The House Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training will hold its first public hearing on Wednesday February 17, 2021 as part of the Committee’s investigation into Adult Literacy and Its Importance. The committee will hear evidence from the Productivity Commission and the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE).

The Productivity Commission’s review of the National Convention on Skills and Personnel Development found that there should be a coordinated national strategy for improving school education, second chance learning in vocational education and other adult education services. This would try to reduce the large number of Australians with little language, reading, arithmetic and digital skills. The review also suggested improvements in foundation skills, better credit lines, an expansion of vocational training loans for students and a test of a new funding instrument for mature Australians for retraining and further education.

Committee Chairman Andrew Laming MP said: “It is worrying that up to one in five adult Australians has poor literacy and / or numeracy skills, which limits their ability to be fully employed, educated and trained, as well as social and civic Life to participate. ‘

‘The committee looks forward to reviewing the Productivity Commission’s findings and will seek evidence from DESE on a number of relevant Commonwealth-funded programs supporting adult literacy and numeracy. These programs include the $ 1 billion JobTrainer Fund, Education and Employment Skills, Core Skills for Your Future, Remote Community Pilots, and the Reading Writing Hotline, ”Laming said.

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