

The international Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey measured the literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills of adults in thirteen countries.

It showed that the literacy skills of New Zealanders have increased over the last decade, but that 75% of Maori and 86% of Pacific people surveyed had numeracy skills below the levels needed to function effectively in a knowledge economy.

Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said this was a tragedy for those concerned and for New Zealand as a whole.

“You cannot build an inclusive, productive and high-wage economy when large sections of the community do not have the required core skills.

“We have to take action to ensure that all New Zealanders can participate fully in society and the economy.

“My hope is that in this coming election year, all political parties will commit to focused, well-resourced and ambitious strategies for eliminating low literacy and numeracy levels.”


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