Despite what Governments and others try to do, we still seem to have problems with literacy and numeracy. Part of the problem is not integrating these essential skills with whatever is being taught at school, college and even university. Obtaining a qualification or even a good mark for an essay or a project should include marks for our literacy and numeracy abilities, shown as a separate ‘statement’, to emphasise their importance.
Also, it appears a good proportion of students, of whatever age, have issues with dyslexia and other related learning difficulties. Therefore, tests should be done each year to identify if there are such difficulties so that personalised plans can be put in place to make sure everyone has the best chance of succeeding in education. With regard to teacher training, more emphasis needs to be given to prevention work, with literacy, numeracy and learning difficulty qualifications as essentials.
For those already in work, employers can encourage Union Learning Representatives to work with them in tackling the issue by identifying ways to get everyone to obtain training in literacy and numeracy, with those who feel they don’t have problems in such areas, mentoring those that do. It helps if senior leadership take a lead in doing the tests that are already available.
All this should be promoted by everyone as part of a drive to encourage people to develop their full potential as God intended. If people are given such opportunities, this leads to more satisfied workers and increases productivity.
Obviously, there have to be the opportunities there for this to happen. To start the ball rolling, we, as a nation, need to debate what sort of jobs/careers should be promoted that are sustainable, adaptable and most of all, ethical. We also need to look at getting more businesses to become employee/customer-owned as well as being smaller, so there is a sense of responsibility and loyalty to the business.
With pension funds awash in money, they could invest in such firms, only expecting a small proportion of the profits, so as to see returns for the long-term and not just the short-term. Hopefully, as part of this change of ‘culture’, we will end up with businesses that care for their customers (with quality products at a fair price), the environment (only using renewable products and energy), the community (in involvement in its daily life, helping the less fortunate with employment and training, and using local suppliers where possible, etc) and their employees (with proper conditions of pay and work).
I am sure there is much more that can be said, but it is a start to get the debate rolling!