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$270,000 For Hawkes Bay Adult Literacy Project

Workbase To Receive $270,000 For Hawkes Bay Adult Literacy Project

The Minister for Industry and Regional Development Jim Anderton and the Associate Minister of Education Marian Hobbs are pleased to announce that $270,000 will be allocated to Workbase, for an adult literacy project in Hawkes Bay.

The project will run from July 2001 to June 2001 and will involve Workbase and local businesses working together to help raise the literacy, English language and numeracy skills of the workforce.

The project intends to make literacy services widely available for businesses in Hawkes Bay. It will include an analysis of adult literacy issues in the region, the establishment of a Regional Literacy Centre for training and the development of a Regional Literacy Taskforce.

“Improved adult literacy can lead to major improvements in business performance and employment prospects. The adult literacy projects are consistent with industry and regional development objectives,” said Jim Anderton.

The initiative is being funded out of the Ministry of Economic Development. The programmes have been developed in close contact with Skill New Zealand and the Ministry of Education. It typifies the government’s whole of government approach to complex issues and recognises that literacy is an education issue with implications for business and economic growth.

“These initiatives complement the government’s Adult Literacy Strategy, and are part of the government’s approach to enhancing skills at all levels,” said Marian Hobbs.

“The Adult Literacy Projects will provide a wothwhile increase in opportunities for adults to develop their literacy.”

Over 40 percent of New Zealand adults have problems with reading, writing and numeracy skills, which can prevent them from realising their full potential in jobs. Employers are finding poor literacy can make it difficult to introduce modern systems of work organisation and new technologies.

This is one of a range of approaches to adult literacy that will be tested in different regions and workplaces. Initiatives will include literacy training for adults who are currently employed, building training capacity and promoting awareness amongst employers about the benefits of improving workforce literacy skills.


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