When many of us see the words ‘ upgrade’ we immediately think about wasting time in rehashing skills we’ve already evolved in our workplace. Yet the LLN (Language, Literacy and Numeracy) unit upgrade for trainers, facilitators and teachers who hold a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment is proving to be a welcome exception.
The 2006 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALLS) measured Australia’s literacy competence in four domains: prose literacy, document literacy, numeracy and problem solving. Results were ranked on a scale from level 1 (lowest) to level 5 (highest) and level 3 was considered the minimum level required to meet the demands of a knowledge society. The shocking result was that 46%* of Australians aged 15-74 did not have the LLN skills to meet the demands of everyday work and life.
There is a nation-wide initiative to improve the language, literacy and numeracy skills of our workforce – current and future, and there is a compelling argument for starting with the educators who have the influence to lift the literacy skills of thousands of workers.
For many participants upgrading their skills in our LLN program, the most surprising realisation is what may have blamed on a learners ‘bad attitude’ in the past could just have been a mask for other issues that could easily be solved by simple changes in program design or the development of additional support mechanisms.
Take Ted, the son of a Russian immigrant who left school at 14 to take on a trade to support his family. Ted’s experience of school was in a small country town, a single teacher school with 20 kids, 5 of whom were his siblings. Ted is now 54 and a valued and experienced diesel mechanic. With shifts in technology, Ted has needed to upgrade his skills to include the use of computer diagnostics for assessing engine temperatures and calibrations. Ted has had little exposure to computers – words like ‘diagnostic’s’ and ‘calibration’ are completely new to him. His behaviour in the training room appears resistant and aloof; he doesn’t participate in discussions and isn’t taking notes.
What could easily be interpreted as ‘resistance to change’ or ‘bad attitude’ is actually a literacy issue. Ted, who’s at the top of his ‘technical game’ does not want to be found out for poor literacy. Simple support tools like video, having the trainer read out the new instructions, providing an IT specialist to ‘translate’ the jargon to practical hands-on application are all ways that Ted can very quickly master new skills and be a positive advocate within his workplace.
The 1 day LLN unit upgrade program has been designed to help trainers support learners with the literacy skills they require to meet the demands of everyday work and life.
When we teach an individual to read and write, we lift the literacy skills of one person. But when we teach teachers, trainers and workplace supervisors to address the learning aptitude, oral skills, reading, writing and numeracy of all their trainees and students, it not only improves the skills, self-esteem, employability and productivity of many individuals, but ripples to lift the productivity of the entire nation.
Leadership Dimensions offers the nationally accredited Language, Literacy and Numeracy (TAELLN411) in a 1 day intensive program in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra.
Contact us to arrange a custom program for your organisation.