Low literacy and numeracy rates holding back Australian businesses


Workers with low-level skills continue to have an adverse impact on the productivity and success of Australian businesses.

A key issue is the vast number of employees who have poor literacy and numeracy skills, which are starting to hold businesses back via simple errors such as the inadequate completion of workplace documents, material wastage, simple mistakes and time wasting.

However, this is not necessarily the fault of workers. Many are not given or equipped with the level of education and skills required to enter and succeed in the workforce. This lack of skills causes a two-fold consequence for both the worker and the employer.

The biggest impact of inadequate employee skills occurs on medium sized businesses. Small businesses by nature can work in close collaboration with staff and provide one-on-one support to employees. Big businesses have the funding and resources to offer extensive training. However, while medium businesses have more employees than small businesses, they lack the scale to provide individuals with intensive support.

With employee skills continuing to drag down the nation’s productivity, employers should start spending more time considering their options for supporting their employees training and development. Care must be taken to avoid opting for a one-size-fits-all solution or a single focus approach that does not bring the structural change that is needed.


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