HC Deb 04 July 2002 vol 388 c483W
22. Mr. Clapham

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures she is taking to increase basic literacy and numeracy skills for adults. [64417]

Mr. Ivan Lewis

The Government are fully committed to improving the literacy, language and numeracy skills of adults. The Prime Minister launched Skills for Life, the national strategy for improving adult literacy and numeracy in England in March 2001. Since then, we have introduced a new national teaching and learning infrastructure of standards, curricula, teacher training and national tests in literacy and numeracy nationally to help increase standards and learner achievement. There have been three bursts of national promotion activity to increase demand for basic skills provision. These have led to over 100,000 calls to the national information hotline. Demand is also being stimulated among employers with a toolkit of advice and materials to ensure low skilled employees have opportunities to improve their skills. We have completed a series of pilots to test innovative pedagogical approaches and financial incentives for learners and employers. A new national research and development centre, led by the London University's Institute of Education, has begun investigating best practice in the UK and internationally. Our target is that 750,000 adults improve their literacy and numeracy by 2004. Between April 2001 and January 2002, more than 124,000 adults were helped to gain literacy and numeracy qualifications.

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