Boosting foundation skills benefits workers and employers

Employers, industry representatives and adult literacy and numeracy specialists came together at the annual Australian Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) Practitioners’ Conference in Brisbane today.

Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills, Sharon Bird, addressed the conference, affirming the high regard in which the Australian Government’s WELL program is held and its role in opening the door to better pay, career advancement and greater workplace productivity.

“As workplaces change and the demand for higher skills increases, the challenge is to equip low-skilled workers with the literacy and numeracy skills they need to keep pace,” Ms Bird said.

“Integrating literacy and numeracy development in workplace training is an effective way of delivering these skills and benefits both employers and individuals.

“This is why the WELL program is such an important part of the Gillard Government’s $15.6 billion investment in skills and training.”

The WELL conference was an opportunity for industry, employers and WELL training providers to network, share ideas and learn about developments in the adult literacy field.

An evaluation in 2011 found WELL to be a successful, highly regarded program with 79 per cent of employers citing better performance in the workplace, fewer occupational health and safety incidents, and greater efficiency.

Employers at the conference were encouraged to capitalise on WELL through Skills Connect, the Australian Government initiative that provides businesses with access to assistance, resources and funding to support workforce development.

For more information about the WELL Program and Skills Connect visit www.skillsconnect.gov.au.