3.1Adult literacy and numeracy
|Why is it
every job now requires some competence in basic skills, and employees
increasingly need high levels of numeracy and literacy in order to compete
effectively in a labour market where the proportion of unskilled jobs is
How does the UK perform?
estimated that around 7
million adults in the UK are functionally illiterate. The International Adult Literacy Survey (1994-1998) shows
that although all countries have problems of poor literacy and numeracy
the UK and US perform worse than most (chart
In March 1999, the Government published its National Learning Targets for 11 year olds reaching expected standards for their age in both literacy and numeracy by 2002 (Chart 3.1.2). Although the proportion of 11 year olds reaching these standards has increased in recent years, further progress needs to be made if the Targets are to be met.
Improving Literacy and Numeracy for Adults: A Fresh Start. A report by the working group chaired by Sir Claus Moser, 1999.
Last updated on 12 March 2002